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September 24, 2021

Andrey Rublev

Thomas Enqvist

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Press Conference

A. RUBLEV/D. Schwartzman

4-6, 6-3, 11-9

Team Europe - 3

Team World - 0

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. An amazing match. You lost the first set and were down in the Laver breaker. How did you continue to fight back in that match?

ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah, thank you. I mean, the match was in general really close, especially the first set. Even though I lost, I had a lot of chances and a lot of opportunity. Something was not, just couldn't make it. Sometimes easy mistakes, sometimes I wasn't focused enough, sometimes Diego was playing well. Looks like I was controlling the match from 4-3 because I had two breakpoints, but then easy mistakes, some things like that. I end up, he broke me and he was serving for the set.

But this is part of sport. Then in the second set I was a bit more calm and I start to, I stay more in the rally and I start to play a bit better.

Yeah, Diego was playing really well, especially from the middle of the first set, and it's not easy to keep this intensity for long time, so he help me a bit in the second set. He did two double faults in a row in important moment. That's how I broke him. It helped me a lot.

Yeah, and then super-tiebreak, you saw this is already like -- you know what was going to happen. I was just trying to play for every point, doesn't matter the score, and in the end I managed to come back and I managed to win. This is the most important thing.

THE MODERATOR: Thomas, Team Europe have come through two incredibly tight matches in the last two with Andrey and Matteo. It seems that Europe are winning the bigger points. Is there anything in particular that you and Bjorn are telling your team on these big points to do?

VICE-CAPTAIN THOMAS ENQVIST: No, but you're right. It's been extremely close. That's what we talked about before. That's what we expected. You know, Team World has a fantastic team, and so far we have been winning the important points. But we also know how quickly that can change.

Every match is important. Doubles going on now, and then hopefully we can get that one. But tomorrow every match has two points.

Like we see today, unbelievable quality of the tennis. Very impressive how Andrey played also. His first match, is always difficult. A lot of people, a lot of nerves. Diego I think was playing really well. It's impressive how he fought through it and really good job.

ANDREY RUBLEV: Thank you, man. Thomas doesn't know, but before super-tiebreak, I told to Bjorn, Come on, Bjorn, tell me something.

Bjorn start to smile and he said, I don't need to tell you anything. I said, At least something, you can tell me something, I'm gonna win the super-tiebreak?

He say, I don't need to tell you anything because you're gonna win anyway. I say, At least good luck? Good luck? He start to smile. He say, Okay, good luck. (Laughter.)

THE MODERATOR: Feliciano seemed to be saying a fair bit too. Do you mind telling us what Feliciano was saying?

ANDREY RUBLEV: Feli told me, I think during the second set he told me to don't stay long to his backhand, because he's opening the court really well and he's better with the backhand, much better than me. He's doing whatever he want there. So he told me to change faster to his forehand and to try from my side to have, that I was controlling the point with my forehand. So mostly like that.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congrats on the win. You have only faced him twice now, but both matches have been kind of knock-down, drag-out, long matches. What is it about him that is so difficult to face on the court?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, first of all, Diego is a huge fighter. Second thing is he's running and playing from baseline unbelievable. Yeah, he catch so many balls. He's super tough to hit a winner to him.

He can stay in a high rhythm for a long time. So from baseline, he's not really have weaknesses, and that's how, that's why I stop, because he bring all the balls back. He's returning really well. Even though he's not that high, but sometimes he's really tough to return his serve, because it bounce really low. Yeah, sometimes you cannot really attack his serve. It's not easy, and that's what makes him really tough to beat.

Q. The match point, that was some crazy tennis that was played by both of you guys. Can you just run through that match point and how you felt at the end?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, yeah, was a crazy match point, but was crazy because of my mistakes. I mean, I had two easy volleys, and I choke another level to finish them.

But, yeah, in my head, as soon as I catch the dropshot and I play really well with the forehand down the line, and I saw that I have a really great chances to finish at the net, I was thinking, please, just don't miss, just make it no matter how, but make it.

And of course I didn't hit really hard. I just put it. And in the beginning I was thinking the ball goes out, but then suddenly it was in. I think I had even more easy shot and I get tight to finish it. I say, Okay, just make these dropshots, and of course I make one balloon that I feel that Diego will catch easy. And as soon as he catch, I was thinking, for sure, to give you two chances to finish easy ball and you didn't finish, the third one you should...(laughter.)

But in the end, yeah, I make it and I finish it, and this is the most important thing.

Q. Congratulations for your great win. Andrey, I would like to know your feelings on being in Team Europe, on being selected by Captain Bjorn Borg, and share the court with him and with Thomas Enqvist, with a lot of players in the top 10. Which is your feelings on being part of this great team?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, for sure, I'm not going to say something new that Thomas or Bjorn didn't hear for the last -- this is fourth time, right? So for the fourth year of Laver Cup. I mean, it's a big pleasure and it's a big honor to be with this team, to be with Thomas and Bjorn, with such legends tennis players.

Between the guys, we have amazing connection. All of us, we are having fun. We are, I don't know, there is no, I don't know, tension or something. All the players are really amazing like persons, and that's why, I don't know, we have great connection.

We are having fun and we are enjoying our time. We have really great practices before, and, yeah, so I think this is the mood to compete, to compete in team competitions. This is, I think this is the right way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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