Russian man Andrey Rublev rises into Top 5 of the FedEx ATP Rankings
For the first time in over two decades, Russia has two players in the Top 5 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, with Andrey Rublev joining second-placed countryman Daniil Medvedev at the top of the men’s game this week.
The last time two Russian men sat inside the Top 5 was in September 2002, when Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov were in second and fourth position, respectively. Roger Federer, a 20-time major champion, had yet to win his first Slam at the time, while #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz was yet to be born.
Russian tennis is once again a dominant force, following the success of Rublev, US Open champion Medvedev, Olympic silver medalist Karen Khachanov, and World No. 25 Aslan Karatsev.
Russians have won seven tour-level trophies this season, including the ATP Cup. Rublev considers the ties he has formed to be extremely important.
While Rublev believes that their deep ties have contributed to their success, the 23-year-old says that it ultimately comes down to individual work ethic, since each of them has taken a different path.
“All of us have a really great connection,” Rublev told.
“Especially me, Karen and Daniil because we have known each other since the juniors when we were six or seven years old.”
“We knew Aslan from before, but we never really talked that often in the past, but now we are in teams together and see each other on Tour each week in the tournaments, we are having a good connection with Aslan and together.”
“All of us are good friends, but we don’t cross with each other or work with the same guys or follow the same strategy,” Rublev said. “Daniil has his own vision of how to practise. I have my own vision, Karen has his own, Karatsev has his own.
“All of us practise in different places and in the end, all of us found a way to make it. We didn’t all have the same coach until 15. We all just had our own way and it has worked out for us.”
Rublev, like Medvedev, has had a tremendous year since first breaking into the Top 10 in October of last year. After winning his fourth ATP 500 crown in Rotterdam, the 23-year-old went on to reach the ATP Masters 1000 finals in Monte-Carlo and Cincinnati.
These performances were critical in enabling Rublev break into the Top 5, with his goal now is to stay there and complete the season strong in order to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin in 2021.
“I hope now after this, he brings tennis in Russia to the next level,” Rublev said. “For the last three years, tennis in Russia was a lot, but I hope even now after he won a major, it is going to be double. Even more people will follow and even more parents are going to bring kids to tennis.
“I hope tennis will be one of the main sports in Russia like it was when Kafelnikov and Safin played. I can’t even imagine how he is feeling now. I wish, maybe one day I can feel what it feels like, but what he did was unreal.”
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