Rublev Reveals Key To Finding Top Italian Food

Andrey Rublev is competing in the Nitto ATP Finals for the second time. Will he break through in Turin for the biggest title of his career?

ATPTour.com caught up with the Russian to learn what he took away from his tournament debut at the season finale, his favourite part about Italy and its food.

When you competed in the Nitto ATP Finals last year, what did you learn from that week?
The best part was the matches. With Rafael Nadal, I learned many things and the rest of [the time] I was doing well. I was a bit 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 great matches. I hope this year is going to be with a full crowd because last year that was the only thing missing: to feel that atmosphere with spectators.

You have been in Italy before with a crowd when you played the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals. What was the Italian crowd like?
I remember they were supporting me really well. I think even on my Instagram I have a lot of spectators from Italy following me. One of the top countries is Italy, maybe the second or third, so I hope I am welcome there! I remember during the Next Gen ATP Finals there were a lot of people supporting me, so it was an amazing feeling to be there and to play there.

Rublev
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
What are your favourite memories of Italy as a country?
Of course it is the food. It is no secret that the food there is amazing. I remember even when I used to play Challengers and I would go to a city. I don’t remember the name. You would be in Venice and had to go by train for three more hours to a village. It doesn’t matter to the place you go, the food is 10 points. You can go to any place you see on the road. You see one little café with two chairs and the food is going to be amazing.

The history of Italy is unreal. It is something I grew up learning a lot about in school, the history of Italy and Rome, the city’s history with all the things to see. I haven’t gone inside, but I’ve gone around The Colosseum. The past two years we played Rome it was the pandemic, so we weren’t allowed to go outside. I’ve been to the fountains there. I was maybe 15, so I wasn’t as interested at that age. 

What is your favourite Italian food?
It depends on my mood, sometimes it is pizza, sometimes it is pasta, sometimes it is burrata. I like the soup, a cold soup as well. Some carpaccio, too.

I eat everything, all different kinds of cuisine. It doesn’t matter. I eat everything. But if you take the average of what I eat most during the year, I think it’s Japanese.

How do you like the format that if you lose the first match, you can still come back?
I think it is really good. With eight players, it makes the event for sure more interesting. You do not know what is going to happen. It is the right thing to do with the eight players.

Do you remember any matches from the Nitto ATP Finals that you watched when growing up?
I watched some matches between Federer and Djokovic. I watched the final in 2016 live. I watched Murray against Djokovic when Murray beat Djokovic to become No. 1 in the world. I watched that live during ATP University and I was really impressed by Andy.

ATP Finals LIVE – Andrey Rublev v Casper Ruud

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Singles | Round Robin

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Live

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A.Rublev

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3

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19 November 2021.css-amlxws-StyledSmallDivider-StyledSmallDivider{border-right:solid 1px #FFFFFF;opacity:0.25;margin:0 10px;}@media (min-width:700px){.css-amlxws-StyledSmallDivider-StyledSmallDivider{margin:0 13px;}}Centre Court

Ruud downs Rublev to snatch semi-final spot against Medvedev

Casper Ruud mounted a remarkable comeback from one set down against Andrey Rublev to win 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (5) and set up a semi-final meeting with Daniil Medvedev on Saturday.

Earlier results in the Red Group made this match a straight shootout between two players aiming to make the final four of the year-end event for the first time and it was Ruud who emerged with a semi-final spot.

Rublev started well and grabbed the first break of the match in the third game of the opening set as the Russian broke down Ruud’s backhand to take a 2-1 lead which he consolidated.

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YESTERDAY AT 06:54

The world number five made it a double break soon after as Rublev started to get a good read on the Ruud first serve with the Norwegian struggling with his opponent’s returning ability.

While Ruud was able to save two set points at 5-2, this only delayed the inevitable as Rublev clinched the opening set 6-2 to put him within just one set of an all-Russian semi-final.

A break in the third game of the second set looked to have put Rublev on a clear course to the finish line, but Ruud broke back immediately to level things again.

Ruud rediscovered his serving rhythm as Rublev started to show visible signs of frustration and the Russian collapsed at 5-6, gifting his opponent the second set 5-7 to make the match a one-set shootout.

Rublev looked to have gained the initiative in the deciding set after breaking for 3-2, but Ruud broke back immediately just as he did in the second set. The two players could only be separated in the final set tie-break with Ruud clinching match point with an ace.

