Andrey Rublev has been on a roll over the last few months, racking up one win after another on the pro tour. The Russian has established a particular dominance over ATP 500 events, and is now close to breaking Roger Federer's record for most consecutive wins in the tournament category.
Andrey Rublev is currently the tour leader in match wins in 2020 and 2021. And with his win over Taylor Fritz at the Dubai Championships on Wednesday, the 23-year-old has extended his 500-level winning streak to 22 matches.
Andrey Rublev had already passed Rafael Nadal's streak of 19 consecutive wins at 500-level by winning the Rotterdam Open earlier this month. And now with his Round-of-16 win at Dubai, the Russian has eclipsed Andy Murray's run of 21 straight wins at ATP 500 events.
That means Andrey Rublev is within spitting distance of the Open era record for most consecutive wins at 500-level - which belongs to none other than Roger Federer. The Swiss maestro accumulated 28 consecutive wins at ATP 500 tournaments in 2014-16.
Before Dubai, only Roger Federer and Andy Murray had won more matches in a row at ATP 500 tournaments than Andrey Rublev. The Russian has reigned supreme in his last four ATP 500 events, winning titles in Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Vienna and Rotterdam.
Andy Murray had begun his streak at the 2016 Queen's Championships, after which he ran away with two more 500-level triumphs in the fall season - at Beijing and Vienna. The Brit would subsequently add the 2017 Dubai Open to his tally, but his winning streak came to an end at 21 matches; Murray lost to Dominic Thiem in the semis of the 2017 Barcelona Open.
Roger Federer's record of 28 consecutive matches at ATP 500 tournaments didn't come during his peak years
Roger Federer stands tall when it comes to most match wins in a row at ATP 500 tournaments. But funnily enough, Federer didn't achieve the feat during his peak in the mid-2000s; it was between 2014 and 2016 that Swiss put together this impressive run, in the course of which he even beat Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Roger Federer began his 500-winning streak at the 2014 Dubai Tennis Championships, where he beat World No. 1 Djokovic in a three-set epic. He then added another ATP 500 title to his bag by winning his home event in Basel.
Roger Federer would defeat Novak Djokovic at Dubai again the following year, before adding the 2015 Gerry Weber Open and the 2015 Swiss Indoors Open to his tally. He beat arch-rival Rafael Nadal in the latter of the two events.
Federer's streak was ultimately cut short by the then 18-year-old Alexander Zverev, who beat him in the semifinals at Halle in three sets.
Andrey Rublev has won the last 22 matches he has played at the 500-level, but the Russian will have to go all the way in Dubai and win three matches at the next ATP 500 event he enters to equal Roger Federer's record. Having said that, no one would have predicted Rublev to take home the last four ATP 500 tournaments, so the Russian winning another title or two is very much possible.