Misc Tennis

‘Since He Was a Kid He Was Always a Fighter’

Tennis Express

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday March 4, 2023

Andrey Rublev’s respect for Daniil Medvedev goes back a long way, and continues to grow as the pair navigate the ATP Tour as two of its most talented – and decorated players.

Rublev, who dropped to 2-5 lifetime against his compatriot after Sunday’s Dubai final, spoke of the connection the pair share off the court, and the respect he has for the 18-time ATP titlist’s game.

“With Daniil, we have great connection outside the court,” Rublev told reporters. “We understand each other really well. We have a very easy friendship. We can laugh at stupid things. That’s what makes it even more easy, comfortable. If we play some events together and we have to spend time together, we have always nice time.”

During his post-match speak Rublev spoke of how he was inspired by Medvedev as a young player, because he witnessed his friend climb to the top of the sport without a lot of financial help.

“I think I never told Daniil face to face, but I have a huge respect for him, he’s a real inspiration,” he said on court. “We know each other since we were kids – Daniil didn’t have much financial help, but he proved he’s a real champion.”

Rublev elaborated on those comments in his press conference.

“I have such a big respect for him because since he was a kid he was always a fighter,” he said. “No matter what, he could have only one racquet in his bag, his racquet could be broken, and he would still fight till the last point. He will play lobs for 20 minutes just to still fight and win the match.

“So many kids at our age, as soon as they see lob, they were tanking the matches. He was the one [saying], ‘Doesn’t matter, I have broken racquet, only one racquet, broken shoes, whatever.’ He will be there, he will fight. He’s still the same. It’s a huge inspiration.”

He added: “On top of that, like I was saying, he’s a real, real great inspiration because he’s very educated, he’s a very smart guy. The way he play tennis, you can learn a lot of things by watching him.”

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