Andrey Rublev admits Nadal’s absence at Wimbledon would be an advantage

Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev of Russia said that Rafael Nadal’s retirement from Wimbledon in 2021 would be an injection of motivation regarding his prospects at the Grand Slam.

However, the world number 7 added that even without the presence of a world number 3 who would give him much hope, he still had to play very competitively in a Grand Slam that will feature some of the best players, including eight-time champion Roger Federer; world number 1 and defending champion, Novak Djokovic; and a number of other talented young tennis players.

The 23-year-old surprisingly became one of only three players to beat Nadal on clay when he beat the Spaniard in the quarter-finals of the 2021 Monte Carlo Open.

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After Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon this season, the Russian will have a better seed position. The tennis player with a higher seed position will certainly get an easier draw, therefore, this will further brighten his chances of making it to the second week of the Grand Slam in London.

Regarding Nadal’s absence and how it will improve his prospects at Wimbledon, Rublev said: “Of course, for a player like me, Rafael Nadal not playing is a big advantage, because now I will be in a higher seed position.”

However, the Russian added that he would not be too careless in the absence of the 20-year-old Grand Slam title, as he may still have to face either Nick Kyrgios or Jan Lennard Struff, one of the grass-court pros.

“There are players who are really good at playing on grass-court. Imagine facing Lennard Struff in the first round of Wimbledon or Nick Kyrgios? On grass, it’s difficult to play against a player who serves well,” added Andrey Rublev.

However, the world number 7 has worked on his grass-court game, particularly on slices, volleys and movement, and admits that there is still room for him to improve.”

“I have adapted to grass-court, but there are still things I can improve on. For example, slice, volley, and movement,” said Rublev.

“Defending on grass is different too, you can’t defend with high balls like on clay. I thought I was still far away. However, overall my game was quite aggressive.”

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