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January 15, 2020

Andrey Rublev

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

A. RUBLEV/S. Querrey

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you try and walk us through your last few days, winning Doha, coming here and everything else, and the jet lag and everything?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah, so last couple of days was interesting. So, yeah, I finish the final. Next day in the afternoon I was flying, so Sunday at 8:00 p.m. I had flight Doha, delayed.

I arrive around 5:00 p.m. I go to the club just to hit a little bit for half an hour just to start to feel the ball and just to see how I feel, if I will be ready or not.

And in the end I was feeling well. So we say, Okay, let's hit tomorrow how it goes. Yesterday I was practicing all day. Was no problem. Good energy, no problem. And that's it. So today I was playing and I did good match (smiling).

Q. So you have won your last nine matches and your last 15 sets. Where is your confidence level at the moment? And are you aware of these numbers?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I was not even thinking till you tell me this now. But I don't know. The confidence, like I said before, I have -- for the moment I have good confidence, but in the end, is more about mental.

So I think it's important that I have now mental confidence, because in the end, the game confidence, you never know. One day you still can play so good. The other day can be not that good. And in the end it's all about how you accept these things and how you will find the solution if you're not playing well.

It's more about this. And I hope I'm improving in this little bit, and we'll see what's gonna happen.

Q. Can you talk about how nice was it for you to get that title last week? And talk about the run you had in Doha.
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, was amazing, amazing feeling. It was -- I don't know. I wanted to win because two years ago I did final.

So I was -- I don't know. I don't know. It's tough to explain, but I'm really happy.

Yeah, because especially I like this tournament. I have been there already three times. And I always, I don't know, enjoy myself there. I always enjoy the atmosphere there. So I was really happy.

Q. Is it almost like a sense of relief when you start with the first week with a title, like got that off the books, can focus on other things now?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, it's amazing feeling to start the first tournament with a win. I mean, I guess that it's not going to happen often (smiling).

But I don't know. For the moment it's amazing feeling. But, yeah, I have to learn also accept that maybe next year is going to be opposite and this is normal. And every player face this, so we'll see how it's going to be everything (smiling).

Q. How do you like playing here under the new roof and with the improved center court?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Actually, when I arrive, I really like the atmosphere. I really like the place. I don't know. I feel -- I don't know. I feel really, really good here.

And about the rooftop, I think this is really great idea, because we play in the shadow, we play, sun is not disturbing, and I think this is really great idea, because still we are outside. You're not feeling like you're inside. But it helps a lot.

I think this is really great idea. Maybe this is what can work in future, because in the end, even if it's raining, doesn't matter. We still can play, and this is amazing.

Q. When you beat Roger last year, what did that do for your confidence levels and believing that you can match those kind of guys?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't know. I was not thinking about it, but I don't know. The match with Roger, I was more impressed by Roger.

I don't know. It's tough question, because I was not thinking about myself at that time. I was thinking about him.

But I think the one thing that I noticed that I think if I will do everything great -- I mean, everything professional, everything good, I will take care of my body, I will try to improve all the things that I need to improve, that this level that I was playing with Roger can be my normal level.

But for this I have to work a lot, a lot, a lot. Because this one match happen with Roger, it happens only once. This is the main problem.

The next day we saw the real level (smiling). So it's like they bring me back. Okay, we show you where, if you do everything right, where you can be. Okay, now we go back and let's see if you can do this or not.

So in the end, we'll see if I can do this or not.

Q. And about the jet lag, are you wide awake at 2:00 in the morning here?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah. The first night I sleep well. And today -- I mean, last night I went to the bed around 11:20, and I wake up at 2:40 a.m., and that's it. I didn't sleep.

Q. And you have been awake?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Yes, since that time for the moment. And now I start to feel that I want to go to sleep (smiling).

Q. I remember in Abu Dhabi you told me that when you looked back at last year, the first half of the year gave you the sense you might have your worst season ever and it ended up being good. Now that you started really well, it's a different mentality. What are you telling yourself to make sure you don't let up and you keep pushing as hard as you were pushing last year?
ANDREY RUBLEV: First of all, I stop to expect something. So I just -- I accept everything. Even if I lose first round in Australian Open, I accept this. I focus more, like I said, on the things that I need to improve.

The main goal for me is become strong mentally, because on a top level, you can see Roger, Rafa, Djokovic, all the other top players, how mentally they are strong.

Me, compared to them, I'm far away. And this is the main goal. So in the end doesn't matter how good even I'm gonna play Australian Open. If I don't improve mental part, in the end I'm still going to be far away from them. So in the end is more about long terms.

Q. You said that last year one of the biggest lessons was learning to accept. You mentioned that just now, as well. What helped you gain that skill of just accepting whatever comes your way?
ANDREY RUBLEV: The two injuries help me (smiling). I mean, it's whole process. It's all about understanding how easy the things -- I mean, first I think you start at least with the little things to accept, like, okay, I did here wrong, I did there wrong. Then you start to accept the things that, Okay, I get tight. Okay, the guy was much better than me.

Then you start -- I think it's little by little, little by little. It's long process.

Q. You haven't had much of a break in recent months from tennis. I think it was only seven days off before the Davis Cup. Are you starting to feel a bit tired, or is winning helping?
ANDREY RUBLEV: No, no, no. Actually, I was telling to my coaches, and they know this, as well, that I didn't want it to stop the season. I was saying, No, I just start to feel that I'm playing good. I just start to feel that I can compete with the good players, and then the season is over. Like, now I have to wait for two months for the new season.

So I didn't want it to stop. I wanted to keep going, keep going. So in the end, I don't feel -- for the moment, I'm enjoying, really enjoying.

Q. What's the goal for the Australian Open next week?
ANDREY RUBLEV: To do my best. If I go on court and I will have the best attitude and I will fight as best as I can, this will be already great for me.

Q. Are you paying much attention to the issues with air quality in Melbourne at the moment because of the smoke?
ANDREY RUBLEV: To be honest, I don't know how situation, because unfortunately I'm not really following. But I think -- I mean, I never been in this situation, so I cannot tell you something. But for sure I think they do everything what is better for the players. If they are playing is because I think it's everything is fine. Otherwise they will already cancel the matches.

So I spoke already with my friend who is going to play this afternoon. He told me that the air is much better, and so we'll see. I hope in couple of days everything will be perfect.

Q. You cracked the top 20 too with your Doha title. What did that accomplishment mean to you? Is that a goal for 2020?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Of course it's amazing feeling to be top 20 for the first time. As I said before, there are still so many things that I can improve. There are so many things I need to improve.

So there is no time for the moment to think, oh, if I did good or not, because there are so many players who is a little bit behind but they are doing so good, and there are so many players who is doing so good and they are in front.

So I don't know. For the moment, I don't know. I'm not really thinking -- I mean, I'm happy of course, because it's for the first time, but I want to, for the moment, I want to, how you say, to improve as much as I can.

Q. What are your goals for this year, then?
ANDREY RUBLEV: If I can stay stable mentally every day no matter how I am doing. If, for example, I'm playing so bad and I feel, okay, these weeks I'm playing terrible, but I'm positive and mentally I'm really strong, this is the main thing for me, to accept the things. Even if I play bad, to stay mentally strong, to be positive. And if I can be like this, this will be great already for this season.

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