Andrey Rublev is into the Citi Open second round

"I think politics was always in sport; Everybody knows this; maybe one day sport can be without politics" - Andrey Rublev after reaching Citi Open 2R

Andrey Rublev expressed his wish to have politics away from sport after reaching the Citi Open second round on Tuesday, beating Jack Draper in straight sets.

Rublev, 24, has recently been a victim of politics in sports. He and other Russian and Belarusian athletes were not allowed to compete at Wimbledon following Russia's Ukraine invasion earlier this year. As a result, this year's Championships were without ranking points, impacting many players - most notably Novak Djokovic - who slid down a few places despite successfully defending his title.

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Meanwhile, top-seeded Rublev has commenced his North American campaign with a win at DC.

Rublev rolls on

Top seed @AndreyRublev97 takes out Draper 6-4, 6-2!

#CitiOpen

In his press conference, Rublev said that politics has always been an intrinsic part of sports. However, he hopes tennis - being a global sport - will take the lead and show other sports that sport, in general, can be kept away from politics.

"I think politics has always (been there) in sport," Rublev said. "Everybody knows this. But I do believe that by being united and doing good things for peace, tennis can be ... example of it, maybe other sports will follow, and in general, maybe one day sport can be without politics."

Rublev feels tennis can be a trailblazer of sorts, as it's played in many countries and by players from many parts of the world.

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"I believe that tennis can be without politics, because tennis is something that is independent. I think it's one of not many sports that's independent from the rest of the sports. We have players from everywhere. We play every country. ... We are traveling all around the world. ... I think tennis has a good chance to be outside of politics, because, yeah, we have all the nations (playing)," he said.

Rublev will take on the winner of the match between Jack Sock and Maxime Cressy in the second round on Wednesday.


"I have a good story with D.C." - Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev at the Citi Open - Day 4
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Andrey Rublev has happy memories of the Citi Open, as he made his first ATP 500 semifinal at the tournament four years ago.

Making his tournament debut, the then 46th-ranked Russian won three matches to reach the last four, losing to Alex de Minaur. A year later, though, Rublev fell in the opening hurdle in DC, coming off an injury from Hamburg.

Semis: @AndreyRublev97 is coming.
#Rublev brought the power this afternoon in straight sets to defeat @deniskudla
6-1 6-4
.
Next for him @alexdeminaur

After his win over Draper on Tuesday, Rublev reminisced about reaching his first ATP 500 semifinal in DC and how he played through injury a year later.

"I have a good story with D.C., because when I play(ed) here first time, 2018, it was my first-ever semifinal on ATP 500 level. So it was a special moment for me. Then when I was coming 2019, the last time, I was going through not easy time, because I was just going out from injury. Everyone was playing telling me not to play. I say, No, I want to play because I like Washington a lot."

Andrey Rublev will look to win his fourth title of the year this week, having won Marseille, Dubai and Belgrade.

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Edited by
Nihal Taraporvala
 
 
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