ATP Finals: Rublev hopes to take ‘great’ lesson from his semis defeat against Ruud

Andrey Rublev suffered a devastating defeat against Casper Ruud in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals but he three-time season finale qualifier leaves the tournament with a positive attitude and wants to take a great lesson from the clash to improve ahead of the next season

The third-seeded Ruud delivered a ruthless semifinal display on Saturday night at the ATP Finals, where he dispatched Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 to set a championship match clash against Novak Djokovic.

‘Of course, there (are) a lot of positive things to take. I can be grateful for the week. I (made the) semifinal. I was here. We’re the best eight players. All the players are dreaming to play here, and I was part of it,’ Rublev said.

‘The rest of the players, they’re not here, so obviously it’s better to be here and to lose every match than not to be here at all. I did the semis for the first time, I’m happy,’ he added.

Rublev entered the clash with a 4-1 ATP Head to Head advantage against Ruud. His only previous defeat to the Norwegian came in a final-set tie-break last year at the Pala Alpitour.

On this occasion, it did not go the 25-year-old’s way. Ruud converted all four of his break points to triumph after 69 minutes.

I hope I can take a great lesson out of this match. We’ll see. We’ll see. Now I have a great time to improve, so we’ll see how it’s going to be for Australia. I’m really excited for the next season. I’m motivated, especially now finishing this week being more stable than usual, winning some matches that normally I would not win before,’ Rublev said.

The Russian tennis player defeated two former ATP Finals champions — Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas — to claim his first semifinal berth at the year-end championships. In his first two appearances, Rublev went 1-2 in round-robin play. Ruud was simply too good in the knockout stages.

‘I think I started quite well, and then, I don’t know, Casper was just too good. He played really well, really solid. Since the beginning he (played at a) high level. That’s it. When I lost my serve, I started to rush a bit. I was trying to play aggressively, rushing. I started to miss more and more,’ Rublev said.

‘It’s tough when he (had), I don’t know, almost 80 per cent first-serve serving 215. It’s tough to do something. Then when the match was almost done, when I managed to relax a bit and I kept playing aggressive, but I was not rushing, I managed to start to play better. It was too late. But he was too good. Nothing to say,’ he added.

The No. 7 player in the ATP Rankings, Rublev won 50 tour-level matches for the second consecutive year (51-20) and lifted four trophies in a season for the second time, triumphing in Marseille, Dubai, Belgrade and Gijon. Despite the quiet end to his campaign, Rublev is excited to work towards an even bigger 2023.

‘I’m positive. And I’m really excited and motivated for the next season,’ he said.

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