Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev has labelled the Olympics as a marquee event which is special for any athlete.
“Olympics remains the Olympics”: Andrey Rublev
Fresh from a breakthrough 2020 season which saw him win as many as five titles, the highest for the calendar year, Rublev revealed his goals for the year 2021. While it’s thrilling to compete in Grand Slams and other big-ticket tennis events, Rublev believes that the Olympics is the proverbial Holy Grail of sports as it affords an opportunity to represent one’s country.
In an interview to a French publication, Rublev said while tennis stars always look out for elite events like the Majors, it’s another feeling playing for one’s flag at the Olympics.
“It’s hard to compare us to other sports. It’s just that in tennis we have tournaments almost every week and we have very big tournaments – I mean Grand Slam tournaments, Masters – that take place all over the world.
“This is what we play tennis for. There are a lot of important tournaments in our sport,” Rublev said.
“A special moment for an athlete”: Rublev
“If you compare with other sports where it takes a long time to prepare, such as six months for a World Cup or a Euro or the Olympics. But every year there is a big big tournament almost every month. And it’s very cool.
“But in any case, the Olympics remain the Olympics, and they will always be special. They will always be something incredible, which will always be remembered, because you represent your country,” the Russian said.
He added that the feeling of representing one’s country once in four years is something that cannot be described in words.
“It’s a different feeling, a different emotion. You live with other athletes in the Olympic Village. These feelings cannot be described. It’s really something that happens once every four years.
“It’s a very big story, it’s something special. Something that would be a special moment for an athlete,” Rublev said.
After ATP hurrah, Rublev eyeing glory in Slams, Tokyo Olympics
He said that while a player would be annoyed losing early at a marquee tennis event, the feeling of representing one’s country at the Olympics itself means a lot.
“During the season, in major tournaments, when you lose early enough, you get angry quickly … But at the Olympic Games, participation is already very respectable and prestigious.
“These feelings cannot be described. It’s really something that happens once every four years. It’s a very big story, it’s something special. Something that would be a special moment for an athlete,” the Russian said.
After a phenomenal season on the men’s Tour, Rublev will eye glory at the Grand Slams, starting with the Australian Open and the Tokyo Olympics this year.