ATP Finals

Ruud battles back to beat debutant Norrie in three

YESTERDAY AT 19:50

ATP Finals

Djokovic into semis after dominant win over flat Rublev

17/11/2021 AT 13:07

Win & You're In: Rublev, Ruud Aim For SF Spots; Djokovic Meets Norrie In Turin

It’s simple on Friday, win and you’re into the semi-final at the Nitto ATP Finals. That’s what Andrey Rublev and Casper Ruud hope for in the final Green Group matches at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.

For the first time since 1994, three of the four semi-finalists at the season finale will be former champions. Novak Djokovic, the Green Group winner, continues his quest for a record-equalling sixth Nitto ATP Finals crown, and will play 2018 titlist Alexander Zverev on Saturday, while World No. 2 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev, the Red Group winner, awaits Rublev or Ruud.

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So will it be Rublev or Ruud who makes it? History is firmly in favour of Rublev, who holds a 4-0 ATP Head2Head record against first-time qualifier Ruud, and has won eight straight sets against the Norwegian after losing the first set they ever played.

But momentum is on Ruud’s side. While Rublev started strongly in Turin with a win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, he admitted to “rushing, overthinking” in defeat to Djokovic on Wednesday. Ruud, a five-time ATP Tour titlist in a career-best season, opened his campaign by losing to Djokovic, but then secured a confidence-boosting win over alternate Cameron Norrie.

Ruud will be hoping to bring all the impetus from his strong finish against Norrie to Friday’s clash and has already vowed to try to do things differently against Rublev: “I will, of course, try my best to bring something new to the table on Friday and challenge him in a different way than I’ve done before, because previously it hasn’t been working as I’ve wanted,” he said.

In the night session, Djokovic will aim to complete the round-robin stage with a 3-0 record, but Norrie is determined to make an impression. “It is going to be difficult, but I am looking forward to it,” said Norrie, ahead of his first meeting with Djokovic. “I am going to see if I belong and can compete with a guy like that.”

Djokovic, who has a 50-6 match record in 2021, said, “I always like playing new players, particularly in one of the greatest tournaments in the world here in Turin. Cameron deserves to be here, it’s not lucky. He worked his way to Turin with great wins in Indian Wells and some other tournaments, so it will be fun to watch him tonight against Ruud and I’ll get ready for my next match.”

FOLLOW THIS WEEK’S ACTION

In doubles action, it’s all to play for in the Red Group on Friday. If Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the American-British pair win the Red Group with Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut finishing second. But if Cabal and Farah win, the identity of the semi-finalists will be decided by the evening doubles match between Herbert and Mahut, and Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2021

CENTRE COURT start 11:30 am
[2] R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR) vs [5] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)

Not Before 2:00 pm
[5] A. Rublev (RUS) vs [8] C. Ruud (NOR)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[3] N. Mahut (FRA) / P.-H. Herbert (FRA) vs [7] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

Not Before 9:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Alt/10] C. Norrie (GBR)

See below for full qualification scenarios for the Green Group (singles) and Red Group (doubles).

Singles Green Group qualification scenarios:
After defeating Rublev in straight sets, Djokovic has qualified for the semi-finals and won the group.

– Rublev qualifies on Friday if he defeats Ruud.
– Ruud qualifies on Friday if he defeats Rublev.

Doubles Red Group qualification scenarios:
– If Ram/Salisbury win -> Ram/Salisbury will win the group and Herbert/Mahut will finish second.
– If Murray/Soares win and Cabal/Farah win -> Cabal/Farah will win the group and Ram/Salisbury will finish second.
– If Herbert/Mahut win in straights and Cabal/Farah win in straights -> Herbert/Mahut will win the group and Cabal/Farah will finish second.
– If Herbert/Mahut win in straights and Cabal/Farah win in 3 -> Herbert/Mahut win the group and Ram/Salisbury finish second.
– If Herbert/Mahut win in 3 sets and Cabal/Farah win in straights -> Cabal/Farah will win the group and Herbert/Mahut will finish second.
– If Herbert/Mahut win in 3 sets and Cabal/Farah win in 3 sets -> Ram/Salisbury win the group and Herbert/Mahut finish second.

Rublev: ‘I was Rushing, Overthinking’

Andrey Rublev acknowledged the emotional impact playing Novak Djokovic for the first time had on his performance after losing 6-3, 6-2 in Turin on Wednesday.

Rublev opened his Nitto ATP Finals campaign with an impressive 6-4, 6-4 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Monday. But despite recording an early break of serve, the World No. 5 found himself increasingly outpaced by Djokovic, who finished the match with flair to win the Green Group.

“I don’t know how nervous I was because I was not thinking about it. Today was still a lot of emotions and I could feel it during the rallies,” Rublev said.

