MELBOURNE: Andrey Rublev said on Wednesday that he was a better player than before even as he lost a Grand Slam quarter-final for an agonising seventh time.
The Russian fifth seed was blasted off court 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in Melbourne by nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic to once again miss out on a semi-final.
“Like always I will try to take experience, lessons. The things that I need to improve I think is very clear,” said the 25-year-old.
“Now I have enough time to prepare, to work, especially with some guys from the new team that I have now. We can build a great two weeks of practice before I will start indoor season.
“We’ll see. Now I have to use this time in a smart way, to really work hard and improve some things.”
World number six Rublev, who has won 13 ATP titles, said he knew what to expect from Djokovic – but stopping him is another matter.
“There was nothing that impressed me because he’s one of the best. I knew he’s going to be really tough, that’s it, it’s very simple,” he said.
Despite the lop-sided scoreline and his inability to get past the quarter-final roadblock, Rublev insisted he is in a better place now than at previous Grand Slams.
“Mental-wise I feel this Slam was much better than the previous ones, so for sure I feel I’m a better player, I feel better physically also.
“Hopefully I can keep improving.”