The Russian Hotshot

Full Name: Andrey Andreyevich Rublev

Birth Date: 20 October 1997

Place of Birth: Russia

Playing Years: 2014 to present

Highest Ranking: No. 31 (19 February 2018)

Awards:

The Russian Cup in the nomination Team of the Year 2013

The Russian Cup in the nomination Junior of the Year 2014

ITF Junior World Champion 2014

Formative Years

Andrey Rublev is one of the blooming names in the newest generation of tennis players. He was born to a country which has a rich tradition and heritage of tennis, Russia. His father, Andrey Rublev Sr., was a professional boxer, and his mother, Marina Marenko, is a tennis coach. He started playing the sport at the age of 3, and made his career’s debut at the age of 13. He grew up idolizing Marat Safin and Rafael Nadal. He met Nadal in 2014 at Guillermo Vilas Academy in Mallorca, and had the rare chance to practice with him there.

In December 2012, he won a top junior competition in the Orange Bowl. In the spring of the following year, he obtained the NWU PUKKE/RVTA Junior ITF 1 cup in Potchefstroom, South Africa. He also competed in the Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan, and made it to the quarter-finals in junior singles of 2014 Australian Open. His first major achievement is breaking into the semifinals of the 2014 French Open. He also represented his country  in the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, where he achieved a bronze in singles and silver for doubles with fellow Russian Karen Khachanov. His junior career ended in April 2015 with a victory in the inaugural ITF Junior Masters in Chengdu, China, where he beat Taylor Fritz in the finals.

Professional Career

When he turned 15, Rublev began his professional career at the Bulgaria F6 Futures, making it the quarterfinals in singles, and runner-up in doubles. He made his first win as pro at the USA F31 Futures in Bradenton, United States.

In 2015, the young player made it to the Top 200, becoming the third youngest to be included behind Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz. In the same year, he took his first ATP World Tour doubles title. He followed his idol’s step, when he became the youngest ATP champion since the 17-year-old Nadal in 2004. By the end of the year, Rublev jumped off over three hundred spots from world No.517 to No. 174.

His warm start off on 2015 got out of hand when he made poor performances in the following year, 2016. He qualified to the Aircel Chennai Open, but only made it to the second round. Furthermore, he joined the ATP 250 and Challenger tournaments, but he did not went further from the first and second rounds respectively. He, nonetheless, toppled these performances when he won a singles in Challenger, beating Paul-Henri Mathieu. As a result, he became World No. 154  by 21st of March.

Rublev started well in 2017, breaking into the 2nd Round of Australian Open. In the same tour, he beat No. 60 Yen-Hsun Lu in a match. He reached Open de Rennes, and stepped into the quarterfinals of the Halle Open. He, then, qualified to the US Open, winning in straight sets against No. 9 Grigor Dimitrov, and No. 7 David Goffin in quarterfinals. He had the chance to face Nadal, and, despite losing to the world No. 1, is one of his career’s proud moments. Rublev also ended the year well, breaking into the final rounds of Next Generation ATP Finals in Milan.

In 2018, Rublev had a good year’s start when he achieved career-high No. 31 by 19 February after reaching 2nd singles final of ATP World Tour at Doha.

By keeping and advancing his current performance more, Rublev could be the heir to his own idol Rafael Nadal.

Playing Style

Rublev’s favourite shot is the forehand, attacking on the baseline. His style was described to be lethal and finishing for its accuracy and effortlessness.

The Russian hotshot could also be aggressive in his play, adding more power to his shots. However, this display has also been proven to cause technical and mental difficulty to the player as it sacrifices the precision in his shots.

By @EliaasMJ

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