American Legend Bets Big on Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/03/2021, 1:16 AM EST
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 22, 2020 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev reacts during his final match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs


Former American tennis player James Blake has marked out Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev as superstars in the making.

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Appearing on a show on Tennis Channel, Blake backed the Russians to make rapid strides up the men’s tennis echelons and win titles galore.

The American, who finished with 10 career ATP titles, said he would hedge his bets on Medvedev winning the Australian Open title this year.

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“Such great variety”: James Blake on Daniil Medvedev’s tennis

The current World Number 4 ended the last season with back-to-back elite championship wins at the Rolex Paris Masters and the London ATP Finals and will head into Melbourne Park in red-hot form.

He raised visions of winning his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open last year but fell to eventual champion Dominic Thiem in the semi-final.

.@JRBlake is Team Russia in 2021. 🇷🇺

Is he right about major titles in @AndreyRublev97 and @DaniilMedwed's futures? 🏆#TCLive pic.twitter.com/HGpOevVfQ4

— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) February 3, 2021

Medvedev opened his campaign in the ongoing ATP Cup in Melbourne with a commanding win over Argentine Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday.

Apart from giving Russia a rousing start at the team event, the win also signaled Medvedev’s intent going into the Australian Open.

Later on Tuesday, the 8th-ranked Rublev made it 2 out of 2 for his homeland after registering a clinical straight-set win over Guido Pella of Argentina.

Russia’s Andrey Rublev celebrates winning his group stage match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Rublev was the best by far on the men’s Tour in 2020, finishing the season with five titles, the highest in the calendar year.

Blake also counting on Andrey Rublev to make waves at Australian Open

On who he fancies winning the Australian Open this year, Blake, now a New York Times best-selling author, said, “I’m gonna go with Medvedev being the favorite. He’s come close, got to the semis in the (US) Open.”

The American said he loves the Russian’s game as he is “so unpredictable and has got such great variety”.

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While naming Medvedev as his title favorite at Melbourne Park, Blake said he also sees Rublev making waves at the Australian Open this year.

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The American said that while he’s aware that Rublev’s “got a game that is very ‘hit and miss’, very volatile”, he has got the “ability” to surprise opponents at the Open.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

747 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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