Andrey Rublev & Swiss tennis icon: Who clobbered Roger Federer in Cincinnati?
The third round match at the Cincinnati Masters was expected to be a walk in the park for world number three Federer, who is getting ready for the final Grand Slam of the season – the US Open.
However, despite all expectations, the 21-year-old Russian, who has taken just one ATP title so far, sensationally took down the multiple Grand Slam champion in just 62 minutes, marking Federer’s quickest defeat in 16 years.
Rublev recorded a swift 6-3, 6-4 win to reach his first Masters quarterfinals, where he will face compatriot Daniil Medvedev.
What do we know about Russia’s rising star who hasn’t won a major title yet but has taken down two top-five players in less than two weeks? Before defeating Federer, Rublev beat French Open finalist Dominique Thiem in Germany last week.
Rublev was born in Moscow in 1997 in a family of a professional boxer and a tennis coach. His father Andrey Rublev Sr. set up a restaurant business in the Russian capital after retiring from a career in sports.
Rublev’s mother Marina used to work with famous tennis players such as Anna Kournikova and Darya Gavrilova. It was she who first took little Andrey to a tennis court, setting him on his future career path.
Rublev demonstrated brilliant potential at the junior level, winning gold at the junior European championship and winning two medals at the 2014 Youth Olympics – an individual bronze and a silver in doubles.
However, his rise to the top was put on hold due to a serious injury that led to him sitting out a significant part of the 2018-2019 season.
“It was last year when I sadly had a stress fracture in my lower back. It kept me out of competition for three months. It was an incredibly tough time for me which led to some depression,” Rublev said.
“I was born to compete and now [one year ago] I couldn’t and that’s where moments of depression came from.
“It would make me really upset to see other players doing something I couldn’t at the time.”
Now that he has fully recovered, he is ready to take the tennis world by storm and show off his skills, as he did in the match against Federer.