Rublev hailed Federer, Nadal and Djokovic
Andrey Rublev has claimed in an interview with Eurosport that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic know they are the top players regardless of how long they are away from the sport or how low their ranking is.
“They know that they are at the top, doesn’t matter if they did not play tennis for a year or their ranking dropped, they know that they are the top ones. But for sure, they are taking players like me or other ones seriously because we are improving and we are playing better and better,” Rublev said.
The 24-year-old further added that Next Gen players have proven that they can compete and should be taken seriously.
“Guys like Medvedev, Zverev, Tsitsipas, they have proven already that they can win big tournaments and defeat top players. I am sure they are taking them and hopefully me as well seriously if they have to play against us. But like I said, they know who is the leader, who is the father.”
Rublev was the top seed in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and won the competition, beating Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6 in the final.
Andrey Rublev ends 2021 as World No. 5
Rublev reached two Masters 1000 finals this year
Andrey Rublev had an impressive 2021, reaching the final of two Masters 1000 tournaments in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati. He also made the semifinals at the Miami Masters and the quarterfinals at the Australian Open.
Rublev played an instrumental role in helping the Russian Tennis Federation win the Davis Cup a few weeks ago. He also won gold in the mixed doubles event at the Tokyo Olympics, partnering with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Rublev’s performances this year saw him enter the top five of the ATP rankings for the very first time in his career.
After a fine finish to 2021, the 24-year-old will be looking to continue his good form in the new year. He starts the season at the ATP Cup and will be keen to help Russia win the competition.
Rublev is on the official entry list for the Australian Open and while he may not be the favorite to win it, expectations are nevertheless very high.
As for the Big Three, Federer will not be competing at the Australian Open as he recovers from injury. Nadal has said he is not 100% sure regarding his participation in the competition and while Djokovic’s name is on the entry list he is yet to confirm his participation.