‘I felt confident, I was playing better and better,’ says Andrey Rublev after third round win
Andrey Rublev completed a faultless first week at the Australian Open after beating Feliciano Lopez in straight sets to reach the fourth round.
The seventh seed took just an hour and 33 minutes to see off the experienced Spaniard 7-5 6-2 6-3, who looked jaded after spending over six hours on court in his previous two matches.
Speaking following his win, the Russian star admitted he felt increasingly confident after a tight first set.
He said: “I have known Feliciano for a long time. We have practised a lot and we are good friends.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match because of the way he is playing. He has an amazing serve, an amazing slice and volley, so I knew he was not going to give me rhythm.”
“The first set was a really nervous one. I had a couple of chances and he had a couple of chances but, in the end, I made it.
“After the first set, I started to feel a little bit better and I think he was a little bit more down because he had tough matches in the first two rounds. He was maybe a bit more tired and I felt confident. I was playing better and better.”
Andrey Rublev joins ATP Cup teammates Daniil Medvedev and Aslan Karatsev in the fourth round and meets 22-year-old Norwegian Casper Ruud, with the Russian hoping to reach the quarter-final stage in Melbourne for the first time.
““It is going to be really tough. Casper is a really great player,” said Rublev.
“We played a couple of times and it was always a great match, with great intensity. He is in great shape, he won really great matches, so we will see what is going to happen. I need to prepare mentally and physically, there are going to be long rallies and it is going to be high intensity.”
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