Rafael Nadal Wimbledon 2019

‘Nadal missing Wimbledon is a big advantage for me’, admits Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev believes there are still “many things” he can improve at on grass and said Rafael Nadal withdrawing from Wimbledon is “a big advantage”.

World No. 7 Rublev said it will help to have a higher Wimbledon seeding in Nadal’s absence, but added “there are so many guys that are really tough to play on grass”.

The 23-year-old Russian defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the ATP 500 event in Halle.

“I have adapted to the grass, but there are so many things I can still improve on the grass. For example, with the slice, the volley, and moving better,” Rublev said in a post-match interview.

“Also, defending on grass, because it is different, you can’t defend with high balls like on clay, so I think I am still far away. In general, though, because my game is to play aggressively.

“If you play aggressive, this helps you a lot on grass, so I think my game for this surface is ok. Philipp Kohlschreiber is good on this surface, so this match has given me confidence.

“Of course, for the players like me, with Rafael Nadal not playing, it is a big advantage for me as I am going to be a higher seed now. But there are so many guys that are really tough to play on grass.

“For example, imagine having Struff in the first round of Wimbledon or Nick Kyrgios. On grass, it is so tough to play players who serve well so who knows.”

The fourth seed will play Nikoloz Basilashvili in the last four of the Noventi Open on Saturday.