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'Rafael Nadal not playing Wimbledon is a big advantage for me,' claims Andrey Rublev

Rafael Nadal practice concern

Andrey Rublev says Rafael Nadal withdrawing from Wimbledon is a 'big advantage' for him as he will move up the seeds.

Nadal announced earlier this week he was not going to play either Wimbledon or the Olympics in a bid to try and prolong his career.

While the news was not entirely a shock, it was news Rublev was happy to hear.

“Of course, for the players like me, with Rafael Nadal not playing, it is a big advantage for me as I am going to be a higher seed now," Rublev said.

"But there are so many guys that are really tough to play on grass.

"For example, imagine having [Jan-Lennard] Struff in the first round of Wimbledon or Nick Kyrgios. On grass, it is so tough to play players who serve well so who knows.”

“I have adapted to the grass, but there are so many things I can still improve on the grass.

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"For example, with the slice, the volley, and moving better,” Rublev said in a post-match interview.

“Also, defending on grass, because it is different, you can’t defend with high balls like on clay, so I think I am still far away.

"In general, though, because my game is to play aggressively."

Rublev beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6, 6-2 on Friday to move into the semis of Halle, where he will face Nikoloz Basilashvili, and he says it is a win that really gives him confidence.

"If you play aggressive, this helps you a lot on grass, so I think my game for this surface is ok. Philipp Kohlschreiber is good on this surface, so this match has given me confidence."

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