Andrey Rublev compared his win over Roger Federer to an asteroid hitting Earth as the Russian tennis star felt "all stars aligned" when he beat the Swiss in their Cincinnati Masters match.
In 2019, Rublev forgot to sign up in time for the Cincinnati Masters. When Rublev finally signed up for the tournament, he entered only as the last alternate for qualifying and also had one racket that was far from the best condition. Following some player withdrawals, Rublev managed to sneak into the Cincinnati qualifying event. After Bernard Tomic retired in their qualifying opener, Rublev recovered from a set down to beat Mikhail Kukushkin in the qualifying final round.
After making it past the qualifying event, Rublev also beat Nikoloz Basilashvili and stunned Stan Wawrinka to set up a Cincinnati round-of-16 match against Federer. Rublev, who was playing against Federer for the first time and the huge underdog, ended up claiming a routine 6-3 6-4 win over the former 20-time Grand Slam champion.
Rublev compares his win over Federer to an asteroid hitting Earth
"Against Federer, it was like a fairy tale, unreal. How it all came together. And it was my first big win. It was a fairy tale, all stars aligned. Something like that happens every 700 years, like an asteroid. I wasn't ready at all back then. It was like a gift. That match was too perfect," Rublev said in a conversation with Russian YouTube Channel 'More!'
Against Federer, Rublev opened an early 2-0 lead. Rublev got broken back in the third game but broke Federer again in the fourth game and then held on to his serve for the remainder of the first set to clinch the opener.
Up by a set, Rublev broke Federer in the seventh game of the second set to open a 4-3 lead in the second set. Three games later, Rublev realized his first match point to beat Federer in their first and last match.