Andrey Rublev’s ATP Tour breakthrough virtually ended earlier than the principle draw of the 2017 Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag started. Hungarian Attila Balazs beat the 19-year-old in straight units within the ultimate spherical of qualifying.
However Borna Coric withdrew, Rublev entered the principle draw as a fortunate loser and he by no means seemed again. The Russian beat fourth seed Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-2 within the ultimate for his first tour-level title.
“I’ve no phrases to clarify it, particularly after this powerful week,” mentioned Rublev. “Now I’m right here and it’s superb.”
It capped a dream week for the teenager, who had defeated third seed and defending champion Fabio Fognini within the quarter-finals and residential hope Ivan Dodig within the final 4 to achieve his first ATP Tour ultimate. Rublev was the seventh fortunate loser to win a tour-level title and the primary to take action since Rajeev Ram triumphed at 2009 Newport.
“I misplaced within the qualies, which ought to have been unhealthy for me. Now I’ve gained this match and the whole lot is ideal,” Rublev mentioned. “You possibly can win sooner or later and lose the following day. You possibly can lose and you may win. The principle factor for me is to do my greatest each day.”
Rublev tried to keep up the identical routine all through the week. He at all times sat within the entrance seat of the match transportation, for instance.
“My coach was carrying the identical t-shirt, my t-shirt, for the previous three days. Throughout the day, I’d at all times return to my lodge room. All these little issues I used to be making an attempt to do the identical,” Rublev mentioned. “The previous three days have been actually powerful mentally. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t speak usually. There was a lot stress, it was actually powerful. I’m actually joyful that it’s over and I gained the match.”
When Rublev was a child, he watched the world’s greatest tennis gamers compete on tv, battling for trophies. He needed to be in that place.
“I’ve gained my first ATP title and it’s superb,” Rublev mentioned. “Now it’s time to work and to attempt to do it once more.”
The Russian didn’t let the large win change his mentality. He was excited to carry the trophy, however conscious that there was loads of work to do.
“I’ve no objectives,” Rublev mentioned. “I simply need to do my greatest, to enhance on the issues I want to enhance on and that’s it.”
Rublev was the No. 74 participant within the FedEx ATP Rankings that week. Three years later, the Russian is World No. 14 and he owns 4 ATP Tour titles.