Andrey Rublev has made himself the author of an exponential growth in the last two seasons, having finally managed to express all that potential that he had seen since he was very young. The Russian was mentally unblocked after beating Roger Federer by surprise in the round of 16 of the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati in 2019, also thanks to a rival not in the best of form and fresh from the insult at Wimbledon just a month earlier.
The Moscow talent has put in a crazy record in the ATP 250 and 500, but he still has to file a few details to get to the bottom in the most important tournaments. The number 8 ATP knows he has a great chance in Miami, the first Masters 1000 of the season, thanks also to the absences of the Big 3 and Dominic Thiem.
In a long interview granted to the sports tabloid Championat, Rublev touched on a wide range of topics, starting with his childhood idols. Andrey did not hide the fact that he has always had a great admiration for compatriot Marat Safin and 20-time Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
Rublev: "I've always loved Safin and Nadal"
"I always liked the way Marat Safin played. Rafael Nadal was also one of my idols as a child," Andrey said before his debut in Florida. "Now I periodically play and train with Rafa.
I remember our first training session, I was 16, I felt fantastic sensations and that experience gave me a motivation that I can't even describe. I immediately felt the desire to work even more to reach his level," he joked.
Rublev has an excellent relationship with Dominic Thiem: "He is a kind and nice guy, he is an easygoing guy. I've always enjoyed training with him, because he works hard and there is a lot of intensity on the pitch.
No matter how he feels or what his mood is, he will always give his all on the pitch. We don't hang out much outside of tennis, but we have a sincere respect for each other." This week the Miami Open 2021, ATP and WTA combined event, will be remembered for the absence of many stars, including the Big Three Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic among the men, and Serena Williams among the women.
However, there will be young ATPs such as Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Jannik Sinner and also many women's stars such as world no.1 Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek. And Rublev is one of the protaagonists of the event.