Andrey Rublev admitted his 2019 Cincinnati Masters win over Roger Federer would not have happened if he and Alexander Zverev won their Montreal Masters doubles quarterfinal match. In 2019 Montreal, Rublev suffered a loss in the singles qualifying event but appeared in the doubles event with Zverev.
Rublev and Zverev ended up making the Montreal doubles quarterfinal before losing to Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. After his Montreal campaign came to an end, Rublev went to Cincinnati, where he appeared in the qualifying event as an alternate.
In Cincinnati, Rublev won his two qualifying matches before stunning Federer 6-3 6-4 for a quarterfinal spot.
Rublev recounts beating Federer in Cincinnati as a qualifier
“If we would have won that doubles match, then I would not have been able to go and sign as an alternate.
Everybody was telling me that there was no chance for alternates to get to play in Cincinnati because Cincinnati is always super strong and there would be no alternates. I checked the previous years and there were no alternates.
They were telling me to go all out in the doubles. In the end, we played our best but we lost anyways. And I was like, no doubles, no singles. But I got in as an alternate, played qualies, came through and that year, I beat Roger," Rublev said.
Rublev, who is now ranked at No 5 in the world and considered one of the best players in today's tennis, never again played Federer. In his last few pro years on the Tour, Federer didn't play much and that's the main reason why the Russian never again got a chance to play against the Swiss tennis icon.
Federer retired from pro tennis last year and Rublev finished with a 1-0 head-to-head against the former 20-time Grand Slam champion. Not many players can say that they finished with a winning record against Federer but Rublev can.
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