Rublev Insists ‘I Was Practising Well’ After Shock Exit

Andrey Rublev admitted his practice court form didn’t quite materialise on Tuesday, when the World No. 7 made a first-round exit to Jan-Lennard Struff at Roland Garros.

Rublev, who was considered a contender to Rafael Nadal in the same quarter of the draw, said, “I think I played a good level. [There] were many good rallies, good intensity. I was really unlucky, it was a really tough match, [a] tough opponent for the first round.”

Struff recorded the ninth Top 10 win of his career with a 6-3, 7-6(6), 4-6, 3-6, 6-4 victory over three hours and 46 minutes.

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“I was feeling fine,” said Rublev, who drops to a 29-9 match record on the season. “I was practising well. I don’t know, I think we played a good level today. I played a solid two sets, third and fourth, and then the fifth set.

“I think I should have won the second set, but this is tennis, and I was serving for the set, and I didn’t make it and then tie-break [I was a] bit unlucky and he played well.”

The 23-year-old, who helped Russia claim the ATP Cup title prior to reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals (l. to Medvedev), advanced to his first ATP Masters 1000 final at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Tsitsipas) in April.

Rublev was impressed by Struff’s quality of play on Tuesday, having beaten the German at this year’s ATP Cup and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

“He was playing better and better,” said Rublev. “He’s improving and he’s winning really great matches. Today, I think he was playing really well… from the beginning.”