The Russian tennis player talks about the first half of the season, the French Open and rising star Carlos Alcaraz.

On May 22, the second Grand Slam of the season, Roland Garros, kicks off in Paris. Now the top tennis players are in the active phase of preparation for the Major. But the seventh number of the ATP rating Andrey Rublev took the time to answer a few questions from Match TV.


You have a very busy first half of the season. Three titles won. Are you satisfied with the way things are going?

“It’s clear that I’m very pleased with some things. In the same way, I can say that I am dissatisfied with some. But it is an essential process. The main thing is to just keep working and getting better.

At the end of December 2021, you had coronavirus. Does the downed preparation for the season make itself felt?

Not anymore. At the moment when all this happened, it was very disappointing to miss the ATP Cup and immediately play the Australian Open without preparation, without a pre-tournament. It was hard there. But then he won a lot of good matches, played a lot of good tournaments.


How is the preparation for Roland Garros 2022 going?

The training is going well, physically I also feel good. Let’s see how things turn out. I’m flying to Paris on Wednesday. There will be 3-4 days to train and prepare.

You had different performances at Roland Garros: from elimination in the first round last year to the quarter-finals a season earlier. How suitable are the Parisian courts for you?

To be honest, the courts have changed a lot in Paris over the past 5-6 years. When I played juniors, they were completely different. Now they are without soil, very slippery, very fast, like some kind of concrete. Big courts are better. But where unseeded tennis players play, it is not only difficult to play there, but also to train. Last year, in the first round, I hit Struff, who plays one or two hits and loves to serve. He’s got everything screwed up. Conditions helped me in 2020. It was very cold and rainy. Therefore, the courts have become very slow. For me, this has been a big plus. It has become easier to operate against tennis players who like to serve and hit in one or two strokes. You could play pranks with them and take the initiative.


You train in Spain with a Spanish coach. When did you first hear about Carlos Alcaraz?

To be honest, I don’t remember. Probably in 2019 or 2020.

Now he is one of the most talked about tennis players. Most often he is compared to Nadal. How comparable are they in your opinion?

On the one hand, it is wrong to compare, because all tennis players are different physically, technically, mentally, externally. On the other hand, all the same, there will always be comparisons in sports, and there is no way without it. I don’t like to compare. I can only highlight that Nadal and Alcaraz are both Spaniards and both play with the Babolat racket. Their style of play is still different. Just because he’s young and already in the top 10, like Nadal was, doesn’t mean they’re alike. There was another time when Nadal did it. Generations cannot be compared. If they were still the same age and always walked together, but one fired and the other fell short, then you can compare and answer why this happened. And such people from different generations with different styles of play cannot be compared.

You had several joint trainings. What is he like in communication?

Carlos is a very nice, humble guy, he sincerely loves tennis and plows with all his might.


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