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August 15, 2019

Andrey Rublev

Cincinnati, Ohio

A. RUBLEV/R. Federer

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. First two times you ever faced Roger Federer's serve on games, you broke him both times. How were you able to do that?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I knew that I have to start since the beginning, and I was a little bit lucky, because first games he was not really serving well. He was most of the time starting with the second serve, and I know it is my chance to just go for it.

In the end, yeah, everything was on my side from the beginning, so that's why I broke him.

Q. When you're serving out the match, is it in your mind that it's Federer on the other side of the net, or at what point were you able to just kind of block it out?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, you start to think, and then of course, like, you start to shaking another level. But, I don't know, in my head I was just trying to don't look at my team, don't look at the score, don't look on Roger.

I don't know. I was just trying to put in my head that it's not -- the score is, I don't know, I'm losing or something like that, just to be more relaxed. And in the end it works. It was good (smiling).

Q. In the second set, on your serve, you only allowed him four points in the second set. Were you feeling it unbelievably well in serving today?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I would say both of us was second set serving really well, because he started to mix a lot the serve and was really tough to return. Was really tough to catch him, because sometimes he was serving even second serve even more harder than the first.

Sometimes he was serving wide really short, not hard, not really hard. Sometimes he was serving wide really hard. So in the end -- I don't know. His serve is unbelievable, and when I broke him, I don't know, it was just a little bit lucky and I took the chance.

Then my serve, I don't know, I was serving well, plus from the baseline I was really solid today. So that's why probably everything was, like, today on my side.

Q. How would you rank this win today, like, one of the biggest, most meaningful, most emotional one? How would you rank it?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Of course, I mean, the biggest and the most emotional win. But I don't know. I cannot imagine, I mean, how the true champion and legend he is, because imagine is every day how much pressure you have.

I mean, to know that you're Roger and everybody is watching you and you need to prove it every day, and he's doing this, I don't know for how many years. I mean, this is something, I don't know, unreal.

Now, I mean, I face it and I see how in life -- I mean, because before I see this only on the TV, and when you face it and, I don't know, it's just, wow, like, he's a true legend. Even the way he took the, I mean, the defeat, I don't know. It's another level. He just told me, like, No worries. I don't know. Like in a funny way. It's so amazing.

Q. Roger said it was the perfect performance by you. He also said you were a player who can take the racquet out of the hand of the opponent. So when you play, do you feel like at times your opponent just has no chance? It's all in your hands?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't know. I mean, I know that my game is really aggressive. It's really fast. For some players it's tough to control this. I don't know. This is one of my advantages.

So today I was just trying to take my forehand as much as I can and to try to dictate, and it was working well.

So I don't know. Today was really my day and not really good day for him (smiling).

Q. Even in your first round you were playing incredible tennis. Did you get the sense when you got here that this could be a big week for you? Were you hitting the ball well coming in?
ANDREY RUBLEV: No, since the beginning I forgot to sign for this tournament. So basically I was not even supposed to play here. And then I signed for alternate and I got in in qually.

Yeah, I mean, first match I get lucky that Bernard pull out. Then second match with Kukushkin, I was losing that match. I lost set and he was a little bit better than me and somehow, I don't know, I turn this match and I win it.

Then match by match I was playing better and better. But in the end I beat, yeah, Kukushkin and Basilashvili. Kukushkin I lost, like, three times to him or four times. Basilashvili, I lost to him two times this year. And then I beat two guys that I never beat before. And then I beat two legends, I mean, it's amazing.

Q. You have quite a lot of success on clay. This court, everybody says it's one of the fastest on tour. Do you consider yourself more suitable to clay courts or to fast courts?
ANDREY RUBLEV: To be honest, I don't know. Every time it's different. Sometimes I do results, I don't expect that I'm going to play good on fast court, and now I'm doing my best results on fast court.

Like, two weeks ago, I didn't expect I'm gonna do final on clay and I did final on clay. I don't know. It's tough to say, because every time they ask me about surface, and I don't know what to answer, because I don't know.

It's always happens. Some results happens on different surface. And every time I say I like more hard, I do bad results on clay. Every time I say I like more clay, I do bad results on hard. Looks like for the moment I can play good on all surfaces, which is good.

Q. Your next opponent is Daniil. How is that for you? Are you friends? Do you have an explanation that at the moment there are so many good Russian players in the top?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah. We are good friends, and we know each other quite well since kids. I mean, it's going to be interesting match, interesting match for Russia.

I mean, he's now No. 1, so I have no pressure. Last time we played was, like, three or four years ago that he beat me easily. So tomorrow is gonna be all the pressure on him. I will try to enjoy. I will try to do my best tomorrow, and we will see what's gonna happen.

Q. Regarding your performance so far, is there anything you're specifically pleased with and something that you feel you need to refine?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't even know what to say. It's tough to say something when you don't even expect to play on this tournament and then everything goes completely in a different way.

But I don't know. It's just more I try to focus on myself to just to do my best every day to focus on the things that I need to improve and most likely that's it.

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