2020 has been a breakthrough season for Andrey Rublev. He won five ATP titles, reached back-to-back Grand Slam quarterfinals, broke into the top 10 for the first time and made his debut at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals.
The hard work by the Russian and his team has been recognized by their peers, as Andrey Rublev was recently named ATP Most Improved Player of the Year while his coach Fernando Vicente was named ATP Coach of the Year.
Vicente won the award over a string of accomplished coaches, including Gilles Cervara (Daniil Medvedev's coach), Juan Ignacio Chela (Diego Schwartzman'c coach), Nicolas Massu (Dominic Thiem's coach) and Riccardo Piatti (Jannik Sinner's coach).
A former World No. 29 himself, Vicente revealed after his win that he and Rublev have been through some tough times together over the last five years, which have brought them both joy and pain.
"These awards, both mine and Andrey’s, are just a consequence of the years of hard work and countless hours dedicated to a sport that gives us so many emotions – for better or for worse," Vicente said. "We’ve gone through some difficult times during these last almost five years together."
The ATP Most Improved Player of the Year award is decided by a vote from all tour players, and Vicente claimed that Rublev getting such a recognition from his peers was very special.
"Having the recognition from his peers is something that makes him feel so happy and appreciated," Vicente said. "They also see Andrey day to day, how hard he works and tries each day to become a better player."
Vicente also asserted that Andrey Rublev is a coach's delight, since he works really hard and always looks to make improvements in his game.
"For me, it’s a pleasure to work with a player who is motivated all the time and works with such passion, always with the desire to keep improving," Vicente said. "Of course, I’m pleased with almost everything. It was his best year in terms of ranking, he won the five finals he played and in general his entire game improved a lot. I would give him an ‘outstanding’ on the season."
He deserved to win the award: Andrey Rublev on Vicente being named ATP Coach of the Year
Andrey Rublev himself is delighted that Vicente has been named ATP Coach of the Year. The 23-year-old declared he was happier about his coach's award than his own.
"I am more happy for my coach. I don’t know how it happened - it’s very nice and cool that he won this award. A lot of players and other coaches respect him. And I think that he deservedly received this award," Rublev commented.
Rublev will train in Spain prior to the start of the season. He plans to fly to Melbourne in mid-January, where he will represent Russia in the ATP Cup before playing the Australian Open.Published 30 Dec 2020, 22:46 IST