Maybe Andrey Rublev just wanted to defend his friend, Daniil Medvedev. Or maybe something is going on in locker rooms at tennis tournaments between Carlos Alcaraz and other players. Or maybe Rublev is just jealous of the attention Alcaraz gets.
No matter what the reason, Rublev was extremely candid when asked about whether he believed Carlos Alcaraz lost in the second round of the Rolex Paris Masters because, as Alcaraz claimed, the Spaniard simply wasn’t feeling well. By saying this, Alcaraz may have unintentionally been disrespecting his opponent, Roman Safiullin.
If a player says he is ill and not playing well because of that he is saying his opponent wasn’t really the reason the player lost. Instead, Carlos Alcaraz could have said, “Safiullin played great and I look forward to ATP Finals in two weeks.” Alcaraz might have come off as arrogant as he otherwise would have dispatched Safiullin if he was feeling better, and professional tennis players aren’t overly huge fans of arrogance.
Andrey Rublev doubts Carlos Alcaraz was ill at the Rolex Paris Masters
According to the Express, Rublev dismissed Alcaraz’s claim that he underperformed due to illness. Said, Rublev, “I think (Alcaraz feels) okay because Carlos, he didn’t play now since Shanghai so for sure he’s fresh…Maybe Daniil (Medvedev) is a bit tired because he played really long tournaments in a row, tough final in Vienna and straight away to play in Paris…So maybe Daniil was a bit more tired but Carlos I think he was fresh.”
Medvedev and Rublev are well-known good friends so possibly Rublev wanted to make sure that everyone knew his friend lost in the second round because Medvedev was actually tired. But Carlos Alcaraz could not have the same excuse. Plus, Alcaraz hasn’t won a tournament since July when he won Wimbledon, therefore his play over the last several months might indicate he has some other issues going on besides simply being temporarily under the weather.
Both Rublev and Alcaraz will participate in the ATP Finals when the year-end tournament starts next week. Maybe if there is some kind of riff between the Russian and the Spaniard we can see the drama play out on court at the Finals. Or maybe Rublev was just speaking the truth about the fact that Roman Safiullin was just better than Carlos Alcaraz for one day.