“I Never Followed Him”: Andrey Rublev on Roger Federer’s 18th Consecutive Fan Favorite Award

Published 01/01/2021, 11:03 AM EST
LONDON, ENGLAND: Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts following defeat in his Men’s Singles final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during Day thirteen of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)


Rising Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev has revealed that he doesn’t consider himself a fan of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.

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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

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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.

The cherry on top of an incredible season 🏆@AndreyRublev97 is the Most Improved Player of the Year 👏#ATPAwards pic.twitter.com/NeXo2D5Zuz

— ATP Tour (@atptour) December 21, 2020

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.

CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 15: Roger Federer of Switzerland congratulates Andrey Rublev of Russia on his win during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 15, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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.

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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.

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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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