“You never know… if it's going to be the same situation the next day, maybe it'll be a different story. Maybe I would save the game and when I would have break points I would make them.”
Having reached the quarter-finals at his past three majors – including Roland-Garros seven months ago – there were hopes the Russian was finally poised to push beyond a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time.
He had not fallen before the fourth round at a Grand Slam since Wimbledon two years ago, but was now left to weigh up time off to replenish his reserves or switch his focus to the grass.
“I was feeling fine, I was practising well, I don't know,” Rublev said. “I think we played a good level today. It's not easy. He's a really tough opponent for the first round, really tough, plus he's playing better and better. He's improving and he's winning really great matches.
“I don't know yet [what is next]. Now even myself, I don't know what to do now. I didn't speak yet with my team, so from there we'll make a decision.”