“Because it looks like everything is fine, it looks like I’m playing some good rallies, but then suddenly I’m making so many unusual mistakes, easy, from positions that normally I’m playing well and hitting hard from. Today I was missing a lot… It means I was rushing too much today.”

Djokovic’s relentless defence was on full display at the Pala Alpitour on Wednesday, with Rublev frequently pulling the trigger too early in rallies throughout the 68-minute match.

“I was rushing a bit, overthinking a bit,” Rublev admitted. “Because every time I was thinking ‘OK, now I have a chance to attack, now I have a chance to lead the point’. You think through the next two, three, four shots and then in the end you don’t even make this one, you know? And normally you just shoot and you don’t think.”

Rublev counts wins over Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer among the 13 Top 10 victories of his career so far. But curiously, both his previous matches against players ranked World No. 1 – against Andy Murray at the 2017 Australian Open and Nadal at the US Open the same year – have seen him net just five games, the same number he won against Djokovic today.

FOLLOW THIS WEEK’S ACTION

“This is normal, I have to pass through this experience. I’ve been through this when I was playing my first meeting against Andy, against Rafa, and it always takes time,” Rublev said.

“You need to play a couple of matches like this to feel your opponent and feel that you can compete with the best players. It takes time… Now is the time to take a lesson from this match and to give my best for the next match.”

The mental and emotional challenges Rublev will face in his next match should be of a different order. Friday’s opponent Casper Ruud is a player against whom Rublev has every reason to feel confident – the Russian has won all four of their previous meetings. But with a place in the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals on the line, the stakes will be high.

“I expect it’s going to be a physical match, a mental match, because Casper, he is really strong physically,” Rublev said. “He plays really aggressive, he is really great from the baseline. You need to play long rallies with him, you need to run a lot, so it’s going to be this kind of match.”

Djokovic Secures Semi-final Spot, Records 50th Match Win Of 2021

Novak Djokovic qualified for the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals with his 50th match win of the year on Wednesday afternoon. The World No. 1, chasing a record-equalling sixth trophy at the season finale, won Green Group play at the Pala Alpitour in Turin with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over fifth seed Andrey Rublev.

Through to his 10th semi-final at the Nitto ATP Finals (40-16 match record), the seven-time year-end No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings will look to carry his momentum into Friday’s round-robin match against British alternate Cameron Norrie, who has replaced Stefanos Tsitsipas (right elbow) in the elite field.

Djokovic, who has won 12 of his past 14 matches, was ruthlessly efficient and never let Rublev get to grips with his serve, winning 34 of 48 deliveries in their first ATP Head2Head meeting. The match lasted 68 minutes. With Daniil Medvedev winning the White Group on Tuesday, it sets up the potential of a World No. 1 versus No. 2 final.

FOLLOW THIS WEEK’S ACTION

Rublev was unable to capitalise on an early service break and by the fifth game Djokovic had settled, getting out of trouble with a trademark blow, an inch-perfect backhand winner down the line. It was very much first-strike tennis and through six games, only one point had gone over nine strokes.

Djokovic largely directed play away from Rublev’s forehand, the Russian’s biggest weapon, and reaped the reward when the World No. 1 drew Rublev to the net and broke for a 5-3 advantage with a backhand crosscourt winner. After his first-game wobble, Djokovic served with greater confidence and closed out the 36-minute opener with an ace, having won 88 per cent of his first-service points in the set.

Rublev, who’d played a World No. 1 on two previous occasions (Andy Murray at the 2017 Australian Open and Rafael Nadal at the 2017 US Open), appeared to rush in his attempt to close out points quickly against one of the all-time great defenders. Djokovic soon made a breakthrough in the second set, and it was his athleticism and ability to chase down every ball, that put Rublev under extreme pressure at 1-1. The Serbian star broke serve again at 4-2 and didn’t look back as he completed his 40th match win at the Nitto ATP Finals with his 14th ace.

The World No. 1 is now 50-6 on the season, having gone 27-1 in major championship play with title runs at the Australian Open (d. Medvedev), Roland Garros (d. Tsitsipas) and Wimbledon (d. Berrettini). The 34-year-old, who came within one match of the Grand Slam with a US Open final run (l. to Medvedev), has also won titles at the Serbia Open in Belgrade (d. Molcan) in May and also at the Rolex Paris Masters (d. Medvedev) two weeks ago.

Rublev, who won his first Green Group match on Monday against Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4, had also been attempting to earn his 50th match win of 2021 (now 49-21). He will play Ruud on Friday.

