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How Rublev Managed to Keep Calm and Carry On to Win the Madrid Masters

Andrey Rublev’s victory at the Madrid Masters is a prime example of how mental fortitude can be just as crucial as physical tennis skills. Known for his passionate displays on the court, Rublev's composure throughout the tournament, especially during the final against Felix Auger-Aliassime, marked a significant evolution in his approach to the game.

Rublev maintained his focus despite facing formidable challenges, including a mystery illness and a string of powerful serves from his opponent (14 aces in the final match). Auger-Aliassime’s aces, typically frustrating for many, did not deter Rublev. Instead, he stayed calm, capitalising on critical moments, especially when Auger-Aliassime faltered at 5-6 in the last two sets.

Rublev’s ability to stay composed under such high pressure was crucial to his triumph. He has learned from past experiences, and this victory was a testament to his mental growth—it was his ability to stay composed, rather than his technical skill alone, that carried him through.

This match serves as a powerful lesson for tennis players and enthusiasts alike. Maintaining composure and focusing on each point as a separate challenge can be transformative.

Here are a few broad pieces of advice for those struggling with composure on the court:

  • Stay Calm Until the Last Point: Every point in tennis holds the possibility for a comeback. Regardless of the score, staying calm and focused can turn the tide in your favour.

  • Do Not Show Your Opponent Your Nervousness: Keeping your emotions in check can prevent your opponent from gaining psychological advantages. A poker face can sometimes be as crucial as a strong forehand.

  • Work on Yourself: Mental toughness is a skill that requires practice and dedication. Regular mental training, including scenario planning and mindfulness, can enhance your ability to stay composed.

  • Play the Ball, Not the Opponent: Focus on the ball and your technique, not who is on the other side of the net. This helps keep your emotions from dictating your gameplay.

  • Play Point by Point When Down on the Scoreboard: A series of well-played points can change the outcome of a match. Focusing on one point at a time can prevent a daunting scoreboard from overwhelming you.

Andrey Rublev’s performance in Madrid is a powerful reminder of how crucial mental strength is in tennis. His journey underscores that no matter the physical or mental challenges, maintaining composure can lead to victory.

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