Rising Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev has revealed that he doesn’t consider himself a fan of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.
Federer foretold Rublev’s rise in the game, even backing the Russian to have a breakthrough season in 2020. So it turned out to be, as Rublev had a remarkable season, picking up five Tour titles, the most in the last calendar year in the men’s game.
Andrey Rublev gives his thoughts on Federer’s award
In an interview, the Russian was asked if he was surprised that Federer was picked for the Fan Favorite Award for the 18th time. This was despite the fact that he was away from the game since the Australian Open.
Rublev said he has never followed Federer but added that the Swiss has a certain stature in the game which makes him a fan favorite.
“I don’t know, I never followed him. But he has this status, it is his image,” the Russian said.
Fans build an image for every player, says Rublev
He added that tennis fans have a certain image of every player and Federer’s is one that has got him legions of admirers over the years.
The Russian said Rafael Nadal also has an image of a battle-hardened professional who gives his all on court and fights till the end.
“Nadal is associated with someone who will always fight to the end, no matter what. He will ‘die’ on the field but he will continue to play. That is, people already have their own feelings with each player,” Rublev said. (all quotes are translated through Google)
After bagging 5 ATP titles in 2020, Rublev is eyeing Slams
Rublev’s remarkable run of wins last year helped him reach the main draw at the elite, season-ending ATP Finals event in London for the first time in his career.
As he marches into the new season, Rublev will set sights on making himself a serious title contender in Grand Slams.
The Australian Open will be an ideal stage for the big-hitting Russian to launch his Grand Slam bid. He needs to carry his form and confidence from last year into the event.
Rublev’s strong and accomplished hard-court game would make him a handful against title contenders such as Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Dominic Thiem.
READ MORE: Andrey Rublev Opens Up on Receiving Prophetic Praise from Roger Federer