Tennis great says Andrey Rublev may need help after violent meltdown against Carlos Alcaraz

Kevin Palmer
Andrey Rublev anger got the better of him at the ATP Finals
Andrey Rublev anger got the better of him at the ATP Finals

Andrey Rublev struggled to contain his anger as he crashed to a defeat against Carlos Alcaraz at the ATP Finals in Turin, with his on-court meltdown during the match a cause for major concern.

That’s the verdict of former US Open finalist Greg Rusedksi, who was watching on in his role as an Amazon Prime analyst Alcaraz recorded a 7-5 6-2 win to earn his first win at the prestigious year-end event.

Rublev violently smashed his racket into his leg at one point and appeared to be battling himself as much as his opponents as he lost his second match at the tournament.

That inspired Rusedski to suggest he should seek some help to control his anger when pressure is applied on court.

The Russian star was swinging his racket violently and berating line judges, with the images of him smashing his racket into his leg time and again hard to watch.

Rublev drew blood on his leg as he aggressively turned on himself and Rusedski suggested the images were disturbing.

“Rublev lost his mind,” declared Rusedski. “He went absolutely fruit and nuts.

“The ball was called out at one point and he just couldn’t believe it.

“It’s insanity, let’s be honest here. You can cause yourself a serious injury by hitting your knee cap like he did. He was lucky just to draw blood.

“The good news is he didn’t injure himself, but he has to change that behaviour. He is so desperate to win and doesn’t find a balance out there.

“His A-game is not good enough against someone who has more variety. He is trying to add the transition of coming forward and using the drop shot. He needs that to beat players like Alcaraz.

“If he doesn’t do that, he will be consistently in the top eight, but he won’t get to semi-finals, finals or win majors.”

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Former British No 1 Tim Henman joined Rusedski in expressing his concern for Rublev, as he argued his anger will continue to undermine him.

“The frustration was there for everyone to see,” said Henman. “He wasn’t able to do himself justice because he was not feeling good with a fever and it just boiled over.

“He needs to look at this in isolation and say he was feeling ill and that is a reason for the defeat.

“He needs to make sure he doesn’t boil over as that is detrimental to his game.

“He’s had a great year, winning a Masters 1000 event, but he needs to break through in the Slams and has lost nine quarter-finals. I’m a fan, but he needs to control himself better.

“He can improve his second serve as it is too predictable and clearly he needs to control his temper. His passion and work ethic are undeniable, but he is almost trying too hard and putting too much pressure on himself.

Rusedski went on to suggest Rublev should look to expand his game as that may allow him to perform better against the game’s top players.

“When you don’t have options in your game, it is easier to lose it,” he added. “If Rublev took a risk on his second serve and lost today, who cares? Rublev has the firepower, but he doesn’t go for it at the big moments.

“If he has options A, B, C and D, he could open up mentally as it would give him options.

“I was lucky as I had a psychologist at the age of 11. My father was doing what they are doing now a long time ago and you have to appreciate what you have.

“If you are here playing as one of the top eight players in the world, you should be grateful for what you have. The competitor inside you lets loose at times and you can get angry at times.”