Novak Djokovic v Andrey Rublev – LIVE

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.css-hmlgub-StyledLabelText{margin-left:1px;}ATP Finals

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Singles | Round Robin

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N.Djokovic

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17 November 2021.css-amlxws-StyledSmallDivider-StyledSmallDivider{border-right:solid 1px #FFFFFF;opacity:0.25;margin:0 10px;}@media (min-width:700px){.css-amlxws-StyledSmallDivider-StyledSmallDivider{margin:0 13px;}}Centre Court

Djokovic into semis after dominant win over flat Rublev

Novak Djokovic cruised into the semi-finals at the ATP Finals by downing Andrey Rublev in 69 minutes.

The world number one followed up his straight sets win over Casper Ruud on Monday with a 6-3 6-2 win over the Russian.

After a sluggish opening game that saw him broken, Djokovic produced a flawless display on serve that set up a one-sided demolition.

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The decisive break of the opening set came in the eighth game as Djokovic broke for 5-3 before serving it out for love.

Rublev’s body language hinted at a beaten man and another break in the third game of the second set all but confirmed the result. Djokovic soon broke again before serving out the simplest of wins.

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Refreshed Rublev Readies For First Djokovic Meeting In Turin

After his victory on Monday, Andrey Rublev admitted that he had woken up from a daytime nap convinced that he had accidentally slept through his Nitto ATP Finals night match. Despite feeling ‘completely broken’, the Russian eventually shook off the grogginess to win emphatically against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Turin with the help of some powerful serving.

“It was the first time ever and I’m happy with everything I did today on court,” Rublev said of his impressive serving numbers. “From serve, return, rallies from the baseline to my mental part, how I controlled my emotions today. So we’ll see if I can keep going this way.”

He might not be sleeping so easily as he prepares for the next Green Group match at the Pala Alpitour, where he will meet World No. 1 Novak Djokovic for the first time. 

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“He’s one of the greatest players in history, so I don’t know what to say,” Rublev said of playing Djokovic. “I hope I’m going to win a couple of games, but the reality is the only thing I can do is to do my best and believe in myself.”

Despite struggling with his form during the build-up to Turin, Rublev showed some of his best tennis of the year against Tsitsipas. The Russian’s serve shined during his opening performance; he didn’t face a break point across two sets and won 90 per cent (37/41) of points behind his first serve. 

But he’ll have to be on from the start to contend with the Djokovic return, one of the best in the game. Rublev’s second serve was in trouble against Tsitsipas, but he got away with it by not giving the Greek too many looks at it. Expect Djokovic to hone in on any opportunities that Rublev allows him. 

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Earlier in the year, Rublev made a big statement when he took down Rafael Nadal on clay in Monte-Carlo. Two years ago, he defeated Roger Federer in their first meeting in Cincinnati. But will it be a tall task to take down another of the Big Three – especially at one of Djokovic’s most successful events? 

Seven-time No. 1 in the year-end FedEx ATP Rankings and five-time Nitto ATP Finals champion Djokovic opened his Turin account with a comfortable win over Casper Ruud. It was his first meeting of the year against the surging Norwegian, and he needed a few games to settle into the match before clinching the match in straight sets.

“It was a really terrible start, but also funny because I’m still trying to figure out what happened,” Djokovic said. “Casper started strong. He was serving well… He did positively surprise me with this serve, particularly in the first set. I just managed to read it better in the second set. But it was a close one.”

Djokovic and Rublev are level with one win apiece at the top of the Green Group, and a victory on Wednesday could see the winner in pole position to reach the semi-finals.   

Eighth seed Ruud and fourth seed Tsitsipas will return to the Pala Alpitour for the night session match on Wednesday, with both players seeking their first win of the Nitto ATP Finals. 

The 22-year-old Norwegian admitted that nerves played a factor in his opening defeat to Djokovic, and he’ll hope to arrive on court more settled against the 2019 champion. 

“It’s not always easy, it’s the first match, I’m sure he was a bit nervous, I don’t know, but I was also a bit nervous and it’s the first time for me on this stage,” Ruud acknowledged. “It shows that it means something for you and it gets the adrenaline going. so I think it’s a positive for me even if it’s nicer not to feel nervous.”

Ruud and Tsitsipas will take a 1-1 ATP Head2Head record into their third encounter of the year. Ruud defeated the Greek on the clay courts in Madrid, while Tsitsipas won on hard courts in Toronto.

In doubles, second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury need one more victory to put themselves in a qualifying position in the Green Group. The US Open champions will take on fellow group leaders Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the third-seeded Frenchmen – both teams have yet to drop a set in Turin.

Colombian fifth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah will also face Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, the seventh seeds, as they seek their first group stage wins.

