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January 5, 2018

Andrey Rublev

Doha, Qatar

A. RUBLEV/G. Pella

6-2, 4-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What's it feel like, your second tour final if -- you don't include the Next Gen situation, right?

Q. And your second final now?
ANDREY RUBLEV: You mean in general?

Q. Yes.
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean Umag and now, yeah. So second.

Q. What's it feel like to be in another final?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I feel happy. I don't even know what to say because I didn't expect this result. I was just focusing to do my best every match and that's it. Now I'm in the final and I'm really happy.

Q. You have a lot of double faults this week. If you could talk about that and then also talk about you had two aces in the match but the second one saved match point?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, it's just happens sometimes. You have to go through it. Because in general, in the most important moments, I was serving well and just was some moments that, I don't know, maybe not focus. I was not doing something -- I was doing something wrong. But this happens.

Now it's tournament time and I don't have much time to fix it. In the next couple of days, we will fix it and everything will be fine.

Q. Just talk about that match point.
ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah. I mean, I was thinking before match point that I have to go for the shot. I have to go for the serve. And in the end I get lucky and I serve right on the line, and I was feeling -- I like it.

Q. Do the windy conditions have anything to do -- maybe the ball toss, because it's so windy out there, does that affect your serve?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Today was not really windy. It was okay. It's something happens sometimes. Sometimes players maybe they don't feel forehand or backhand. Just happens. Some players they don't feel serve these days. It just happens. Sometimes you have these days that some of the shots you don't really feel well.

You have to focus, keep going through it. Doesn't matter if it doesn't work. Just still try to do it and that's it.

Q. You fought hard, about a two and a half hour semifinal today. You had about four tough matches today. Gael had a withdraw today. Do you think that will have an impact on tomorrow's final? How fresh are you currently?
ANDREY RUBLEV: We'll see. I hope I will be fresh enough. In the end, during the Grand Slams, I will have to play one more set. And then you have only one day to recover. So I think I will be fine for tomorrow. And we'll see. I hope I can play even better than today.

Q. How much would a title mean to you, like in the first week of the year?
ANDREY RUBLEV: We'll see. I mean, now it's tough to say because it's still one match to go and I don't even think about it. It's better to ask in case I could win this title. Then on the next press, you can ask this question to me or to Gael or who will win. Now, for the moment, I don't even think about it.

Q. As you will be seeded at the Australian Open, can I just get your reaction to the long-term injury of Andy Murray and the injury problems he has? Do you have any reaction to that?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Well, I mean, of course it's always tough when you have injury, and it's tough to recover especially I know that he had amazing season in 2016. He finished No. 1 and then this happens, injury, and he didn't play for I think the last half year. Now, again, he pull out because of injury. It's really tough. It's tough mentally.

I know, I mean, what he's feeling. I mean, you can say only it's tough when you have to fight with the injuries.

I wish he is going to come back soon and he will win many more tournaments.

Q. You are having a fantastic start of the reason. One step closer to the trophy here in Doha. You are playing well. You will play against a tough player tomorrow. You have never played against each other. Is there something that you will adjust to the quality of your game knowing that Gael has a very good -- he is very tough, like unpredictable on the court?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, we'll see tomorrow. In my case it's everything simple to try to play my game, to try to play the speed of the ball that I'm going to dictate. Because I know that when I play with the speed that they can play, it's really tough for the opponents to play with me. I will try to increase the speed and we'll see tomorrow what's going to happen.

Q. Do you think that the arrogance, because you are very arrogant on court, do you think that this arrogance will beat the experience of Gael?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I don't think nothing. I mean, it's tough to say because he's one of top players. He has a lot of experience. But I know if I will play the way I can play, I can fight with him. And if I can fight, maybe I will have chance.

And in the end we'll see tomorrow. For me I have no pressure. He is the top player and he's one who has to win tomorrow. We'll see tomorrow what's going to happen.

Q. Can you talk about being seeded at the Australian Open, and also what expectations did you have coming into this week?
ANDREY RUBLEV: You mean about this week?

Q. Yeah. This week and the Australian Open.
ANDREY RUBLEV: Of course I'm happy to be seeded because I also didn't expect that I'm going to make it. Now I'm really happy and we'll see what's going to happen in Australia. But it's still one more week to go before Australia. I still have tomorrow match and then I have one more tournament. So we'll see what's going to happen.

About this week, I'm really happy because I didn't expect this, like I said before. I'm really happy with the first week of the season and I hope I can play more consistent. I hope it's not going to be only one week like this. We'll see.

Q. Like it was said, you play Gael for the first time in your career. What do you think about him and do you like his style of play?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah. I mean, he's a great player. You can see that he was -- he win many great tournaments. He beat almost all the top players. I think for sure he was top 10. I mean, he's one of the greatest player now in this time. I mean, he moves amazing. He has big shots, amazing serve. We'll see. Because in the end I have nothing to lose tomorrow. We'll see. I will just try to go on court and enjoy the match.

Q. The last few years, all the surfaces across the hard court, grass, clay, become slower. What is your favorite surface? And would you consider it an advantage that the surfaces have become slower or do you like playing on faster surfaces?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't have my favorite surface. I like almost every surface. I like grass, I like clay, I like hard.

About surface, I like to play more on slow court. On fast court in the end it's little bit -- for me it's not real, the game, because in the end you can play not smart, you can do wrong shots but because the surface is fast in the end you get winners by doing the wrong shot or something like that. Even maybe you hit with not the same power but because the court is fast, the ball goes really fast. In the end I think it's a little bit -- the thing is not real. When you play on slow court, then it's real tennis when you have to play with the legs, when you have to crush all the tough balls. If you do the wrong shot, it's going to cost you maybe game or important point. And then you have to play smart, you have to try to open the court to move the guy. Then it's more the real game, the real level in my opinion.

Q. (No microphone) do you like that change?
ANDREY RUBLEV: How I said, when you play on fast court, it's in my opinion it's not real. When you play on slow court or on clay that's when it's real level comes.

Q. (No microphone?)
ANDREY RUBLEV: In my case I don't know with what to compare. I was not playing Australian Open for many years. I played my first time last year and now is going to be second time. So I don't know with what to compare.

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