Coach Vicente Breaks Down Rublev vs. Alcaraz Battle

Coach Vicente Breaks Down Rublev vs. Alcaraz Battle
By: ATP World Tour Posted On: November 14, 2023 View: 64

It promises to be a ferocious encounter. Carlos Alcaraz and Andrey Rublev, having lost their openers at the Nitto ATP Finals against Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev, respectively, will square off on Wednesday in a crucial match for their hopes to progress to the semi-finals of the season’s grand finale.

“Tomorrow is a new match,” Fernando Vicente, Rublev’s coach, told ATPTour.com. “I imagine both of them [Andrey and Carlos] will be thinking that they can win the next two matches, with desire and determination. As we all know, there is a round-robin format here, so everyone is still in it... We are hopeful we can win.”

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Despite the fact that they have shared practice sessions on the ATP Tour, Rublev and Alcaraz have never played each other — tomorrow will be their first Lexus ATP Head2Head match.

“They both play a different style of tennis,” explained Vicente. “In our case, I think Andrey has to play his own game, what he normally does. There isn’t much to say in that regard. He will have to dominate from the baseline and be aggressive, as he plays when he’s on form.

“We all know that Carlos has a lot of variety in his game, he can serve-volley, he can return-volley, he hits great drop shots... We’re already expecting all of that, we’re expecting a complicated, difficult match between two top players. We’ll have to see what happens mentally, how each of them is, but little else.”

Can the Pala Alpitour court in Turin benefit one player over the other?

“Andrey likes to have rallies,” said Vicente. “If you ask him, he’ll say he really likes to play on clay because that’s where he feels the best and where the many hours of work show. He likes feeling that they are playing long points,” he continued. “The court is fast. I think it really helps Andrey’s game because the ball is quick. With his flat style, it’s also difficult to cope with his pace a lot of the time. It’s not his favourite court, but we’ll see. Maybe we can say that perhaps it favours Andrey because of the type of court.”

Rublev may have another significant advantage: Unlike Alcaraz, who is playing in his first Nitto ATP Finals, the World No. 5 has played in the event three times already and he reached the semi-finals last year (l. to Casper Ruud). Does that help?

“On the one hand, I’d say it does, but also it doesn’t,” pondered his coach. “At the end of the day, experience shows in every match. There are people who reach three finals, or four, or five, but it doesn’t matter; if they don’t win any, it’s a double-edged sword.

“The fact that he has played more won’t be decisive. Carlos is an extraordinary player, he has played in Grand Slam finals, so I don’t think experience will be decisive in this case,” he insisted. “It will all be decided on their frames of mind, whoever is the bravest, and whoever does what has to be done. Every day is a new match.”

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