Andrey Rublev - Australian Open 2024

Andrey Rublev hoping ‘to improve mentally’ to overcome Grand Slam ‘quarter-final hurdle

Andrey Rublev is bidding for a 16th career title this week in Dubai, but the world No.5 has revealed the big goal is to break his losing Grand Slam quarter-final record.

Rublev has reached 10 Grand Slam quarter-finals in his career, but has not managed to win a single one, and the Russian spoke to Gulf News about what he needs to improve, “My target this year is to keep improving, get better as a player and as a person.

“I want to improve mentally and be ready for those big moments of majors to take my chances when I face the same opponent again.”

The 26-year-old broke new ground last year when he won his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo, and Rublev believes the difference between the top players is down to ‘little details’.

“They’re all great players. Daniil Medvedev, Jannik [Sinner] and Carlos Alcaraz are all amazing players,” said Rublev. “Novak [Djokovic] is the best player.”

Rublev continued, “Everyone knows that Daniil can win a Grand Slam. He played in six finals and he was close to winning some of them, two sets up against Rafael Nadal and Jannik. Maybe when they play again the results could be different.

“At this level, it’s not about tennis, it about little details like who is more mentally ready in that moment and who’s feeling better on that day. Maybe when the play a week later it could be different story as everyone know how to play tennis. I am besides them.”

At the most recent Grand Slam in Melbourne, Rublev was defeated at the quarter-final stage by the eventual champion in Jannik Sinner, and he has suggested that it is just a matter of time before he breaks through, “The better I prepare mentally, the faster I will break this quarter-final hurdle.”

But first, Rublev will continue his bid to win the Dubai Tennis Championships title for a second time, as he plays Alexander Bublik in the semi-final this afternoon.

Inside the baseline…

Andrey Rublev is a strange one, because he is so prolific at reaching the latter stages and winning titles on the ATP Tour, but seems to have a barrier of replicating this on the Grand Slam stage. It is good that Rublev recognises that his mentality needs to change, with the Russian often getting very frustrated on court that has resulted in hitting himself in the leg with his own racket on occasions. However, it is difficult to see someone with Rublev’s talent not reaching a major semi-final at some stage.

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Andrey Rublev and his 10 Grand Slam Quarter-final defeats

Rublev has reached the quarter-final of every Grand Slam tournament, but has lost every single one of them, with seven of those defeats coming in straight sets:

  1. US Open 2017 – Lost to Rafael Nadal (1), 1-6 2-6 2-6
  2. Roland Garros 2020 – Lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas (5), 5-7 2-6 3-6
  3. US Open 2020 – Lost to Daniil Medvedev (3), 6(6)-7 3-6 6(5)-7
  4. Australian Open 2021 – Lost to Daniil Medvedev (4), 4-6 2-6 5-7
  5. Roland Garros 2022 – Lost to Marin Cilic (20), 7-5 3-6 4-6 6-3 6(2)-7
  6. US Open 2022 – Lost to Frances Tiafoe (22), 6(3)-7 6(0)-7 4-6
  7. Australian Open 2023 – Lost to Novak Djokovic (4), 1-6 2-6 4-6
  8. Wimbledon 2023 – Lost to Novak Djokovic (2), 6-4 1-6 4-6 3-6
  9. US Open 2023 – Lost to Daniil Medvedev (3), 4-6 3-6 4-6
  10. Australian Open 2024 – Lost to Jannik Sinner (4), 4-6 6(5)-7 3-6

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.