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April 1, 2021

Andrey Rublev

Miami, Florida, USA

Press Conference

A. RUBLEV/S. Korda

7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What would you say was the difference between winning and losing out there tonight? Also, what makes Sebastian such a great competitor?

ANDREY RUBLEV: What do you mean about losing or winning?

Q. I mean, yeah, you were close to, you know, going to a third set.

ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah, yeah. I mean, if we talk about the second set, it was, I mean, I also could win easier. But happens. This is tennis. Happens often that you go to the tiebreak, and in the end I managed to win.

Maybe next time it's going to be third set. We never know. Maybe next match I will lose second set and lose the third. I mean, today I managed to win and I'm happy.

I mean, in general, Sebastian is a really great player. He's really talented. He have big shots and he feel confident and he go for them. Most of them he's making it. So in the end, that's why he's great. He have a big serve. Really great at the net. He's smart.

And, yeah, he play aggressive. He try to take the lead and go for the shots. That's why he beat so many great players.

Q. This is a big opportunity for you now. Obviously you know that, but you're the only player in the top 10 who is left. How hard is it for you to keep these matches in perspective and not get ahead of yourself and not think too much of how big this opportunity is for someone who wants so badly to win that first Masters 1000?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I would say opposite. I'm not really thinking that much because I respect all the players. I know how tough even -- I mean, how tough is Hurkacz, for example, he beat me last year. So he beat me maybe half year ago he beat me.

It's more about that maybe I feel extra pressure, because as you said, I'm the one left at top 10 and looks like I'm high ranking and I feel more pressure. But I lost to Hurkacz. Last time I lost to Roberto 6-3, 6-3 just two weeks ago. Jannik, who is beating already many players, and I don't know, I think he win top 10 players also.

So in the end, he have amazing level. So in the end, everyone can win now. It's not about -- all of them playing so good tennis. It's not about ranking. And I lost to two of them just not long time ago.

So we'll see what's gonna happen. I'm gonna do my best. And that's it. I cannot say much. In the end, what's happen gonna happen. If I will manage to win tomorrow, is perfect. If not, then it's because Hurkacz is better than me.

Q. What do you think about your next rival for tomorrow, Hurkacz?

ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah, like I said, he's really great player. He have a really huge serve, really great strokes. He's really aggressive from baseline. He go for the shots, and last time we play half year ago and he beat me.

I mean, it's going to be opportunity for me to do better tomorrow, and we'll see if I can take rematch or not. But I will do my best and we'll see.

Q. You're not much older than Sebi. Can you think back, you were in his situation not that long ago. How impressed are you, like we were with you, about the way he has played this year? And also, did you know much about his father?

ANDREY RUBLEV: How old is him? I know he's younger than me but I don't know how much. Huh?

Q. 20.

ANDREY RUBLEV: 20. I mean, when I was 20 I was injured and I went -- I was 30 in the world and I went out of top 100. So I was better when I was 19, because I arrive to top 30 and then I get injured and I went out of top 100 and I need to restart again (smiling).

Yeah, I know really well his father because he was helping me a bit, especially when I was maybe 16, something like that. When I was in Bradenton IMG he was helping me, giving me advices, hitting with me. I'm really grateful for him for this. I saw Sebastian even when he was even smaller, maybe 13. I don't know if he remember.

And I mean, I'm not impressed, because, I mean, his father is really smart. He knows really well about tennis. He teach him really well. You can see that he have really great technique. He have really easy shots, easy movement. I saw his matches.

I practiced with him last year at the US Open. I saw his matches. I saw how he was playing this week, so I'm not really surprised. He's really talented, and I just wish him all the best.

Q. How would you compare your performance today to the previous matches you played in this Miami Open?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, before I was playing with players that I knew. Especially, I don't know, like Fucsovics, I play him four weeks in a row. Tennys that I played him first round and then not long time ago last year. Marin that I played him couple of times.

And Sebastian is our first meeting. So it's always not easy when you face for the first time someone new, especially when you have a pressure. It's even tougher. And I'm really happy that I could handle really well my emotions, I could handle pressure. I was able to win.

Q. What would it mean to you to win the Miami Open?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I'm not really thinking that deep yet. Because as I said, tomorrow is really tough match. Last time I lost to Hurkacz. I mean, my last and first time that we play, I lost to him.

First of all, I'm thinking about tomorrow. I mean, if we talk just like imagination, of course it will be amazing because it's going to be my first Masters. But if it's like I said in the beginning of the tournament, if it's not going to happen if I'm not going to do well here, in one week I have Monte-Carlo, and then in one more week I have Rome and Madrid and Roland Garros.

I have chances to try to go deep in the tournament. In the end, I already went deep here. I did semifinal, one more semifinal, which is my first one in Masters. So it's already great result for me. And then we will see if I can do better or not. If not, is like I said, in one week I have Monte-Carlo, I have one more chance and we see.

Q. Korda had a great run in Miami. Last week Musetti in Acapulco. Juan Manuel Cerundolo from Argentina. Won Cordoba. What do you think about these new NextGen? What do you think about these players?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, they are really great. What can I say? I play Musetti once last year, and he's really talented. Now I play first time Sebastian, and is also really talented.

In the end it's supposed to come more and more upcoming players because the generation now is changing. So is gonna be more and more new players, more young players. This is normal.

We'll see in the end what's gonna happen, because I mean, it's still long way to go and there is no space for everyone. So someone is going to be in the end better than the other one. All of them are really talented. All of this them have amazing strokes.

In the end, it's going to be details that we'll see. I mean, it's not easy. Even I remember, I mean, I'm still not that old compared to them, but still, I was playing with other players and only in the end, so many players were so talented, they were doing well in the beginning, but then somehow they couldn't make it or they are maybe around 200 in the world. So in the end it's not that easy.

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