Andrey Rublev has given his verdict on some of the early upsets at the Rolex Paris Masters after booking his spot in the quarter-finals. The fifth seed is yet to drop a set at the tournament while two of his big rivals – Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev – fell at their first hurdle. Speaking exclusively to Express Sport, Rublev says he’s not convinced that the Spaniard didn’t feel fresh coming into the tournament but acknowledged that compatriot Medvedev had a tough run leading into Paris.
Rublev has been enjoying a strong finish to the season, reaching his fourth Masters final in Shanghai, following it up with a run to the Vienna semi-final and now reaching the last eight in Paris-Bercy. While the 26-year-old has been enjoying good results, two of his rivals fell at the first hurdle this week.
World No 2 Alcaraz was ousted by qualifier Roman Safiullin in just 97 minutes while Rublev’s close friend Medvedev crashed out to Grigor Dimitrov in a final set tiebreak. When Alcaraz suffered defeat, he later admitted that he didn’t “feel well on the court” and that it had been a long season.
But Rublev thought that the 20-year-old came into Paris feeling fresh after taking some time away and pulling out of the recent Swiss Indoors. “No I don’t think that,” the world No 5 told Express Sport when asked whether he felt fresher than his rivals.
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“I think they feel okay because Carlos, he didn’t play now since Shanghai so for sure he’s fresh.” As for the third seed, Rublev knew that Medvedev had a quick turnaround after losing the Vienna final on Sunday and noted that his compatriot also faced a tough first opponent in world No 17 Dimitrov.
Rublev added: “Maybe Daniil is a bit tired because he played really long tournaments in a row, tough final in Vienna and straight away to play in Paris. Tough first match straight away against Grigor, it’s not easy. So maybe Daniil was a bit more tired but Carlos I think he was fresh.”
While the bottom half of the draw has been burst wide open with Alcaraz and Medvedev’s losses, Rublev finds himself in the difficult top half with the likes of Djokovic and reigning champion Rune. “Yeah but they are all on the other [half of] draw,” the fifth seed laughed when discussing the upsets.
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“If I was down [in the bottom half], yes. But I am up [in the top half] and there is Novak and there’s still all of them are there. So doesn’t matter that Daniil or Carlos, they are not in the draw because they are not in my part.”
While Rublev is well aware that he will have a challenging path if he wants to reach the final – let alone lift the trophy – the 14-time title winner can take comfort in the knowledge that he keeps on improving. “I’m just playing really good at the moment, last couple of months and I’m feeling better and better,” he explained.
“It’s not about Masters or any other tournaments in general, I played well last week in Vienna, I played great in Shanghai. So I don’t know, since US Open I’m playing really well and just keeping this level and somehow I’m improving and I don’t know, we’ll see what’s going to happen next.”
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