(Reuters) – Andrey Rublev began his ATP Finals campaign with a victory over Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas but three hours before the match, the Russian had no idea what day it was after waking up dazed and confused following a pre-match nap.
Rublev beat world number four and 2019 champion Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/djokovic-downs-debutant-ruud-winning-start-atp-finals-2021-11-15 on Monday on the back of some fine serving, but the 24-year-old Russian was clearly not used to playing late after his group match was scheduled for 9 p.m. local time in Turin.
“During the day, I had a lot of time and I decided to sleep. Normally I don’t sleep during the day – even if I try, I never fall asleep – and today I fell asleep for more than an hour,” Rublev told reporters.
“I set the alarm for 6:00 p.m. and when I woke up, it was so dark. I felt completely broken, like if someone wakes you up at 7:00 a.m.
“I was thinking, ‘No, I’m not going to wake up now. I’m going to sleep for another half hour’, because normally in the morning I set many alarms. Like this, I can sleep longer. At least mentally I think like this.
“Then I look at the time and it was 6:00 p.m… I start to realise, ‘Oh, I fell asleep during the day. I have a match in a couple of hours. I need to wake up’.”
Rublev, second in the Green Group, next plays world number one Novak Djokovic, who beat Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-6(4) 6-2.
“He’s one of the greatest players in history, so I don’t know what to say,” Rublev said of Djokovic. “I hope I’m going to win a couple of games, but the reality is the only thing I can do is to do my best and believe in myself.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shrivathsa Sridhar)