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2021
CENTRE COURT start 11:30 am

[5] J. S. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs [7] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

Not Before 2:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [5] A. Rublev (RUS)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[2] R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR) vs [3] P-H. Herbert (FRA) /N. Mahut (FRA)

Not Before 9:00 pm
[4] S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs [8] C. Ruud (NOR)

See below semi-final qualification scenarios in play on Tuesday, 16 November and Wednesday, 17 November for both groups at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Singles Green Group qualification scenarios after the completion of the 1st round of the event’s group stage:
– N. DJOKOVIC qualifies on Wednesday if:
– N. DJOKOVIC defeats A. RUBLEV and C. RUUD defeats S. TSITSIPAS.

– N. DJOKOVIC defeats A. RUBLEV in 2 sets and S. TSITSIPAS defeats C. RUUD in 3 sets.

A. RUBLEV qualifies on Wednesday if:
– A. RUBLEV defeats N. DJOKOVIC and S. TSITSIPAS defeats C. RUUD.
– A. RUBLEV defeats N. DJOKOVIC in 2 sets and C. RUUD defeats S. TSITSIPAS in 3 sets.

Singles Red Group qualification scenarios as of 5:30 p.m. local time Tuesday:
Following M. BERRETTINI’S withdrawal, D. MEDVEDEV has qualified for the semi-finals and won the group.

Doubles Red Group qualification scenarios after the completion of the 1st round of the event’s group stage:
R. RAM / J. SALISBURY qualify on Wednesday if:
– R. RAM / J. SALISBURY defeat P. HERBERT / N. MAHUT and J. MURRAY / B. SOARES defeat J. CABAL / R. FARAH.
– R. RAM / J. SALISBURY defeat P. HERBERT / N. MAHUT in 2 sets and J. CABAL / R. FARAH defeat J. MURRAY / B. SOARES in 3 sets.

P. HERBERT / N. MAHUT qualify on Wednesday if:
– P. HERBERT / N. MAHUT defeat R. RAM / J. SALISBURY and J. CABAL / R. FARAH defeat J. MURRAY / B. SOARES.
– P. HERBERT / N. MAHUT defeat R. RAM / J. SALISBURY in 2 sets and J. MURRAY / B. SOARES defeat J. CABAL / R. FARAH in 3 sets.

Rublev: ‘I’m Happy With Everything I Did Today On Court’

Andrey Rublev was delighted with the way he played in a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Rublev had held a match point against Tsitsipas at the 2020 season finale in London but lost in a third-set tie-break. It was the Russian’s serve that failed him on that occasion, as he double-faulted at a crucial moment.

But 12 months later Rublev turned in one of the best serving performances of his career, winning 90 per cent of points behind his first serve (36/40).

Asked whether he had ever produced such a consistent match on serve, Rublev chuckled.

“I think it was the first time ever,” he said. “I don’t know what to say because it was the first time ever and I’m happy with everything I did today on court. From serve, return, rallies from the baseline to my mental part, how I controlled my emotions today. So we’ll see if I can keep going this way.”

Rublev’s reward for tying his head-to-head with Tsitsipas at 4-4 is a Wednesday clash with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. It will be the first match between the two and will determine which player leads the standings in the Green Group, after Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud 7-6(4), 6-2.

“It’s already set I’m going to play Novak and there is not much to say,” Rublev said. “He is one of the greatest players in history, so I don’t know even what to say. I hope I’m going to win a couple of games, but the reality is the only thing I can do is believe in myself and do my best.”

The victory over Tsitsipas was just the second Rublev has recorded at the Nitto ATP Finals, after a win over Dominic Thiem at The O2 Arena last year, which came when Rublev had already been eliminated from semi-final contention.

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Rublev’s performance was all the more impressive after the Russian revealed that he had mistakenly thought he had slept through the match.

“It’s true, because my match was at 9pm, so during the day I had a lot of time, so I decided to sleep,” Rublev explained.

“Normally I don’t sleep at all during the day or even if I try to sleep I never fall asleep, but today I fell asleep for more than one hour. I set an alarm for 6pm and when I woke up, it was already so dark, and I felt completely broken, like if someone wake you up at 7am. And I was thinking, ‘I’m not going to wake up now, I’m going to sleep for another half an hour.’ Because normally in the morning I set many alarms, like this I can sleep longer, at least mentally I think this.

“I felt strange, firstly I always put my phones on to charge and now they were not charging. I was thinking, something strange is going on. Normally at night I would charge them. Then I look at the time, 6pm. What is this? 6pm? How is possible? Did my phone get maybe a bit broken or something? And then I started to realise, ‘Oof, I fell asleep during the day. Oof, I have a match in couple of hours, so I need to wake up.’”