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I wanted to work harder in order to somehow fight Rafael Nadal: Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev
Rudra Biswas
Modified 26 Mar 2021

Andrey Rublev recently spoke to Russian sports tabloid Championat on a wide range of topics - right from idolizing Rafael Nadal in his teens to his rapport with Austria's Dominic Thiem.

Rublev, who is currently competing at the 2021 edition of the Miami Open, revealed that he idolized Rafael Nadal and Marat Safin while growing up. He also narrated an anecdote about the time he got to trade hits with Nadal himself, at the age of 16.

"I liked the way Marat Safin plays, of course," Andrey Rublev said. "As a child, Rafael Nadal was an idol."
"And now I periodically play and train with him," the Russian added. "I remember our first training session: I was 16 years old, I experienced cool sensations and a surge of motivation."

Andrey Rublev further claimed that Rafael Nadal's aura and work ethic were so impressive that after just one practice session, he was prompted into working harder on his tennis.

"I immediately wanted to work even harder in order to somehow fight him," Rublev quipped.

Dominic Thiem is generally a kind and cool guy: Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev (L) and Dominic Thiem embrace at the net
Andrey Rublev (L) and Dominic Thiem embrace at the net

Andrey Rublev also spoke about his good friend Dominic Thiem, who he is slated to play an exhibition match against in Mexico City later this year. Rublev made a mention of Thiem's undying love for Chelsea F.C., before praising the Austrian's attitude and dedication outside of the court.

"Dominic Thiem is a fan of Chelsea," Rublev said. "I'm sure he has a lot of paraphernalia with all autographs."
"Dominic is generally a kind and cool guy, very simple," the Russian added. "It is always a pleasure to train with him, because he is hard-working, the classes are intense. It doesn't matter how he feels, whether he is in the mood - in training, he will always try and share energy."

Rublev went on to claim that the pair greatly respected each other, before insisting that they talk a fair bit even when they are not at a tournament together.

"Therefore, we have professional respect for each other," Rublev said. "Outside tennis, we hardly see each other, but we communicate well and help each other out. Now he forgot something in Doha, and I took it to him in Dubai."
Published 26 Mar 2021, 17:16 IST
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