Rublev thankful for Federer's praise, but needs to do more

Dubai - The modest Muscovite also added that there are a number of players who are as good or even better than him.



By James Jose

Published: Mon 24 Feb 2020, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 24 Feb 2020, 8:36 PM

He came in for high praise from none other than tennis legend Roger Federer. The Swiss ace marked Andrey Rublev as special and one for the future. And while the Russian was chuffed to hear the record 20 Grand Slam champion's opinion, the 22-year-old said that he still needs to work even harder and improve.
The modest Muscovite also added that there are a number of players who are as good or even better than him.
"Of course, it is amazing when guys like Roger say this," said world No.14 Rublev.
"But, as I said before, there are so many guys who are better than me or are coming through now like Felix (Auger-Aliassime), (Denis) Shapovalov, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, Karen (Khachanov) and (Daniil) Medvedev. There are so many guys who are doing better than me at the moment. But we will see. I'm going to try to do my best. "It is not easy. First I need to work hard and improve myself and to be a better player and person. And then, we will see what will happen in the future," he added.
Federer had lost to Rublev in the third round of the Cincinnati Masters last August and the Swiss had praised Rublev at the start of this year.
"I think that Rublev is going to be something special. He played great against me in Cincinnati, he impressed me a lot there," Federer had said.
Rublev had beaten Federer in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 and also ushered in his 22nd birthday by winning the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Apart from tennis, Rublev is also fond of boxing and basketball but doesn't find enough time now for both the disciplines.
"Now tennis takes almost 95 percent of my time because I spend all day at the tennis court. I finish around 7 or 8 p.m sometimes. And then I just go home, have dinner and prepare for the next morning. There is only one day off that I have. I do some active sports but in the end, it is just a little. In the past, I used to do a lot more," said Rublev.
Rublev, who enjoyed a 11-match win streak at the start of the year, also paid credit to his coach Fernando Vicente, for his rise.
"My coach and me, we speak about the things that I need to improve. He gives his opinion and most of the time, we have the same vision of things. Most of the time, he's right and I agree with him and I work on it," he said.
Sixth seeded Rublev has started well in Dubai, winning his first round against Italian Lorenzo Musetti, in the ATP 500 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday.
james@khaleejtimes.com  


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