Serving success and making a difference: World number six, Andrey Rublev, is known for his exceptional skills on the court, securing him a steady place in the top 10 for three years in a row and earning him 14 career titles so far. But he is also making an impact beyond the sport! At the UTS in Frankfurt, he takes a moment to step off the tennis court and into a conversation about his winning formula, the passion that fuels his drive to succeed, and the positive impact he wants to make by empowering the next generation…
You’ve had a very good season so far, including winning your first Masters 1000 title. What do you believe was the key to your success?
The most success I have is when everything is connected—gamewise, moodwise, the attitude—when everything is more or less in balance, that’s when I achieve the best results.
“I’m still learning to have a positive mindset; normally, most of the time, it’s the opposite. I would like to know how to stay positive when you are not able to win every week.”Andrey Rublev
When things don’t go your way in a match, what do you generally do to regain a positive mindset after you’ve lost?
I’m still learning to have a positive mindset; normally, most of the time, it’s the opposite. I would also like to know how to stay positive when you are not able to win every week. So far, everything I’ve tried isn’t working. That’s why I’m also looking for the answer to this question.
It depends on the tournament, and it depends on the loss. In the past, it took me a few days for most tournaments, but now it’s different. Now it’s more about the opportunity that I had. Some matches, I take it easier because maybe I was really tired, playing nonstop. For example, the Hamburg tournament – I mean, of course, I get disappointed, but I understand I couldn’t perform well because I was really dead. But after some matches it was really tough – like last year’s Roland Garros, US Open, and Turin.
I think the sacrifices are different for everyone. It depends on each person’s habits, but I think the biggest sacrifice is that you have to be selfish to yourself – to do things sometimes that you don’t want to do, but are better for tennis. Maybe you want to go away for a week with your friends, you’ve been looking forward to it for so long, all your friends will be there and you have to step up to yourself and say, ‘No, it’s the only week I have to practice to prepare for the tournaments.’ So you have to give priority to tennis.
⠀”I believe the biggest sacrifice is⠀
⠀that you have to be selfish to yourself.”⠀
How do you maintain your motivation to step onto the court, even on days when you don’t feel like training?
It basically depends on how I feel. If there’s a day when I don’t feel good for training, I usually don’t practice. But there aren’t many days like these. Normally, I only skip practice if I’m feeling sick or arrive somewhere after a long trip and haven’t had enough sleep, and I’m completely dead. But, if it’s a regular day during the week, it’s quite simple. I just love the game and enjoy practicing. So, in the end, I don’t really need to find motivation to go to practice.
If you have a day off what do you enjoy doing?
If it’s a practice week and I have a day off during that week, normally I try to sleep, and then maybe go somewhere nice to eat. So, nothing special – just a boring life (laughs).
“To have healthy kids that receive the right education so they can be better than us, to educate them in the right way, I think that is the most important thing.”
It seems like you never get bored because you are not just a tennis player anymore; you also have your own fashion brand, Rublo. The slogan of your brand is ‘Play for the kids, play for the light.’ How did you come up with this claim, and could you explain the message behind it?
It came naturally. I was putting it often on the cameras before, because for me, the kids have always been the most important thing that we have. To have healthy kids that receive the right education so they can be better than us, to educate them in the right way, I think that is the most important thing. Because when there are kids, the energy of each child is completely pure. It’s honest. If the kid is sad, it’s because it is sad; if it’s happy, it’s because it is happy. The most important thing is to try to save this purity as long as possible because, in the end, with the way the world works, you get to know all the negative things very quickly. So, it’s about this and about helping them because there are many kids who are not able to have normal lives.
Photo: © The Tennis Circle, © UTS