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Nikoloz Basilashvili reveals Roger Federer was his "idol" growing up, says his win against the Swiss means more to him than his victory over Tsitsipas 

Roger Federer during his match against Nikoloz Basilashvili in Doha
Roger Federer during his match against Nikoloz Basilashvili in Doha
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Nikoloz Basilashvili recently revealed that he considered Roger Federer his "idol" during his formative years. The Georgian also admitted that his win against Federer at this year's Qatar Open means more to him than his victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ongoing BNP Paribas Open.

Basilashvili scored one of the biggest wins of his career against second seed Tsitsipas at Indian Wells. With the win, the Georgian moved into the semifinals of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. He will play Taylor Fritz for a place in the summit clash.

Earlier this year, Basilashvili had accounted for Roger Federer at the Qatar Open in Doha. The Georgian came from a set down and even saved a match point to beat the Swiss legend for the first time in his career.

During his press conference after the match against Tsitsipas, Basilashvili was asked to choose between his win over Federer and the one over the Greek. The 29-year-old did not hesitate to pick his win over Federer. Basilashvili stressed that his victory over the Swiss meant a great deal as he looked up to Federer growing up.

"Roger Federer," Basilashvili said. "My win against Roger meant a lot to me because he was my idol. He is as for everyone, you know."
Nikoloz Basilashvili during his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the BNP Paribas Open
Nikoloz Basilashvili during his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the BNP Paribas Open

Basilashvili had lost eight of his 10 matches on tour heading into the 2021 Qatar Open. However, beating Roger Federer seemed to galvanize the Georgian, who went on to lift the title in Doha. The Georgian then won the Bavarian International while also making the last four at Halle.

As such, Basilashvili believes his win over Federer was quite instrumental in his career.

"I would say Roger's win was very important in my career," said the Georgian. "Beating Stefanos today was, as well, really, really important match."

A look at Nikoloz Basilashvili's overall record against Roger Federer and Stefanos Tsitsipas

Nikoloz Basilashvili has beaten both Roger Federer and Stefanos Tsitsipas, but the Georgian does not enjoy a positive head-to-head record against either player.

Federer and Basilashvili are tied 1-1 in the head-to-head, with the Swiss having thrashed the 29-year-old at the 2016 Australian Open.

Tsitsipas, meanwhile, leads Basilashvili by a 2-1 margin. The Greek beat the Georgian at the Australian Open in 2019 and at Beijing later that year.


Edited by Arvind Sriram
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