‘It doesn’t suit my game style’, says Andrey Rublev on Dubai conditions


Andrey Rublev is looking to extend his 20-match winning streak at ATP 500 level at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. 

The world No. 8 has won his last four ATP 500 events – Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Vienna last year, and Rotterdam earlier this month.

Last week, the 23-year-old Russian advanced to the Doha semi-finals without taking to the court after a first round bye and two walkovers. He fell to Roberto Bautista Agut in the last four.

“It’s always tough conditions to play here as the balls fly and it doesn’t suit my game style,” said Rublev ahead of his second appearance in Dubai.

“It will be a great challenge for me, as I will need to find other ways to play matches.

“It’s tough to know what you need to do to produce good results. I’ve focused on myself to accept the things that I can’t change and do the best I can (each) today.

“This is the direction I am moving in and what has helped me. It also helped me to be better mentally.

“I feel like I am doing some things better than last year. I’ve always worked hard, it’s been a long journey of improvement. No one has ever told me to work or (needed) to motivate me.

“I was always doing things at 100 per cent and enjoying it. I then had some injuries and stressful problems off the courts.

“Little by little, things began to fix themselves. I knew I needed to focus on myself, be in the moment and just play tournaments. In the end, the puzzle came together and from last year, I have started to play better and better.”

Rublev, who enjoys playing chess, added: “Chess can help tennis, maybe strategy wise. It gives you more patience, but I play chess like I play tennis. I try and take a Queen, or a forehand in tennis, and dictate. I prepare to attack.”

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