Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev is back at the Western & Southern Open - this time in New York - twelve months after scoring one of the biggest wins of his career over Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer. Rublev defeated Federer in straight sets in the round of 16 at last year's event in Cincinnati and spoke about his admiration for the 20-time Grand Slam champion during an interview with the ATP Tour prior to his first round match this year.
Andrey Rublev on why Roger Federer is a legend
The 22 year old Russian says he understands the pressure that Federer must feel since any early loss for him gets a lot of attention in the media, which makes his consistent achievements over the years even more impressive.
"I was more impressed even with Roger. Because imagine how tough for him that every week he need to prove that he is the best because I think we played 3rd or 4th Round. Even 4th round and how much attention it was because he lost.
Even if I lose 4th round I don't have this attention in press. No one really cares. And him he need to play minimum final every week to don't have this attention that - ‘Oh Roger lost’. And every week to prove it.
So imagine how much pressure he has and every week he proves that he is the best in the history." Rublev also complimented the gracious attitude of the Swiss tennis legend when he loses and that he is able to take losses in his stride, saying it makes him respect the Swiss superstar even more.
"During the match I don’t know I was feeling that how much I respect Roger. How big a legend he is. Even when he lost you feel something unreal that he goes there completely accepting today was not my day. That's why he's a legend.."
The World No. 14 will not be able to replicate his run from last year this time. He was knocked out in the first round of the Western & Southern Open losing to Britain's Dan Evans in three sets. The British No. 1 scored a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 win over Rublev, who is ranked a career best No. 14 in the world currently.