Andrey Rublev’s scintillating form in 2020, while very pleasing for him and his fans alike, has also brought Roger Federer back in the news.
The legendary Swiss had famously picked the 23-year-old Russian back in 2019 when he was asked about the player to watch out for in 2020. And much like his game, Federer’s prediction has turned out to be inch-perfect.
Andrey Rublev has racked up five titles in 2020, while also reaching multiple Slam quarterfinals. And during a recent video-conference with fans from around the world, Rublev answered a few questions about the Swiss great's much talked about prediction.
One of the fans - who was from Paris - first asked Rublev if Roger Federer’s prediction had had any impact on his season so far. The Russian responded that it was ‘amazing’ to have a legend like Roger Federer regard him highly. He also modestly added that the other youngsters on tour were at an ‘amazing level’ as well.
“Well, of course, it's amazing when such a legend says something in this way but as I was saying in the beginning of this season it's not only about me,” Rublev said. “All the young guys are so good. All the players are working hard, all of them having amazing seasons, having amazing level to be on the top.”
The host of the video-conference then asked Rublev about his initial reaction to Roger Federer’s prediction. The World No. 8 replied that he first saw the video around the time of the Qatar Open final in January - which would, incidentally, turn out to be his first title of the year.
“I saw it the first time I think when I won Doha or when I went to the final of Doha,” Rublev continued.
“Of course it was a nice feeling but in the same way I was thinking why I am because there is a Shapovalov, Felix, Khachanov, De Minaur who is beating me and they were better ranking than me,” Rublev said. “So I was thinking like ‘Nah, it's something a long way to go'.”
Roger Federer saw something in Andrey Rublev during his Cincinnati 2019 loss to the Russian
When the video of Roger Federer’s prediction was released in December 2019, Andrey Rublev was outside the top 20 and had only shown glimpses of his true potential. But one of the biggest glimpses was his win over Federer himself at the Cincinnati Masters.
It was the legendary Swiss’ quickest loss in over a decade, and it showed exactly how good Rublev could be on his day.
Naturally, the performance didn't go unnoticed by Federer. Here is the video in which the Swiss made his prediction; interestingly, he was the only player to pick Rublev amongst all those asked.
“I say that Rublev’s going to do something special,” Federer had said. “I feel like he played great against me in Cincinnati and impressed me a lot there.”Published 05 Nov 2020, 00:39 IST