WATCH: Breaking Down The Match Kits At The US Open | The Break


NEW YORK—Andrey Rublev always wears his heart on his sleeve, and now he’s sending a message with his clothing, too.

It’s not hard to spot Rublev on the tennis court, thanks to his distinctive ‘bweh’ grunt and his eye-catching forehand firepower—and because he’s the only player wearing “Rublo”, his own semi-eponymous clothing line.

The Russian, previously sponsored by Nike, made the switch to Rublo in January, leaving fans pleasantly surprised at the stylish mix of on-court performance apparel and streetwear-inspired off-duty fits his brand produced. Rublev has been teasing a Rublo drop since this spring, and it’s still in the works—his agent Galo Blanco confirmed that now, for real, it’s “coming very, very soon.”

“It’s been waiting there in the storage already for two or three months,” Rublev told Baseline. “The clothes are ready. The thing is to deal with the legal things, but the clothes have been done since two or three months ago.”

On Tuesday in Queens, Rublev weathered a mid-match surge from Arthur Cazaux on Court 5, but managed to close out the victory in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1. It was his first win of the North American hard-court swing, having posted early exits in singles in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Rublev claimed his first victory of the North American hard-court swing with a  6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1 win over Arthur Cazaux on Court 5.

Rublev claimed his first victory of the North American hard-court swing with a  6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1 win over Arthur Cazaux on Court 5.

Afterward, he fielded questions from media wearing a black Rublo sweater that read “Fear is your friend”. Rublev, who now approves and chooses his own outfits instead of having a sponsor assign them, said the message is a personal one for him.

“I’ve heard many times from other people, ‘Don’t show your fear’ or that you’re [afraid] or something. I was thinking that in my case, it’s the opposite,” Rublev explained. “Because everyone has fear, everyone is afraid of things.

“The thing is, when you’re afraid to lose someone or afraid that something is not going to happen, you start to activate. You don’t want this to happen, so you start to work double [harder].”

Dealing with and accepting emotions—the good, the bad, and the ugly ones—has become a theme for Rublev during an up-and-down season. Prone to fits of self-harming rage and depressive lows, the 25-year-old started the year by hiring Alberto Martin, a second coach with a background in sports psychology, to his team led by Fernando Vicente.


The result was a newfound mental calmness on court, and a long-awaited breakthrough at the ATP Masters 1000 level, capturing the Monte-Carlo crown for his biggest title to date in April. He’s reached four other finals, including at the 250-level Bastad, where he won his 14th career ATP title, before he hit a skid ahead of the US Open.

Rublev arrived in New York City last Sunday, and while he says he’s still not fully confident in his level yet, a week of feeling good in practice and a hard-fought first-round win have gone a long way to settling any nerves. Nerves that he’s now learning to embrace, instead of conceal.

“In the end, it’s something that no one maybe wants to accept because they think it’s a weakness,” Rublev added. “But in the end, it’s just a feeling. And everyone has the same feelings. It’s like, you feel hungry and I feel hungry as well, and if I tell you I’m not feeling hungry I’m lying.

“And the rest of the people, when they say ‘No, I have no fear’ or ‘I’m not afraid’, they’re lying. Everyone has these feelings, and it’s just the matter of how you turn them in a good way.”

No. 8 seed Rublev will face Gael Monfils in the second round of the US Open on Thursday.