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Andrey Rublev: ‘Everything Needs To be Improved’

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Andrey Rublev might have had a stellar season on the Tour but he believes there is still plenty of room for improvement in his game. 

 

The 26-year-old is currently at a ranking high of No.5 in the world and won his Maiden Masters 1000 title earlier this year in Monte Carlo. This season he also won another title in Bastad and reached the quarter-finals in three out of four Grand Slam tournaments played. His overall win-loss record for 2023 is 56-26. 

“This year I have improved a lot in my backhand. This is something that I feel very good about, that it has become better,” Rublev told Championat.
“And I increased my movement. Now I move around the court much faster than at the beginning of the year. I began to maintain pace and speed much better, and began to defend better.”

Despite his success, the Russian admits that certain parts of his game are weaker compared to his peers in the world’s top 10. One of the most notable areas concerns his mentality during matches. At the ATP Finals Rublev lost his cool multiple times and at one stage was seen smashing his knee with his racket out of frustration. He has also lost his composure at other tournaments played such as the Shanghai Masters where he yelled at a person in the photographer area for moving during a crucial moment of his final clash with Hubert Hurkacz which he ended up losing in a final set tiebreak. 

Although Rublev insists that it isn’t just his mentality that he needs to work on during the off-season.  

“What needs to be improved? A ton of everything,” he stated. 
“The main thing, of course, is psychology. This is what I miss the most compared to Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. They are much more stable than me psychologically.’
“As for the technical aspects, the movement can be further improved. And we (my team) need to improve my second serve. This component clearly stands out to me from a bad point of view compared to everyone else in the top 10. Everyone serves the second one stronger than me.”

According to the ATP’s Infosys Stats, Rublev is currently in 39th place for most second service points won on the Tour based on matches played within the past 52 weeks. However, his success rate of 51.4% is higher than both Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev. Overall, he has a serve rating of 278.3 which is the 19th highest. A player’s serve rating is calculated by adding the four service metrics percentages together plus the average number of aces per match and then subtracting the average number of double faults per match.

“Access to the net needs to be improved. If, with my game, I will be able to finish off not only simple balls but be able to unexpectedly reach the net – this will give me a big advantage.” He continued.
“Even if I only improve my psychology and second serve, it will be a completely different tennis.”

Rublev has played 15 matches against top 10 players this season but has only won five of them. 

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REPORT: Daniil Medvedev Recruits Former Rival To Team

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A French media source has reported that Daniil Medvedev is expanding his team with the appointment of a part-time consultant whom he used to play against on the Tour. 

 

We Love Tennis has claimed that Gilles Simon will join Medvedev for 10 weeks of the season with his first tournament said to be at Indian Wells next month. It is reported that Simon’s role will be an advisory position and it will have no impact on Medvedev’s current coaching partnership with Gilles Cervara. 

There is yet to be any official confirmation about the new partnership. Simon is a former world No.6 tennis player who won 14 ATP titles before retiring in 2022. He played against Medvedev four times on Tour and won three of those meetings. The only occasion he lost to the Russian was at the 2022 Libema Open. 

Medvedev’s rumoured appointment comes a month after his heartbreaking loss in the final of the Australian Open to Jannik Sinner. He was leading the final by two sets before losing in five. Medvedev endured a brutal journey in Melbourne Park with four out of the seven matches he played going the full distance. 

“I’m really going to try to make everything possible with myself, with my mind, for this loss to not affect my future tournaments and future seasons, because that’s part of sports.” He said after playing against Sinner. 

The world No.4 was scheduled to return to action this week at the Doha Open in Qatar but has pulled out of the ATP 250 event due to a foot injury. His next tournament will be the Dubai Tennis Championships where he is the defending champion. 

Medvedev has won 20 ATP trophies so far in his career and has spent 16 weeks as world No.1. He has earned more than $39M in prize money. 

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Holger Rune Reunites With Mouratoglou In Latest Coaching Twist

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The shake-up of Holger Rune’s team continues with the Danish tennis star reappointing his former coach. 

