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September 4, 2017

Andrey Rublev

New York, NY, USA

A. RUBLEV/D. Goffin

7-5, 7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've said that Rafa Nadal was your idol growing up, that you copied some thing from him. What are your thoughts about playing against him next?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Nothing. I'm just going to try to enjoy, and that's it. This is going to be good challenge for me to see how far I am from top players, and how much more I need to work.

So we'll see.

Q. How would you describe the way he plays and the way you play?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I would say, I mean, he have amazing legs. He have amazing defense. And me, I have a good shots. I can play really fast, in fast rhythm. I think this is my main game.

Q. Outside of your winning, what has been the most enjoyable part of the US Open and being in New York?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I didn't see quite much because all days I'm staying on the courts. But my favorite thing here, when I'm winning the match, I know that next day I have day off. And this evening, it's the best one.

I know I win the match, I can have a late dinner, I can sleep tomorrow full because I have day off. It's the best part.

Q. I think you lost in the quallies last year.
ANDREY RUBLEV: First round (laughter).

Q. Big changes. What turned your year around, your career around? Where did the confidence come from? Specific tournament or match?
ANDREY RUBLEV: No, just last year I changed all the team completely. I moved to Barcelona to practice with a new coach and new physio, a new fitness coach, all the new team. This is it.

Q. Why the change?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Because, I mean, before was not working. It was something, I don't know, else.

Now, last year when I moved there, the real work starts. That's it. I feel that I'm not improving, I'm going only worse and worse, so I had to change something.

Q. Does it matter to you to watch a lot of the other young stars, rising bigger names in your group, lose earlier, see yourself be by far the youngest player in this round?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I think is great because we are giving to each other motivation. When you see, for example, somebody, young guy winning big match, I start to think, If he can win, maybe I also can win it. Why not? Is give me more motivation.

But all these guys, they have a good level. You can see all the guys, Shapovalov, Zverev, Coric, they are beating all the players. They also have level to be in quarters, in semifinals.

Today I am here, but next tournament they can easily win it or to be in the finals.

Q. Do you think it's a coincidence that all these young guys, most of them, have a Russian background?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't know. I don't know why is like this. But I guess is just happen generation like this.

I think it's quite good that genetically Russian guys, even they are different nationality, but genetically they are Russian. Their winning is quite good - for Russian.

Q. When you see Roger Federer, a guy who has been dominant for basically your whole life, continuing to be so good, Rafael Nadal, is it intimidating for you as the young guy or is it kind of cool to look ahead?
ANDREY RUBLEV: No, I don't know. I'm not thinking in this way. I thinking more like it's amazing what they are doing. I mean, when I see this, I feel that they're really legends. That's all I can say.

Q. What are your earliest memories of seeing Rafa, and your thoughts on why you idolized him?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't know. I just like it when I was kid, and that's it. Like the same with the Safin. When I saw since the first time, I like it. It not like I was thinking, Oh, something, and I like it. When I see it, straight I like it, and that's it.

Q. How would you describe the opportunity and what you think your emotions will be when you walk on the court with him?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I think normal, like always. I mean, we'll see. I mean, yeah, of course it's quarterfinal. But in general is just a match. I mean, I hope it's not my last quarterfinal in the ATP Tour. I have to try, I mean, to don't show emotions, to try to be focused, to try to fight, and that's it.

Q. What do you admire most about Rafa's character and the way he goes about things?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I think he's so professional. He try to do everything perfect. That's why he's No. 1, one of the best guys in all the history.

Q. Many young Russians I believe would gravitate to either hockey or Olympic sports. What drew you to the game of tennis?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, my mom was tennis coach, but this is not the reason why I start to play tennis.

I don't know, I was kid. I always was doing some sports since I was little. I was always on some tennis court. I always was doing some sports. My dad was boxer, so I also was in a boxing gym always. I don't like it. When I was there, I wanted to leave. When I was on tennis court, I feel like I like it so much.

Also I like football. But in one point when I start to think if I'm going to try to play football, it means I'm going to have less tennis. I was not ready to have less tennis. I wanted to play tennis all days. That's it. I say to myself that I want to play tennis all days, and I cannot be without tennis. That's it.

Q. How did playing all those other sports help your tennis game, if it did?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't understand exactly the question.

Q. How did playing the other sports, how did it help your tennis game or improve your tennis game?
ANDREY RUBLEV: But I was not doing this till many years. I was just normal kid. When they play football, they give the ball, they do everything with the ball. It's not that I was doing something professionally or something. Like all the kids, you give the ball, he try to play with the ball. They give you tennis ball, you try to play with tennis ball. That's it. Then after seven or eight years, I was playing only tennis, and that's it.

Q. Why do you love tennis so much?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I just like it, and that's it. I cannot be without tennis. I don't know. I think it's something special, more special, different feelings than compared to the team sports. It's another feeling. I like this feeling more.

Q. Even if you're very young, in your short career there were moments of highs and lows. I saw you three years ago in juniors in Australia. I was expecting you to come out and be as you are now. There were some moments you were doubting yourself or not?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Last two years it was like this. Especially all the last year it was absolutely full of depress, full of tears. Now I'm happy. It's much better now.

Q. You never thought you could not do it?
ANDREY RUBLEV: No. I was thinking, Okay, now I have a bad moments, but I'm still going to fight, I'm going to try to do my best, and that's it.

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