Next Gen Finals Top Seed to play in Auckland
Rising tennis star and Russian number one Andrey Rublev will play at the ASB Classic next year.
The 20-year old Russian has had an impressive first full season on the ATP tour rising 120 places, breaking in to the world’s top 50 and already sitting at world number 35.
The Moscow Native hit the headlines in July after capturing his maiden ATP World Tour title. The teenager then went on to shock his opponents at the U.S Open becoming the youngest quarter-finalist since Andy Roddick in 2001, beating top ten players Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin before losing to world number one and eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
Rublev doesn’t look like he’s slowing down, the 6’2” Russian reached another quarter-final last month at the China Open (Beijing) taking a couple more scalps including 2017 ASB Classic champion Jack Sock and perennial top ten player Tomas Berdych.
The year will continue to be full of firsts for the promising right hander where he will headline the inaugural ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan as the top seed. The Next Gen Finals is a new initiative by the ATP where the eight best players ranked 21 and under will compete to be crowned the best youngster on tour.
Rublev’s confirmation comes off the back of this week’s announcement of Denis Shapovalov. The 18- year old Canadian is the talk of the tennis world right now after victories over Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a year that has seen him become the youngest player to ever reach a Masters 1000 quarter and semi-final and become the youngest player to break in to the world’s top 50 since Nadal in 2004.
ASB Classic Tournament Director Karl Budge says this is the chance to see these stars on the rise. “There is no question Rublev and Shapovalov are future grand slam champions and top five players. Their years have both been incredible and the victories they have registered has set the tennis world on fire”
“I first watched Rublev play at the US Open two years ago as an 18 year old and have been trying to secure his signature ever since. He is a special player. Along with Shapovalov, we probably have the two most exciting new comers in the world confirmed to play”.
Budge has worked hard over recent years to build relationships with the Next Gen players to see Auckland as the ideal preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open.
“Every year we are asked about getting Roger and Rafa here. They both played on their way up the rankings. These two boys may just be the heir to their thrones”.
Rublev is clearly on the rise, and his first stop next year is Auckland.