Andrey Rublev has been one of the revelations of the 2020 season. The Russian won a Tour-leading five titles last year and broke into the top-10 for the first time in his career. But the 23-year-old is still beset with doubts and fears that he may just be on a lucky streak.
“I want to be better and better. It’s not about what I’m doing now or what I did. It’s about that I want to keep doing this for a long term. I want to keep being better,” Rublev told ATPTour.com.
“I’m afraid that I’m just maybe lucky, that maybe I’m not good enough. So that’s why I want to keep working to be able to see if I can keep playing the same way, on the same level for a while.”
It takes more than luck to succeed in the elite league of men’s tennis. His 57-13 record since the start of 2020 speaks for itself.
“It’s this kind of fear that it’s not enough,” Rublev said.
“Fear that I’m not going to make it or fear that I’m not going to be good enough for a while. In the end, this fear helped me to improve, and that’s why I want to improve and improve. Also maybe because… if I do one mistake, I want to repeat to make it perfect.
“I need to have everything perfect. This is a bit of a sick mentality, but in the end, for the moment, it [has] helped me.”
Though the 23-year-old has lifted six individual trophies since the start of last season and helped Russia to ATP Cup glory this February, he is yet to make waves on the Grand Slam stage.
He has faltered in the the quarterfinal three majors in a row now, starting with the 2020 US Open.
The Russian with a fierce forehand has resurrected his career after losing a year due to a back injury. He had a lower-back stress fracture and was ranked No.99 in the world at the start of the 2019 Miami Masters.
Two years later, Rublev is one of the hottest players on the Tour.
“It’s not about what I’m doing now or what I did. It’s about that I want to keep doing this for the long-term,” Rublev said.
“I stopped thinking how it’s going to be…I’m thinking now about what to do better and that’s it.”
Seeded fourth in Miami, Rublev will begin his campaign against two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren or Spaniard Pedro Martinez.
“Even if I don’t do well in all of them, I still have next year, I still have the end of the year. In the end, all of us have pressure. We feel pressure. In the end, it’s a nice feeling to see how you deal with this.”