Andrey Rublev participates for the second time in the Nitto ATP final. Will he break through in Turin for the biggest title of his career?
ATPTour.com caught up with the Russian to find out what he took away from his tournament debut in the season finale, his favorite part about Italy and its cuisine.
When you competed in the Nitto ATP Finals last year, what did you learn from this week?
The best part was the matches. With Rafael Nadal I learned a lot of things and the rest of [the time] I was fine. I was a little unlucky with Stefanos [Tsitsipas]. We had a crazy match. I had a match point and I was serving. Then I won against Dominic [Thiem], so in the end it was still good.
It was a great experience with some very good matches. I hope this year will be full of people because last year all that was missing was that: to feel this atmosphere with the spectators.
You’ve been to Italy before with a crowd when you played the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals. How was the Italian public?
I remember they supported me very well. I think even on my Instagram I have a lot of Italian viewers following me. One of the best countries is Italy, maybe the second or third, so I hope I’m welcome there! I remember in the Next Gen ATP Finals there were a lot of people supporting me so it was an amazing feeling to be there and play there.
Photo credit: Corinne Dubreuil / ATP Tour
What are your favorite memories of Italy as a country?
Of course, it’s the food. It’s no secret that the food there is amazing. I even remember when I was playing Challengers and going to a town. I don’t remember the name. You would be in Venice and had to travel by train for three more hours to a village. No matter where you go, the food is 10 points. You can go to any place you see on the road. You see a little cafe with two chairs and the food is going to be amazing.
The history of Italy is unreal. It’s something that I grew up learning a lot about in school, the history of Italy and Rome, the history of the city with all the things to see. I did not go in, but I went around the Colosseum. The last two years we played in Rome, it was the pandemic, so we weren’t allowed to go out. I went to the fountains there. I was maybe 15, so I wasn’t as interested at that age.
What is your favorite Italian cuisine?
It depends on my mood, sometimes it’s pizza, sometimes it’s pasta, sometimes it’s burrata. I like soup, cold soup too. Carpaccio too.
I eat everything, all kinds of cuisines. It does not matter. I eat everything. But if you take the average of what I eat the most during the year, I think it’s Japanese.
How do you like the format that if you lose the first game you can always come back?
I think it’s really good. With eight players, that certainly makes the event more interesting. You don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s the right thing to do with all eight players.
Do you remember any Nitto ATP Finals games you watched growing up?
I watched matches between Federer and Djokovic. I watched the final in 2016 live. I watched Murray against Djokovic when Murray beat Djokovic to become world No.1. I watched this live at ATP University and was really impressed with Andy.