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January 17, 2020

Andrey Rublev

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

A. RUBLEV/F. Auger-Aliassime

7-6, 6-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you pull that off, especially when you went down 0-3 in the final set?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't know. I mean, when we start to play after the first game, I say, Wow, what is this? Basically today is not my day, and I accept that I'm gonna lose today.

Then I don't know. I said, Okay, he's playing so good. I don't know, the rhythm he gave me in the beginning was unbelievable. I say, Okay. He have more than all the chances to destroy me today, so I accept this. Let's fight. Let's try my best, and we'll see what's gonna happen.

And then first set he was playing much better than me, and he had more chances than me, but in the end somehow I won the first set, and then second set was opposite. I think I was playing much better than him. I had more chances than him. And somehow on a tiebreak he make amazing rallies, he make amazing points, and he come back and he won the second set.

And then third set, I don't know. When he broke me, I show emotions. And then when become 3-0, I say, Okay, let's take a breath. Let's think what was wrong.

I show emotions. So, okay, forget about it. Let's start again. Let's try again all over like it's 0-0, and we'll see what's gonna happen. And in the end I play one good game on his return and I come back. And then you saw the rest.

He had chances to break me. He had one breakpoint. And then I had chances to break him, and in the end I broke him, and then -- so was like this.

Q. Speaking of breakpoints, I mean, in the first two sets, each one of you had eight breakpoints and no one could break. Mentally, how was it?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't know. For me was fine because I say, Okay, we are on the same positions. Like, I don't know. He had breakpoints. He didn't make it. I had breakpoints. I didn't make it.

But in the end, the score is the same. We keep going. We are both of us playing amazing. People enjoying. There is no point to stress about breakpoints if we are in the same position.

I understand if I had 10 breakpoints and I didn't make not one, and he had the only one breakpoint and he make it straight, then okay, maybe you can stress at how many breakpoints I had and I didn't make not one of them. But in this situation...

Q. You said at the end that the public, the crowd, had enjoyed it and that's why you play tennis. Is that one of the most exciting, satisfying matches you have ever played?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, for sure it's one of them. But, I mean, I play couple of matches like this. I play in Washington against Alex De Minaur one of these kind of matches. Then I play with Fabio Fognini in Umag 7-6 in the third, as well. And Davis Cup with Bautista.

I play couple of these matches. I mean, these matches are amazing because after these matches you understand why you are working, what for you're working, why you need to improve, why you need to, I don't know, break your ass on the practices even when you cannot or when you feel tired to enjoy these moments.

I mean, these moments are special that you're not gonna feel in basic life, normal life without tennis.

Q. Can you enjoy it at the time when you're playing?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Yes, yes. Because when you feel this tension, these emotions, that if you feel that you're close to win or you feel that -- I don't know. This is something you will feel only this game and end of the match.

For example, now you just release. You feel amazing because you win the match. But these moments comes during the match.

Q. Obviously, because it's so intense. How long does it take you to calm down after a match, to go to bed? Is it half an hour or...
ANDREY RUBLEV: It depends. Depends. Sometimes fast. Sometimes I cannot sleep. Depends. I don't know. I don't even know. Every time is different.

Q. Do you have enough energy for the final tomorrow?
ANDREY RUBLEV: We'll see. I don't know. This match kills me completely (smiling). I mean, I cannot do nothing about it. We'll see what's gonna happen tomorrow.

Q. Just a few words on Lloyd.
ANDREY RUBLEV: I think we never play each other even at juniors, but we have been always playing together juniors because he's the same age as me.

But, I mean, he win so many great matches here. He beat quite confident Carreno, which is you need to have really good level to beat these kind of players.

We'll see. I mean, for sure this week he's feeling really well. This is his first final. We'll see what's gonna happen tomorrow. For sure it's gonna be tough match, and I hope I will have enough energy to fight (smiling). We'll see what's gonna happen.

Q. If someone had told you during the offseason that you'd make the first two finals of the first two weeks of the year, would you have believed that?
ANDREY RUBLEV: No, I wouldn't believe it. I don't know. I'm happy, so we'll see what's gonna happen.

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