Andrey Rublev Admits Rafael Nadal Missing Wimbledon Championships 2021 is an ‘Advantage’ for Him

Published 06/20/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 16, 2021 Russia’s Andrey Rublev with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning his quarter final match REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev has said the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal from this year’s Wimbledon Championships will boost his prospects in the tournament.

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However, the Russian added that while the Spaniard’s absence will give him a lot of hope, he will still have to navigate a highly competitive draw featuring a wealth of talent in the form of eight-time champion Roger Federer, current World No.1 Novak Djokovic, and the other Next-Gen stars.

Andrey Rublev says Rafael Nadal’s absence will give him higher seeding at Wimbledon

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Rublev, incidentally, inflicted one of Nadal’s three defeats on clay this year as he took down the 11-time champion in the quarter-finals of Monte-Carlo Masters.

Thanks to the Spaniard pulling out of All England, Rublev, who is currently ranked No.7 in singles, will get a better seeding at Wimbledon. A higher seeding will ensure a relatively easier draw for the Russian, thereby brightening up his chances of progressing to the tournament’s second week.

Speaking on Nadal’s absence and how it stands to boost his prospects on the lawns of All England, Rublev said, “Of course, for players like me, Rafael Nadal not playing is a big advantage, because now I’ll be a bigger seed.”

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 16, 2021, Russia’s Andrey Rublev with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning his quarter final match REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

However, he added that he isn’t getting too carried away with the Spaniard pulling out as he might still have to face a Nick Kyrgios or a Jan-Lennard Struff, who are more than a handful on grass.

Rublev says he’d still have to get past some top players to go deep at Wimbledon

“There are guys who are really hard to play on grass. Imagine having Struff in the first round of Wimbledon or Nick Kyrgios? On grass, it’s difficult to play with players who serve well,” Rublev added.

The Russian said though he has worked on his grass court game, there are certain aspects of it, especially “slice, volley and movement”, where there is still room for improvement.

“I’ve adapted to grass but there are things I can still improve on. For example, the slice, volley and movement,” he said.

The Russian added that defending on grass calls for a different set of skills as one can’t hit high balls in the hope of catching the opponent on the wrong foot.

Watch This Link: Top Dramatic Tennis Moments From the 2021 Clay Season

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“Defending on grass is also different, you can’t defend with high balls like on clay. I think I’m still far away. Although, overall, my game is aggressive,” Rublev said.

(Quotes have been translated via Google Translate)

DIVE DEEPER

Andrey Rublev Battles Past Nikoloz Basilasvili To Reach 6th ATP 500 Finals at Halle Open 2021

about 1 month ago

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The Russian seems to have hit top gear on grass already as he fought past Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in the semifinals at Halle and will play Frenchman Ugo Humbert for the championship on Sunday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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