“We’re Very Lucky”: Andrey Rublev Says Bubble a Reality Tennis Players Have to Accept

Published 03/26/2021, 3:06 AM EDT
Russia’s Andrey Rublev celebrates winning his group stage match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs


At a time when a few of his rivals on Tour have made no secret of their displeasure over playing closed-door events and staying closeted in bubbles across events, Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev has shared his take on the issue.

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The current World Number 8 said that bubbles and closed-door events represent the new normal in tennis in COVID times and one has to accept and adapt to it.

Andrey Rublev says it’s a blessing for tennis players to still travel and earn when millions lost jobs

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The 23-year-old Rublev said that the players should feel “lucky” that they can still travel, compete at events and earn when millions across the globe have been rendered jobless by the pandemic.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Miami Open, the Russian said, “You have to get used to tournament bubbles, this is the time. Happy that we can play at all!”

He added that it was tough sitting out, without getting a feel of the court and the racquet, during the lockdown phase.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in action during his first round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Rublev added that going five months without tournaments was “hard” for all stakeholders – the game’s minders, tournament organizers, sponsors, and especially the players.

I know that someone lost their job, someone’s salary was cut. And we – tennis players – can move around the world, participate in tournaments, even when borders are closed. We are very lucky! the Russian added.

Denis Shapovalov and Benoit Paire had raised concerns over bubbles and reduced prize money

While the World Number 8 harped on the positives of playing tennis in pandemic times, there’s no escaping the growing disquiet over the scheduling of events, the bubble as well as the dwindling prize money in tournaments.

Veteran French tennis star Benoit Paire came out with his misgivings over playing closed-door events, saying that the bubble had reduced tennis to a “tasteless profession”. In a tweet, he pointed to the heavily depleted men’s draw at Miami, following multiple withdrawals led by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, to say that the pullout does put the spotlight on a bigger problem with the ATP.

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Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov also voiced his displeasure over the reduced prize purse at tournaments, saying it was leaving the players short on motivation to compete.

DIVE DEEPER

“Not Easy for Players”: Simona Halep Says Bubble May Affect Performance at Miami Open 2021

about 2 months ago

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Speaking to the press before launching her Miami campaign, two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep was also quoted as saying that the bubble may not leave players in the proper frame of mind to give off their best.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

858 articles

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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