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May 5, 2024

Andrey Rublev

Madrid, Spain

Press Conference

A. RUBLEV/F. Auger-Aliassime

4-6, 7-5, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the press conference for our champion. Andrey, how do you feel right now?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I feel happy. I feel relief, happy, and that's it. Could not do better that I did this last one week and a half.


Q. Congrats. Tell us about the message you wrote on the camera and your thoughts on the final and this tournament, in general.

ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't know. Just that, I don't know, I was able to not think at all last couple of days, and I was able to stay focused only on tennis without thinking anything. So I let myself completely free.

Q. You fought in the first set even though you lost it. Was that key so you recovered, or your head-to-head was 4-1, that's an influence, or...

ANDREY RUBLEV: I think at 4-1 I start to feel also a bit better that I could start to push myself. I kind of release a bit. Also, I start to feel better healthy-wise.

That's when, little by little, I start to play a bit better. Then I was able, from the second set, to play like that.

Q. Congratulations, Andrey. Obviously you mentioned the doctors and the different struggles you went through. Are you able to explain all the different things that happened? I think on one of your TV interviews you mentioned anesthesia or something?

ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah, they were doing kind of anesthesia in my finger, on my feet, because my finger and the feet somehow get inflammated and start to be double bigger and all the pressure start to be on the bone, and the pressure on the bone, when you have pressure on the bone, you cannot even put your feet inside the shoe. The feeling is similar to when it's broken, I guess.

So that's why they were putting anesthesia for me to don't feel it. Like I say, at least I was able to play without thinking.

Q. Congratulations. Sabalenka said that she excited for Italy for pizza, pasta, and gelato. Are you also excited for this? And what's your feeling for Rome?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I'm so excited. I mean, of course now when I was able to win here, to have now five days before my next match in Rome, of course I feeling excited that maybe two days I can stay easily, relax without practicing, and I still have couple of days to be ready. So of course I feel excited, positive, and yeah, we'll see what's gonna happen.

Q. Congrats. After your first victory here, you say that you are in a very good mood here. How can you explain it now?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I don't know. How can I explain it? I guess that was the right mood. I'm really happy. I'm really happy that I was able to perform well all the matches.

I think I showed great level of tennis since the first match. In the end, I was able to win a title. And now looks like everything, like, the last couple of weeks, couple of tournaments never happened, you know.

So we'll see. Now I guess the most important thing is to try to recover and to be 100% ready for Rome.

Q. So you were sick or something like that?

ANDREY RUBLEV: Well, I'm still sick from everything. No, yeah, I'm still sick, and tomorrow I guess I will go to the hospital for full check. Don't know exactly what's going on, because I have been sick already for eight, nine days, and this is not normal.

The same, like, not really improvements, which is strange, because normally all my life, if I was sick, it's two, three days, maximum. Still maybe fever but nothing special. This time, first time I feel that worst in my life.

Q. Not talking about health but about tennis, for you, is it like back to normal, playing semis and finals and winning in big tournaments after the difficult weeks you had that were not very usual for you? Do you feel something like this, back to normal?

ANDREY RUBLEV: No, I mean, I don't know. I try to don't think in that way, because I think it's normal to have up-and-downs, because this season I started really well and I was playing amazing. Then somehow I start to do a bit worse, worse, and then couple of weeks were completely that I could not win a match.

I think this is normal to have up-and-downs and everyone go through this, so I guess my focus was not to feel if when I will go back to normal or what is normal. For me was just to keep working, to keep try to improve, because in one moment the season is long and we have too many opportunities, so in one moment I will have a chance, and then as soon as I will have a chance, I will need to use it, because this week will change everything.

In the end, it happened here. Now looks like clay season been so good to me, you know, even the last two clay tournaments I lost first round (smiling).

Q. But do you have fever, or is it a virus? Strong people, you are in sports, but...

ANDREY RUBLEV: Yeah, we don't know yet if it's -- tomorrow we will find out what exactly it is or if it's angina (phonetic)? I don't know if you know it, or if it's some virus, but the throat is completely blocked. My throat, for nine days, it's impossible to swallow, impossible to eat and headache full because of it.

Q. And yet you won the tournament.

ANDREY RUBLEV: Yes, because injections, painkillers. For the two, three hours, painkillers full. Inside of me is full of medication (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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