Andrei Rublev beat his opponent instead of himself

Often a sporting event is compared to a roller coaster. But is that true of a tense five-set victory in the fourth round of the Australian Open? Let’s consult emotionally direct No. 5 seed Andrei Rublev.

He said, “It’s not a roller coaster, man. It’s like they put a gun to your head. I don’t know, a roller coaster is easier, man”, Clarify the metaphor of the interlocutor, immediately after Monday’s 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (9) win over Holger Rohn. Looking at the spokes, this is achieved. Perhaps no man on tour makes the pressure of tennis so visible as Rublev’s, a storm of inwardly directed rage.

But this fourth-round match was a sign of personal growth. Rublev, as famous for his devastating forehands as he was for hurting himself on the court, found a precious spot of calm. At several turns, the victory seemed to belong to Ron, who is 19 years old lined up at the top of the round Last season and entered this tournament as the No. 9 seed. Ron served the match in fifth place, building a comfortable cushion in the tiebreaker in the decisive set. Old Rublev might have done different things with his bat in this case –Punch the skin from his knucklesor Knee stiffness test (or a bananaor him banana)—but this copy used it for a huge favor, staging his mistakes, and eventually stealing a winning small boon from the net wire.

“I was down 5-2 in the fifth set, 6-5 down by two match points. Then I was 5-0 down in the super tiebreak,” said Rublev. “I’ve never been able to win matches like this in my life. This is the first time I’ve won something like this.” This is the sound of relief. Afterwards, Rublev said he had drawn on the dark memory of last season’s fifth-set tiebreaker against Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals of the French Open. He thought “at least not like Roland-Garros, when I gave up completely – just at least trying to play better from there.” He said in August 2022 That he used to watch videos of himself melting and thinking, “What am I doing?” I hope to “eradicate that stuff from my game”. Rublev will have a more positive memory of the great late game to draw on now, and his skeleton should thank him.

However, for Ron, the outcome might be even more difficult. The younger player struggled with the heat – during a medical break early on the fourth day, his pulse and blood pressure were checked – but with only the second fifth set of his career entering, he raised the bar for his game, which at its spectacular best. An athletic combination of offense and defense, of tolerance for shooting and shooting. Seeing the opportunity to serve the match at 5-3, Ron fell in love: Rublev’s forehand winner, Ron’s forehand miss, and two double faults horribly. His collapse in the fifth-set tiebreak was even more forgivable, as Rublev read Ron’s serve well and found his aces to claim six straight points. Even after this disappointment, Ron managed to save two match points, one of them with a classic straight backhand after an incorrect pass:

Ron then said, “I think I had all the chances I wish I had. I didn’t shut him down,” after failing to make his second major slam in the quarterfinals. During the game, he looked up at the teen a lot, making a mouth-pressing gesture on his chest one moment, then calling them to scream the next, as he scurried around and stomped around. Compare this to his incredibly icy win last year against Novak Djokovic in Paris, and it’s clear he has the ability to focus in these tight matches against higher-ranked opponents.

Rublev, who is often criticized for his one-dimensional game, has recently honed his ability to close points on the net. In fairness, this one-dimensionality – forehands crushing from the baseline wherever possible – has proven difficult for most opponents to stop. after this match, He said It was first physical strength and later mental strength that kept him from advancing in his previous seven trips to the major quarter-finals. If beating Ron sounds like a match at gunpoint, what will be the metaphor for Rublev’s next test against Djokovic?

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