John Isner was able to defeat high-flying Andrey Rublev in three sets on Thursday at the Madrid Open, but that doesn’t mean that the American didn’t come away impressed with the game of the Russian star.
After Isner’s victory, which came in three sets and featured not a single break point earned by Isner, the American talked about Rublev’s bright future.
“I played him a long, long time ago in Miami when he was super young,” Isner said. “I knew he had a bright future ahead of him. He certainly has achieved that.”
Isner was particularly impressed by the way the Russian’s ability to dominate the baseline with his aggressive ground game.
Andrey Rublev did not face a break point today against John Isner. But it is Isner who pulls the upset in three sets to reach the last eight. pic.twitter.com/979PH75ovG
— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) May 6, 2021
“He’s incredible,” Isner said. “I mean, the way he stays on top of the baseline and goes after the ball, his racquet head speed is something else. He’s got such incredible margin because of his racquet head speed. It’s amazing to see.
“If you leave anything short or anything neutral, I mean, the point is over. Doesn’t matter who he’s playing against. He just absolutely rips the ball to the corner, doesn’t go for the lines. As I said, he’s got good margin. He’s very confident. Of course, that helps, allows him to go after the ball.”
Rublev is tied for the ATP lead in wins in 2021 with 27, and he’s coming off his first Masters final a few weeks ago at Monte-Carlo. Surely, bigger and better things await the 23-year-old Russian.
“I’m just so impressed with him,” Isner said. “There’s a reason why he’s won so many matches this year. It’s because he’s just incredible. He obviously works his ass off and does all the right things. Very impressed with him. One of the best players in the game. I was very fortunate to beat him today. Hats off to him. I think he’s incredible.”