Andy Murray has tipped Andrey Rublev to ‘be at the top for a long time’ ahead of their meeting in Rotterdam.
The pair are perhaps on different career trajectories, with Rublev climbing the rankings and Murray trying to fight his way back to the top after injury.
Murray, though, has seen enough in Rublev to know he has a big chance of making a serious mark in tennis.
“He’ll be around at the top of the game for a long time because he’s got a great work ethic,” Murray said. “And he’s a very good player.”
“I played him when he was very young at the Australian Open. He went for it. He hit the ball big back then.
“He physically was not that strong then, but I think he’s worked really hard on that side of things.
“He’s always practising. I’ve practised with him a few times and from the first ball, he doesn’t sort of warm into it.
“He just goes full power from the beginning of the practice and that’s how he plays matches and that’s what’s gotten him lots and lots of success.”
Rublev is yet to go further than a quarterfinal at a Grand Slam, and Murray has some advice on how he can take that next step in his career.
“I think that the next step for him to winning or going deeper in majors is probably just learning to tone it down at times maybe in matches.
“But it’s difficult when you’ve played a certain way, which has gotten you to the top of the game and into the Top 10 of the world at a young age.”
Rublev, meanwhile, was taken by surprise when he was told he will come up against Murray, but it’s a match he is really excited about.
“Andy’s a true legend. I have a really good connection with him, I really like him as a person, as a player.
“It’s going to be fun. He destroyed me once already. I hope it’s going to be a great match.
“I hope we’re going to have great rallies, great fight. I’m really looking forward to it.”
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