Andrey Rublev believes Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer boast of certain distinct qualities that make people attach a specific image with them. According to the Russian, Nadal is a player who refuses to give up no matter what the situation, and so is always associated with the never-say-die attitude. Rublev also claimed that Roger Federer’s image is one of the reasons why he was recently voted as the ATP Fans' Favorite player for the 18th year in a row.
World No. 8 Andrey Rublev was himself adjudged as the 'most improved ATP player of the year', on the basis of his incredible season. The Russian added five titles to his name in 2020, and won 41 matches - the joint-highest on tour alongside Novak Djokovic. In recognition of Rublev’s stellar display, his coach Fernando Vicente also took home the Coach of the Year Award.
During a recent interview, Andrey Rublev was asked about his thoughts on Roger Federer bagging yet another Fans' Favorite title despite barely playing all year. Rublev suggested that the Swiss legend’s statuesque image may have given the fans some preconceived notions, before pointing out that Rafael Nadal is always viewed as a player who will 'fight to the end'.
"I never followed him but he (Roger Federer) has this status, it is his image," Rublev said. "Just like Nadal is associated with someone who will always fight to the end, no matter what. He will 'die' on the field, but he will continue to play. That is, people already have their own feelings with each player."
Rafael Nadal’s relentless game, coupled with his never-say-die attitude, have made him a fearsome competitor over the years. The Spaniard has an uncanny ability to overcome the toughest odds, as evidenced by his triumph at the French Open this year.
Faced with adverse weather conditions and an in-form Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal summoned every ounce of his fighting spirit to hand the Serb a famous beatdown in the final.
Andrey Rublev on the key strengths of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic
During the interview, Andrey Rublev was also asked to name the ideal tennis player. The 23-year-old refrained from doing so, but opined that you can take an ability from any player depending on the situation.
“It depends on the criteria, you can take something from everyone,” Rublev said.
The Russian then highlighted specific traits of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic that he thinks are their strongest points.
“I would say Rafael Nadal's mind, Roger Federer's sense of timing and for Novak Djokovic, his vision of the game, his backhand and his elasticity,” the Russian continued.Published 30 Dec 2020, 14:32 IST