Andrey Rublev may have won 65 out of his past 79 matches and won six ATP Tour titles since the start of the 2020 season, but the Russian is still learning to keep his emotions in check.
On Saturday, the 23-year-old admitted that it had cost him a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 final earlier this month at the Miami Open presented by Itau, when he fell to eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals.
“I lost [in Miami], because of my emotions,” said Rublev, after his 6-3, 7-5 victory over Casper Ruud at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. “In the end, if you want to learn, you will improve this. I want to learn, and I want to improve. That’s why I’m doing better.
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This week, at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, the Russian star has learned from his past mistakes and beaten Salvatore Caruso, Roberto Bautista Agut, 11-time former champion Rafael Nadal and Ruud en route to his 11th ATP Tour final (8-2).
“It’s not easy. Some matches [your emotions] will still be up and downs. This week, [it] looks like I’m really controlling my emotions well. That’s why I’m doing well. That’s why I won the match with Roberto, when I was losing. That’s why I won the match against Rafa when he came back in second set. Even today, in the second set, I came back because I didn’t go crazy. I just kept focused. I kept in the match. It turned around.”
Rublev will now prepare to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final at the Monte-Carlo County Club. The pair has already met six times in their ATP Head2Head series (3-3), including three matches last year and also at last month’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Tsitsipas will be appearing in his third Masters 1000 final (also 2018 Toronto, 2019 Madrid).
“I’m feeling great and happy to play one more final, especially my first ATP Masters  final,” said Rublev. “It’s going to be tough match. We [have] already had many battles with each other last year. Some of them he won, some of them I won. Most of them were super tough three-set matches. I hope we will show great tennis [tomorrow] and people will enjoy [it].”
Rublev will be in first position in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, for one of the eight spots at the Nitto ATP Finals in November, should he lift the biggest title of his career on Sunday. Should Tsitsipas win, the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion, will be in pole position.
“If you want to be a better player [at] the next level, you need to know how to do everything,” said the Muscovite. “If you look at the best players, they do everything. They know how to volley, how to hit, how to defend, how to slice, everything… I’m trying to improve.”