Andrey Rublev was so frustrated with his performance at the ATP Finals that he took his frustration out on himself. The Russian needed to win his second group match at the season-ending tennis event to keep his chances of qualifying for the semi-finals alive.
But he was up against Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz who also needed a victory after Alexander Zverev came from a set down to beat him in his opening group contest. After losing a tight first set 7-5, the World No. 5 was broken early in the second set and he began to unravel.
During that service game, he smashed his racquet into the court and once the Spaniard secured the break, the 26-year-old unleashed his anger on his own body. He slammed his racquet into his knee multiple times and even drew blood from his kneecap in a shocking scene.
The player was tended to by his team during the changeover, but he did not receive a plaster to stop the bleeding and the wound continued to weep as he carried on playing. Rublev fought on valiantly, but his mental toughness had waned, and Alcaraz cruised to a 7-5, 6-2 victory and in the process ended his opponent’s chances of qualification for the next round.
After losing his first meeting with the former World No. 1, Rublev was asked if sustained any damage after repeatedly striking his knee with his racket but simply said: “Nothing. Nothing happened.” Rublev lost to compatriot and close friend Daniil Medvedev in his opening match in straight sets and was visibly emotional during that contest too.
Rublev says he wants to end the year on a positive note but could not hide his disappointment at not being able to make more of an impression at the latest edition of the ATP Finals.
“Of course, it’s not easy because you always want to finish in a good way. Sometimes you get disappointed when it’s not happening,” he told reporters after the match. “Today I got disappointed and I couldn’t manage it… It makes no difference if I lose to a close friend or any other player.
Andrey Rublev never wants to play Djokovic again as Russian classy after loss[LATEST]
Andrey Rublev pleads with umpire to ‘destroy’ drone before sporting gesture[LATEST]
Rafael Nadal plummets to 21-year low as injured star tumbles down ATP rankings[LATEST]
- Support fearless journalism
- Read The Daily Express online, advert free
- Get super-fast page loading
“It’s just in general, if you don’t like to lose, doesn’t matter who is the opponent. You feel disappointed, especially now when you understand that the season is over & that’s it basically. You want to do better.
“You want to at least to try to have a better result, to play some great matches in the end of the season. Of course, you feel disappointed when it’s not happening. He added: “It’s very disappointing that I was not able to manage my frustration better.
“No matter who I face, I never want to lose and even more so since the season is over and I haven’t been able to show the best of myself in this tournament.”
Source: Read Full Article