No. 1 seed Andrey Rublev admitted he thought that he would lose his Washington opener versus Jack Draper.
On Tuesday, Rublev kicked off his Washington campaign with a comfortable 6-4 6-2 victory over rising British star Draper.
Rublev broke Draper once in the first set and three times in the second set to complete a straight-set victory.
After the match, Rublev made a bit surprising admission.
“To be honest, I was thinking today… for sure it was a tough match, but I was thinking most likely I would lose the match. I had that feeling because in Madrid he almost beat me. Today I was just going on court to do my best and I said since the beginning that maybe, most likely, I’m going to lose the match. In the end I’m happy that I was able to win in straight sets,” Rublev said, per the ATP website.
Rublev on politics in sport
Eighth-ranked Rublev was not allowed to compete at Wimbledon after the AELTC imposed player bans on Russian players.
Rublev acknowledged that politics have always been a part of sport and expressed hope to see one day the game without politics in it.
“I think politics has always (been there) in sport,” Rublev said. “Everybody knows this. But I do believe that by being united and doing good things for peace, tennis can be an example of it, maybe other sports will follow, and in general, maybe one day sport can be without politics. I believe that tennis can be without politics, because tennis is something that is independent. I think it’s one of not many sports that’s independent from the rest of the sports. We have players from everywhere. We play every country. We are traveling all around the world. I think tennis has a good chance to be outside of politics, because, yeah, we have all the nations (playing).”
In the Washington second round, Rublev plays the winner of the match between Jack Sock and Maxime Cressy.