Safin not impressed of Rublev's 2020 run

The Russian tennis legend reflected on the run of Rublev who ended the year with tour-high 5 ATP trophies this year breaking into the top 10 for the first time.

Marat Safin is a former world number one and two-time Grand slam champion. Recently he was asked about the run of his countrymen Rublev this year which many considered impressive. The Russian didn't quite agree with that assessment. He said:

“Do his victories this year mean anything? If truth be told, it doesn’t mean anything. He won five tournaments, but these are not Masters, these are not Grand Slam. Novak Djokovic won less but finished first [in the rankings].

He continued by explaining:

“Andrey needs to switch and play in major tournaments. He can beat many, you need to go to the semi-finals and the Grand Slam finals to be in the top three."

And while the assessment is a true one it is not pure criticism. While his run has been impressive he is yet to make a statement win against the best. As a young player, he will need patience but he has time. When asked what he needs to change in his game Safin broke his game down like this:

“He knows himself that he has let go. He has a rich arsenal, good physics, light on his feet. He understands what I’m talking about. Andrey needs to learn not to break down in stressful situations. In general, many people do not understand what professional sports are."

He continued further:

“The sport of elite achievement is not about learning to hit with different hands and go to play, but how long you can withstand a stressful situation.”

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