What happened to Rublev?

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
The Murray-level 2nd serve can’t help things.

he also lacks fight in an odd way. Like he reaches a point in the match where he hits a wall, and doesn’t recover.
Agree with all of this. His 2nd serve is so poor. Also too add when his game isn’t working mainly the FH his tactics seem to be hit it harder which never works.

He in a ballbasher that has a good bit of consistency so when on form he is great but when off he is poor
 

Kralingen

Legend
Agree with all of this. His 2nd serve is so poor. Also too add when his game isn’t working mainly the FH his tactics seem to be hit it harder which never works.

He in a ballbasher that has a good bit of consistency so when on form he is great but when off he is poor
He would be fine (maybe not Slam challenging, but certainly not losing to peons) if he could get free points on his serve though, imo.

Also he’s not that big of a guy and I think that may be his real problem. He absolutely crushes the ball but it doesn’t seem too effortless and he doesn’t really construct points. He has put away power but if you use it 5x every point, it’s less effective than hitting 4 well placed shots with some pace off them and then going for broke on the 5th.
 

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
He would be fine (maybe not Slam challenging, but certainly not losing to peons) if he could get free points on his serve though, imo.

Also he’s not that big of a guy and I think that may be his real problem. He absolutely crushes the ball but it doesn’t seem too effortless and he doesn’t really construct points. He has put away power but if you use it 5x every point, it’s less effective than hitting 4 well placed shots with some pace off them and then going for broke on the 5th.
100%. Players that want to win big tournaments or challenge for slams have to either have a reliable serve which can get them free points or be elite from the baseline.

Take Djokodal both aren’t the best servers but have such a great baseline game that even when the serve is off they still win.

But even with Djokodal baseline level still there best seasons came when there serve was clicking. Nadal 2010 especially USO was serving so well, Djokovic 2015 and even this year in slams served well. If Djokodal need to serve well to be winning slams with there baseline game then Rublev has no hope if he doesn’t improve the 2nd serve.
 

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
If you hitta topspinna enough, you can win at least 13 dirt ball world championships.

Well obviously Nadal isn’t one dimensional but even if you think so I touched on it above already. Rublev doesn’t have the baseline game that Djokodal do so he needs to improve his serve or he’s always going to be a top 5-12 player at best.
Rublev is just a ballbasher and then that doesn’t work for periods of matches he can’t rely on his serve to bail him out
 

McGradey

Professional
He would be among the most predictable players on tour; in some ways that's a compliment to the consistency of his delivery. But mostly, it's a weakness.

You know what you’re going to get from Rublev. A hard-hit ball every single time. The problem then is two fold for Rublev; opponents get used to the pace of his ball because he rarely varies it, and they never feel uncertain about what’s coming next so they can relax and settle into their groove.
 
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DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
He would be among the most predictable players on tour; in some ways it’s a compliment to the consistency of his delivery.

But you know what you’re going to get from Rublev. A hard-hit ball every single time. The problem then is two fold for Rublev; opponents get used to the pace of his ball because he rarely varies it, and they never feel uncertain about what’s coming next so they can relax and settle into their groove.
Yeah he reached 2 masters Finals this season but was trashed in both. I was surprised he beat Med last time they played as Med owns him as you said he’s just so predictable and unless he is red lining he really is easy for the top players
 
Yeah he reached 2 masters Finals this season but was trashed in both. I was surprised he beat Med last time they played as Med owns him as you said he’s just so predictable and unless he is red lining he really is easy for the top players
Medvedev was beating him very easily, until he lost his mind after smashing his body against a camera from running very behind the baseline, he kicked the camera, yelled at people that they almost break his hand, and demanded they remove the camera from the court, which they didn't do. It was a total fluke
 

Ad107

New User
Rublev is human and Mannarino knows his game well and he was just better then Rublev in the Kremlin Tournament.
I agree. I like Rublev but it just seemed to me that he initiated the point building up a bit late? So he just couldn’t have the chance to take control of the rallies?
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Take Djokodal both aren’t the best servers but have such a great baseline game that even when the serve is off they still win.
Let's debunk that myth as they're both great servers, even compared to the servebots :)
Djokovic is #11 and Nadal #14 on the serve leader ranking the last 52 weeks. Ahead of them are half a dozen pure servebots with no return game.

Even though Rublev is #22 on that list, he's #6 on the return leader list, so his overall serve and return game seems solid.

What seems to be the issue to me though, is that his constant ball bashing playing style has a few serious downsides:

  1. Excessive energy use: his playing style costs a lot of energy and it very hard to sustain
  2. Predictable tempo and rythm: his monotone playing style makes it easier for the opponent to predict the tempo, adjust and take control over tempo changes. The opposite of Rublev would be players like ADF, Brooksby, Mannarino aso.
  3. Counter-punching/pushing heaven: if the opponent can take advantage of Rublev rythm, they will also be able to leverage his power by counter-punching. This is a double whammy, as it saves the opponent a lot of energy use, and it takes time away from Rublev.

 

Arak

Hall of Fame
I think nothing happened to Rublev. He will never be on the same level as the next gen big 3. He’s one notch below.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
just a dip in form of course, doesn't have to be more difficult than that. (fitness niggles perhaps, who knows.)

the other explanations -- lack of variety, bad second serve and whatnot -- were equally true when he was winning matches left and right.

he plays a lot of tournaments and has gone deep on a regular basis, so he was bound to run out of steam at some point. Eventually, he'll be back in form.
 

tex123

Professional
Why suddenly Rublev hit the wall? Just couldn't have consistent wins? The hitting pattern lacks variety?
Some players just don't have it. He's great but only to a certain level. That level is not enough to consistently win titles or beat top ranked players.
 

Yamin

Professional
Nothing happened to him. He just needs more of an all court game imo. Future looks very promising.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
just a dip in form of course, doesn't have to be more difficult than that. (fitness niggles perhaps, who knows.)

the other explanations -- lack of variety, bad second serve and whatnot -- were equally true when he was winning matches left and right.

he plays a lot of tournaments and has gone deep on a regular basis, so he was bound to run out of steam at some point. Eventually, he'll be back in form.
Hasn't won anything since Rotterdam though and has delivered stinkers after stinkers in majors post AO.
 
Usual over-reacting to late-season results, some nice hot takes here.

Rubs ran into a bunch of peaky players, not much to see here.

I'm most disappointed with his USO loss.
 
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