The one player Andrey Rublev does not want to play won’t shock you

(Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images) /

Andrey Rublev has been a fairly successful player during his career, but he still needs to make better runs in Grand Slam events. He has made nine quarterfinals at majors, but zero semifinals. Maybe he sometimes just gets beat by a better player, but making so many quarters without one semi might imply the struggle is as much mental as it is physical for the Russian.

There have been several times that Andrey Rublev has allowed his emotions to get the best of him. He played extremely well in a semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic at the Rolex Paris Masters this weekend, however, and one reason he was able to maintain a high level during the match is he never spent useless energy on an emotional outburst. Still, he lost in three sets to arguably the greatest player ever.

Rublev is now 1-5 against Djokovic in his career, including losing the last four matches between the two players. The only victory Andrey Rublev has over Djokovic was on clay at the Belgrade Open in 2022.  Djokovic’s domination of Rublev is the reason the Russian made an admission after losing at the Paris Masters.

Andrey Rublev jokingly says he never wants to play Novak Djokovic again

Post-match, Rublev said after being asked about the possibility of facing the Serb again, “No, no, no. I don’t want to play him (again). That’s all I want.”

Of course, Andrey Rublev was likely half-joking in his response but losing to one player over and over again does become defeating even for a player of Rublev’s ability. It is also fair to wonder just how many players have decided to avoid tournaments that Djokovic is also scheduled to play in simply because they don’t want to face the prospect of losing to him. Though, to be fair, there is no shame in losing to a player who has 24 career Grand Slam titles.

Rublev is only 26 years old, however, and he could still be playing at a high level for the next seven to ten years. Surely, by the time Rublev is 33 or so Djokovic will no longer be playing. Maybe by then, Andrey Rublev will have some chances to win a major or two.

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