Andrey Rublev expects ‘fun’ match against ‘true legend’ Andy Murray as Scot praises Russian’s work ethic

Andrey Rublev on-court interview

It will be young gun Andrey Rublev against veteran Andy Murray in the second round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam and both players were very complimentary of each other ahead of the clash.

Fourth seed Rublev beat Marcos Giron 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 in his opener to set up a match against three-time Grand Slam winner Murray, who edged Robin Haase on Monday.

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When told that Murray is next up during his on-court interview, Rublev said: “Oof! I didn’t know, actually. We’ll see, it’s going to be interesting. It’s Andy. He’s a legend.”

The 23-year-old’s only previous match against the former world No 1 was at the 2017 Australian Open and he managed to win just five games on that occasion.

“Andy is a true legend and I have a really good connection with him,” Rublev said. “I really like him as a person and as a player. He destroyed me once in the past. I’m sure we’ll have great, long rallies and it will be a fight.”

He added: “It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be an interesting match.”

Murray he been there and done it all, but he is impressed with Rublev’s climb to the top in recent years as the Russian is at a career-high of No 8 in the ATP Rankings after winning five titles in 2020.

“He’ll be around at the top of the game for a long time because he’s got a great work ethic,” Murray told ATP Tour. “And he’s a very good player.”

He added: “I played him when he was very young at the Australian Open… he went for it. He hit the ball big back then. He physically was not that strong then, but I think he’s worked really hard on that side of things.”

Rublev’s full power method has certainly brought results as he has seven ATP Tour titles to his name and has made four Grand Slam quarter-final appearances.

Murray, though, had some advice for the Russian.

“He’s always practising. I’ve practised with him a few times and from the first ball, he doesn’t sort of warm into it,” Murray said. “He just goes full power from the beginning of the practice and that’s how he plays matches and that’s what’s gotten him lots and lots of success.”

He continued: “I think that the next step for him to winning or going deeper in majors is probably just learning to tone it down at times maybe in matches.

“But it’s difficult when you’ve played a certain way, which has gotten you to the top of the game and into the Top 10 of the world at a young age.”

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