Russia’s Rublev renews call for ‘peace’ as star explains new message

Andrey Rublev has called for “peace” 12 months after going viral for writing “no war please” on the camera at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. After reaching the final for the second year running, the world No 6 wrote “Tsoi is Alive” and explained the meaning behind the message.

Rublev kept his hopes of defending his Dubai title alive as he downed Alexander Zverev for the first time in their six meetings to reach the final 6-3 7-6(9). During his run to the trophy last year, the Russian star made waves when he called for “no war” just days after his home nation invaded Ukraine, and he has called for peace once again.

“I mean, I did many statements about it,” the 25-year-old said when asked how the last year of conflict had been for him mentally. “I mean, of course was tough. It’s hard. It’s hard to talk about it because even if you try to – how you say – just play tennis or something, to stay practising and stuff, you know it’s affecting you even if you are not part or with or something, but still it’s affecting a lot.”

The 12-time title winner explained why he couldn’t turn a blind eye to the conflict, continuing: “You cannot act like nothing happen because it’s horrible. Like I was saying all the time, it’s crazy that so many just normal citizens suffering, dying. Is just not easy. It’s not easy that it’s happening in our time when we have all the mobile phones, Internet, social media. There is kids, they just want to do TikTok. In the end happens at the same time these things. It’s tough to just understand.”

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And he reiterated his previous pleas for peace, adding: “Of course it’s affecting. Doesn’t matter how you try to do other stuff. The only thing I hope that soon is going to be peace in every countries. Doesn’t matter where. I hope is going to be peace in our countries. I hope is going to be peace in other countries where is happening the wars now. It’s horrible in our time, this generation, can happen those things.”

Rublev was then asked about the meaning of his message on the camera, and explained that he was referencing late rock star Viktor Tsoi, who had a “powerful” voice in difficult times. “It’s always a life,” he said.

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“It’s was one artist from past generation that had huge volume I think on USSR because his voice were really powerful. Just basically that there was no easy time. At that point I was not exist, but at that point was no easy time.”

And Rublev felt that Tsoi’s sentiment would apply given the current conflict, adding: “His voice was really powerful. The lyrics that he was writing basically was giving a lot of hope to the people at that time. Basically I just wrote it because I feel that now, at this time, is happening similar things.”

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