Rublev admits to mental struggle after falling to 0-5 in major quarter-finals

Andrey Rublev remained winless in the quarter-finals of Grand Slams with his five-set loss to Marin Cilic on Wednesday. Rublev found little consolation in the fact that he came extremely close.

Andrey Rublev Andrey Rublev against Marin Cilic (Aurelien Morissard/Panoramic)

Andrey Rublev came the closest he’s ever been to reaching the semi-finals of a Grand Slam.

For Rublev, though, being close isn’t good enough.

The 24-year-old’s 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(10-2) loss to Marin Cilic on Wednesday at Roland-Garros dropped him to 0-5 lifetime in the quarters of a slam. He had previously lost in the last eight of the 2017 US Open, the 2020 French Open, the 2020 US Open, and the 2021 Australian Open. In those four losses Rublev did not take a single set.

He took two on Wednesday and came within a decisive super-tiebreaker of finally getting over the hump. Instead, Cilic raised his level when it mattered most and inflicted another painful Grand Slam setback on Rublev.

“Mental; everything (is) mental,” the world No 7 said when asked about his quarter-final roadblock at majors. “I couldn’t manage…all the time I couldn’t manage the emotions the previous times. And now it was the closest ever time that I was able to go through to be in semis. Then again, the same thing; I didn’t manage the emotions.

“I don’t know if I did it better compare other matches. At least I did better score and I was closer than other matches. But still, (it) is the same thing.”

I have a lot of free weeks. So hopefully I will improve something.

Andrey Rublev

Rublev’s next chance to reach a slam semi won’t come until the US Open, because Russian players are banned from Wimbledon because of their country’s war against Ukraine. The unusual time off during the summer will, however, give Rublev a chance to dedicate himself on the practice court.

“There are so many things I need to improve,” he assured. “Probably the most positive thing (from Roland-Garros is) that I did one more quarterfinal. Yeah, that’s it. The rest I need to improve so many things.

“Hopefully that’s what I’m gonna do now in upcoming (weeks), because now I have a lot of free weeks. So hopefully I will improve something.”

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