 

Patrick Mouratoglou has returned to Rune’s camp following the recent departures of Boris Becker and Roger Federer’s former mentor Severin Luthi. Both of whom only worked with Rune for a very short period. The development comes less than six months after the world No.7 ended his collaboration with Mouratoglou following his loss in the first round of the US Open. 

Nevertheless, the two want to join forces once again. In a statement issued to the media on Wednesday, Rune said he has had some ‘really good talks’ with the Frenchman about their future work. Mouratoglou is a renowned coach who has worked with a series of top names such as Serena Williams, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Simona Halep. He also has his own academy in France. 

“I am really happy to resume working with Patrick. It is together with Patrick that I have celebrated some of the biggest victories in my career, and I am looking forward to us starting the hunt for more big titles together,” Rune said in a press release issued to TV2.dk.
“We have had some really good talks about how the collaboration should be going forward, and we have found a strong setup which creates the best conditions for optimal performance.”

Rune has experienced a mixed start to the season. Earlier this month at the Rotterdam Open, he was beaten by Kazkhstan’s Alexander Shevchenko in the second round. Making it the second tournament this year that he has failed to win back-to-back matches after the Australian Open. However, he reached the final of the Brisbane International and was a semi-finalist in Montpellier before retiring due to a minor injury issue. 

“It is no secret that I am determined to win Grand Slam tournaments and become number one in the world rankings. It requires the right coaching constellation and team around me.” He continued.
“Sometimes you have to try some things to find out what works – and what doesn’t. In recent months, I have learned more about what works best for me, and I believe that we have now put together a super strong team that can help me achieve my goals.”

Rune is one of only two players aged 20 or under currently in the ATP top 10. The other is world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz. So far in his career, he has won four ATP titles with his best Grand Slam results being runs to the quarter-finals of the French Open twice and Wimbledon once. 

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King Of Aces Ivo Karlovic Officially Retires From Tennis At 44

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Ivo Karlovic - Australian Open 2018 (foto Roberto Dell'Olivio)

Ivo Karlovic confirmed on Wednesday that his ‘unorthodox’ career as a tennis player has come to an end after not playing on the Tour since October 2021. 

 

The Croatian issued a statement on social media platform X announcing his official retirement from the sport at the age of 44. His last professional match was at the 2021 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells where he reached the second round of qualifying. His last Grand Slam appearance was at the US Open that year where he lost in the first round to Andrey Rublev. 

“Some of you have noticed that it’s been a while since I played a tournament and still ask me on a daily basis if and when I’ll be returning to the tour. I’m sorry to disappoint, but with this letter, I want to make it official and finally announce my retirement.” Karlovic wrote

Born in Zagreb, Karlovic won eight ATP titles and peaked at a ranking high of 14th in 2008. He reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2009 and then the following year reached the semi-finals of the doubles tournament at the US Open. Overall, he recorded 21 wins over top 10 players during his career.

“I’ve had a very gratifying, unorthodox and long career coming from extremely humble beginnings, especially for a tennis player. Croatia was a very different country in the 80s and 90s when I was growing up, and I’m very proud of my accomplishments and what I’ve been able to overcome,” he reflected. 
“I’d like to thank all the coaches and people who were involved in and contributed to my development as a tennis player. Without you this fortunate journey would not have been possible.
“My family provided tremendous support and I love them immensely. I’m looking forward to continuing to spend time with them doing things that are important to us and that fulfill us.”

Karlovic is best known for his blistering serve. On the ATP Tour, he produced a record 13,728 aces, playing 801 tiebreaks in 717 matches. According to the ATP official website, he holds ace records for matches played on ATP Tour (45), Australian Open (75), French Open (55), US Open (61) and Davis Cup (78).

Affectionately known by fans as ‘Dr Ivo,’ the Croat has hinted that he is not completely stepping away from tennis. 

“I will stay close to tennis and try to share my knowledge and all of the incredible experiences on tour with new generations of tennis players. The journey continues and the focus gets redirected. I am grateful.” He said.

Karlovic’s announcement comes almost 23 years after he made his ATP Tour debut in October 2001 at the Tashkent Open. 

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