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Hard-Court Hero: Rublev's Foundation For Success

  • Posted: Jan 22, 2021

Andrey Rublev soared from No. 23 to No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on the back of five ATP Tour titles in 2020, when he was named by his peers as the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year.

His breakthrough was centred on his hard-court performances last year, with an ATP Tour-leading 31 match wins on the surface — better than World No. 1 Novak Djokovic (30), Nitto ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev (28) and US Open finalist Alexander Zverev (25).

According to the Infosys ATP Performance Zone, Rublev had the third-best winning percentage on hard-courts (79.5%) over the past 52 weeks, behind only Djokovic (88.2%) and Gael Monfils (80%).

Best Winning % On Hard Courts In 2020

 Player  Win-Loss Record  Winning %
 1) Novak Djokovic  30-4  88.2%
 2) Gael Monfils  16-4  80%
 3) Andrey Rublev  31-8  79.5%
 4) Daniil Medvedev  28-8  77.8%
5) Rafael Nadal  18-6  75%

Rublev opened the 2020 season with an 11-match winning streak on hard courts, including back-to-back ATP Tour titles in Doha (d. Moutet) and in Adelaide (d. Harris), making him the first player to win consecutive titles in the first two weeks of the season since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004. He compiled another 11-match winning streak on the surface in October with titles in St. Petersburg (d. Coric) and Vienna (d. Sonego).

It was quite the turnaround for Rublev, who saw his career winning percentage on hard courts skyrocket from the start of 2020 thanks to his 31-8 record (79.5%). Remarkably, the Russian compiled a 72-60 career record (54.5%) on the surface between 2014 and 2019.

Visit Infosys ATP Performance Zone

With growing confidence, Rublev has captured five of his seven ATP Tour titles on hard courts, and since 2014 he has won four times as many matches on hard courts (103) than he has on clay courts (25). Last year, the 23-year-old went 10-2 on clay — including the Hamburg European Open title (d. Tsitsipas) — for an overall 41-10 season record (80.3%).

The World No. 8 has recorded 103 of his 132 career match wins on hard courts. Next month, he will begin his 2021 campaign alongside Daniil Medvedev, when they both represent Russia in the ATP Cup.

Rublev’s Career Win-Loss Record By Surface

 Surface  Win-Loss Record / %  Titles
 Hard  103-68 / 60.2%  5
 Clay  25-18 / 58.1%  2
 Grass  4-3 / 57.1%  0
 Total  132-89 / 59.7%  7

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The Last Time… With Roberto Bautista Agut

  • Posted: Jan 22, 2021

“The Last Time” that Roberto Bautista Agut lost an ATP Cup match? Never happened.

The World No. 13 earned a reputation for being Spain’s reliable closer at last year’s inaugural event, winning all six of his singles matches without dropping a set to put his country into the final. Bautista Agut will hope to reprise that role as he teams up with Rafael Nadal, Pablo Carreno Busta and Marcel Granollers to try to bring home Spain’s first ATP Cup crown.

Speaking to from quarantine, Bautista Agut revealed “The Last Time”…

I forgot an important birthday or anniversary?
Actually last year. It was my anniversary with my wife! Somehow I managed to survive…

Being famous helped me?
It was one time I was going out to dinner. There was a restaurant in America during the summer that always seems to be overbooked. And so I called… and I let them know it was me. And they were able to get me a table and I got to have dinner there.

I went to a music concert?
It must have been over a year ago by now, more or less. I went to see a concert at the Plaza de Toros in Valencia. [Spanish pop singer] Manuel Carrasco was performing.

I watched a new TV series?
I’m actually watching a new one now, it’s a Spanish series called La Valla (“The Barrier”). I recommend it.

I missed a flight?
Actually I’ve never missed a flight. The only time I missed one was when the flight was cancelled, but never because I was running late. 

I paid money to rent a tennis court?
I don’t remember at all… I have no idea, but it definitely couldn’t have happened in Spain. If it happened it must have been abroad, but I honestly don’t remember.


I strung a tennis racquet? 
I have never strung a tennis racquet in my life. I know nothing about stringing.

I met a person that I really admired?
Recently I met a violinist that did me the favour of performing at my son’s baptism. I was really excited to meet him. He put together a beautiful concert for the family and the baby. 

I shared a hotel room with another player?
That’s got to be so long ago. Juniors? No, actually back when I played Challengers. When you play at the [ATP Challenger Series] level it’s pretty common to share hotel rooms because that way we split the costs.

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Quarantine Chronicles: Catching Up With Milos Raonic

  • Posted: Jan 22, 2021

Milos Raonic has been doing anything but sleeping in during his 14-day quarantine period ahead of the Australian swing. The World No. 15 in the FedEx ATP Rankings is gearing up to represent Canada in the ATP Cup alongside Denis Shapovalov, Peter Polansky and Steven Diez, and he’s determined to maximise precious time on the tennis court.

