Andrey Rublev, the lean Russian qualifier has stirred some excitement today in Barcelona as he humbled Fernando Verdasco in the opening round of the Barcelona Open tennis championship, 7-6, 6-3. For Verdasco, a former champion here, a first round exit was difficult to deal with.
The Spaniard, who ousted Rafael Nadal in the third round at Miami wasn’t at his best today, and he blamed his schedule for the poor performance today. “It does not surprise me how bad I felt physically. After Monte Carlo and the tour in the U.S, I have been pretty saturated.
I knew it was not going to be easy to keep myself in shape”. When asked whether he was physically fit, he said he mulled over withdrawing from the tournament initially; but not for tournament director Albert Costa’s insistence, he would have gone ahead with that decision.
About Rublev’s performance, Verdasco said: “I had never seen him play before, it is difficult with these kind of players. He played really aggressive, just like in a lottery he did not stop hitting lines.” However, not without chagrin at his defeat, Verdasco resorted to griping.
He said he was surprised how rude Rublev was for a 17-year-old. However, he didn’t explain what made him pass such a remark. Later while addressing the media, Rublev was asked whether he was disrespectful towards his opponent, to which he responded, “What do you mean by disrespectful, he is a great player, one of the best in the tour.
I didn’t say anything bad about him, but sometimes there is this crazy point where you show your emotion; Ronaldo also does that, but no one says he is being disrespectful.” Rublev explained that since he is a beginner who is taking his first steps, it is rather easy for him to play without any expectations, which he believed, contributed to his win.