Groggy Rublev wakes up in time to beat Tsitsipas

Groggy Rublev wakes up in time to beat Tsitsipas

TURIN: Andrey Rublev began his ATP Finals campaign with a victory over Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas but three hours before the match, the Russian had no idea what day it was after waking up dazed and confused following a pre-match nap.

Rublev beat world number four and 2019 champion Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 on Monday on the back of some fine serving, but the 24-year-old Russian was clearly not used to playing late after his group match was scheduled for 9 p.m. local time in Turin.

“During the day, I had a lot of time and I decided to sleep. Normally I don’t sleep during the day – even if I try, I never fall asleep – and today I fell asleep for more than an hour,” Rublev told reporters.

“I set the alarm for 6pm and when I woke up, it was so dark. I felt completely broken, like if someone wakes you up at 7am.

“I was thinking, ‘No, I’m not going to wake up now. I’m going to sleep for another half hour’, because normally in the morning I set many alarms. Like this, I can sleep longer. At least mentally I think like this.

“Then I look at the time and it was 6pm… I start to realise, ‘Oh, I fell asleep during the day. I have a match in a couple of hours. I need to wake up’.”

Rublev, second in the Green Group, next plays world number one Novak Djokovic, who beat Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-6(4), 6-2.

“He’s one of the greatest players in history, so I don’t know what to say,” Rublev said of Djokovic. “I hope I’m going to win a couple of games, but the reality is the only thing I can do is to do my best and believe in myself.” – Reuters