World No 5 Andrey Rublev revealed he decided to smash his racket into his knee six times out of resentment and because he wanted to wake himself up while down to Carlos Alcaraz at the ATP Finals. On November 15th, Rublev took on Alcaraz in his second group-stage match at the ATP Finals.
After losing a very tight first set, Rublev also lost his serve in the first game of the second set. At that point, Rublev got extremely frustrated and annoyed as he bloodied himself after delivering six racket hits to his knee in a moment of rage.
"I'm very selective - it's hard for me to find rackets that I like. Even if they are the same, out of 15 rackets only two or three will suit me. Because of this, I feel sorry for hitting them on the court again, because if they break, then I have to look for them again.
And that can take a long time, so I hit the knees and not the court," Rublev told Championat.
Rublev on what led to him hitting himself six times with his racket
"Secondly, sometimes I have such strong resentment towards myself that I no longer know what else to do to give myself a sign that it's time to wake up.
At such moments, I kind of try to tell myself, 'Wake up! Half the match has already passed and you haven't done anything. All this leads to this outburst of anger. And immediately after this outburst I feel guilty because I am again stepping on the same racket.
Because all these crazy people are not needed at all, they don't help me in any way, I understand that. But at the moment I just don't know what else to do to reach myself," Rublev explained. Unfortunately for Rublev, his attempt to wake himself against Alcaraz didn't work out well as Alcaraz went on to complete a 7-5 6-2 win.
With that loss, Rublev fell to 0-2 and lost his chances of qualifying for the semifinal in Turin. In the end, Rublev finished 0-3 after also losing to Alexander Zverev in his last ATP Finals match.