But what is Raonic up to when he’s not on court? And what is his go-to delivery dish? The Canadian sat down for a chat with to reveal seven things he’s been up to during quarantine…

1. Getting creative with his in-room workouts.
“I hope the hotel doesn’t see that’s the use of the minibar fridge… But you can get creative in a hotel room. Our creativity has been using a fridge as a step-up, but there’s other ways. Towels can be used for different workouts. There’s many ways you can get creative, but for us our big thing was coming prepared and trying to have as much with us as possible… I was aware of how the conditions would be, so we came here and we brought a lot of things that we could use.”

2. Organising his day to make the most of practice court time.
“So you hear the night before what time your slot is [to go outside for five hours] and what time you’ll get picked up. And then you adjust your day to that. You get ready and wait by your door for them to come around again once they’ve also corralled your team and the player you’re practising with. And then you’ll all come out to the elevator, go down in the same elevator. By the way, getting your hands sanitised and always wearing masks throughout this whole process. Then get in the car and head to the courts. You step straight out on court and you practice for your allotted time – that’s what we’re all trying to make the most of, the time on court. 

“After that you get to go to the gym, one of many across the whole venue that was built for the players. Your gym is actually correlated with your court. So anybody that day that practised on that court uses the exact same gym after, so that way they have time to clean it, to sanitise it… So you go to your gym, after that you have one hour to eat. And again… so if you practised on Court 3, you go to the gym for Court 3, then you go for the table in the area outside that’s for Court 3 for your time to eat.

“And after that you get picked up. Straight in the elevator, straight upstairs, straight to your room… The rest of the time, you really try to make the most of it. I’ve spent time doing other things, other kind of workouts to supplement the trainings that I’ve been able to do at the venue. Spent time reading, studying, doing various things. But you know, with the consistency it has been settling. It has been generous that we get to get out for those five hours.”

3. Getting a lot of chevapi delivered.
“There’s a great restaurant here called Chevapi Grill. It’s Balkan cuisine and the dish [chevapi, made of grilled sausages] I believe originated from Bosnia. But it’s a dish that’s famous throughout all of former Yugoslavia. I’ve had it many times. Growing up in Canada, my parents would always take us out to get it. There’s a great one here that I get on Uber Eats from Chevapi Grill. I’ve had it a good portion of the time since I’ve been here, and it’s been nostalgic and it’s been enjoyable.”

4. Picking up some interesting reading material.
“I’ve actually been reading a book called Barbarians at the Gate. It’s from a famous company takeover [RJR Nabisco] in the ’80s that’s actually been very interesting for me. That’s sort of kept me busy, but I have a long ways to go.”


5. Keeping in touch with loved ones.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s quarantine or not, the person that I speak to the most is my girlfriend. Facetime, text, phone calls… whatever is possible at the moment. At this moment she’s also in quarantine in Belgium, so we’ve actually both had a bit more time than normal to keep in touch.”

6. Beating boredom by staying mentally engaged.
“Just make sure you’re always doing something. I think if you get yourself caught up in doing stuff mindlessly, either you get caught up in a binge of a TV show or you can get caught up going through YouTube videos or scrolling through social media.

“I think you have to find something that engages you a bit more. That’s what makes the biggest difference. Because if you have something that you’re excited to stay awake for and that you’re eager about, that helped make that transition a lot easier. If you’re sort of like, I’m just doing stuff to kill time, then you could also be sleeping to kill time too. So it’s harder to weigh out those options.”

7. And beating jet lag by not sleeping in.
“I don’t really tend to sleep in. I’ve actually gotten on a schedule pretty well, it only took me about two days to get used to it. Obviously the first four days we didn’t get to go anywhere, and the toughest thing about those days was keeping yourself awake… But once I was able to get through that and now with the benefit of being able to get out and being in the sun, it’s helped significantly to get used to the jetlag.”

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Groups Announced For 2021 ATP Cup

  • Posted: Jan 22, 2021

The 12 countries set to compete in the second edition of the ATP Cup, taking place in Melbourne the week prior to the Australian Open, were assigned to four groups at the official tournament draw on Friday.

Top seed Serbia, headlined by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, will lead Group A, which will also consist of Germany and Canada. One year ago, Serbia battled through the field to lift the inaugural ATP Cup trophy in Sydney.

Group A

Second seed Spain, which finished runner-up in 2020, will aim to move through Group B, which includes Greece and Australia. World No. 2 Rafael Nadal leads the way for his country for the second consecutive year.

Group B

Austria, headed by World No. 3 Dominic Thiem, will look to advance through Group C against Italy and France. Fourth seed Russia, headlined by reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev, will try to do the same in Group D, which includes Argentina and Japan.

Group C

Group D

Watch The ATP Cup Draw

The draw was hosted by Todd Woodbridge, with participation from Mark Philippoussis, John Fitzgerald, Jim Courier and Mark Petchey. 

This year’s five-day event will be played at Melbourne Park alongside two ATP 250 events, the Murray River Open and Great Ocean Road Open. Following the group stage, the four group winners will advance to the knock-out semi-finals to continue battling for the prestigious title.

The 2021 ATP Cup will feature 12 of the Top 13 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Each country will consist of four players, with each tie comprised of two singles and one doubles match.

Follow the latest ATP Cup news and live updates at and on Twitter and Instagram.

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