Sharing memories from his thrilling victory over Roger Federer in 2019, Andrey Rublev said he was shocked after the last point! Also, the Russian mentioned how natural and grounded Roger was in the defeat, which impressed the youngster a lot.
In 2019, Roger failed to reach the Cincinnati quarter-final for the first time since 2008, losing to a qualifier Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4 in 61 minutes! Standing as one of the upcoming stars, Rublev suffered a nasty back injury in the spring of 2018, staying away from the court for a couple of months and losing momentum and ranking positions and having to start all over in 2019.
The young Russian advanced to the first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Cincinnati that year, outplaying the Swiss in almost every department to control the scoreboard and deliver a career-best victory that gave him a massive boost.
Dropping 15 points in ten service games, Rublev fended off two out of three break points and stole 40% of the return points for three breaks on his tally that carried him over the top in a quick fashion. Firing 17 winners and six unforced errors, Andrey tamed his shots nicely to leave Roger behind despite 20 winners and 19 mistakes from a multiple champion.
Landing one bold stroke after another, Rublev took charge in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, outplaying Roger 43-34, which is never easy. The Russian also had a 16-10 lead in the more extended exchanges, sealing the deal in style and advancing into the last eight.
Andrey broke at 15 in the second game following Federer's loose backhand but giving serve away in the next one when his forehand landed long. Determined to give his best, Rublev fired a forehand winner to secure a break and open a 3-1 lead.
Andrey Rublev spoke about impressive victory over Roger Federer in Cincinnati 2019.
This time, he made no errors, landing a service winner to move 5-2 up and closing the opener with three winners in game nine for 6-3 after 28 minutes.
Federer never found the desired pace in the return games, taking only four points in Andrey's games in set number two to drift away from the break chances and play under pressure. The Swiss brought the fifth game home with a service winner before Andrey broke him at 3-3 thanks to a deep return, forging the advantage and taking a massive step towards the finish line.
Rublev confirmed the break with a hold at 15 and served for the triumph at 5-4. Showing no sign of nerves, Andrey held at 15 after forcing Roger's error to emerge as a winner and wrap up one of his finest performances on the Tour.
"I was in a state of shock when I beat Roger, but also because I put myself in his place and imagined the harshness of that defeat for him. Players from the top have to endure so much pressure because they can't lose and decrease themselves in the media.
They have to reach at least the final in every tournament. Roger has been doing it for many years. He impacted me even more than my victory; his behavior, his attitude, and the way he accepted it. I felt like I have beaten a true legend," Andrey Rublev said.