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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday April 16, 2023

Hours after his breakthrough triumph, Andrey Rublev was still relishing his maiden Masters 1000 title at Monte-Carlo.

Tennis Express

“Great feeling," he said. "Like I was saying after struggling so much, so many times, losing in the finals, semifinals, losing even earlier, yeah, struggled so much to win first 1000 Masters and finally I did it. I did it in Monaco with the really historic tournament.

"It's a pleasure to be part of it. To win match like this, losing 4-1, Love-30, breakpoint for 5-1, and to be able to come back and to win a match is like a fairy tale today, yeah."

At 25, the Russian had to wait a while before this dream came to fruition, but he never doubted that he could get there.

“I was never thinking that way,” he said, when asked if he ever worried that his big breakthrough title was never going to happen. “I was thinking that if I do the things right outside the court, practicing-wise, I will have chances to win the big titles.

“The thing is I didn't know when it's gonna happen – this year, last year, two years ago – because I played two [Masters 1000] finals before, I played a couple of times in the semifinal, and I couldn't make it.

"In the end, it happened here.”

Asked if his next dream is to win a Grand Slam title, Rublev said he wants to remain focused on doing all the right things and improving his game step by step.

“I feel that I can improve a lot. I feel that on practices I'm doing this,” he said. “The goal is still the same: to work hard in this right direction that I'm doing now and to try to improve as much as I can while I have this time.”

Same Coach, New and Upgraded Team

Rublev is still working with longtime coach Fernando Vicente of Spain, but he has added several key members of his team and it is paying off.

He added Alberto Martin, former World No.34 (former coach to Jil Teichmann), as assistant coach and advisor. Martin studied psychology at University of Barcelona and also has a degree in the field, so he is able to help the Russian in multiple ways.

“He can explain some things in a more easier way in some stress moments, and it's helping also a lot,” Rublev said, adding that his team has been “completely upgraded.”

“I have a new fitness coach, new physio, new agent, so completely upgrade,” he said. “Only Fernando is still the main one who was [with me] since the beginning.”

For a player that considers his mental volatility his biggest work in progress, the upgrade makes sense, and appears to be paying dividends.

Maybe this first Masters title will mark the beginning of a move in the direction of something even bigger for Rublev.