March 1, 2021

Andrey Rublev


It has been more than a year of inaction for Roger Federer now. He last played at the Australian Open 2020, where the Swiss maestro saw a straight-set loss against the Serbian Novak Djokovic. It was a tough series for him where he had to test his physical limits in 2 five-setters.  The 20-time grand slam champion later in the same year underwent double knee surgeries. All of this kept him away from the tennis court even after various countries lifted lockdown and the sport made a much-awaited return. However, the latest news is a big positive for the Federer camp. Martina Navratilova reflected on the comeback of Roger Federer The Swiss great will make his return to the ATP Tour at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha. Also, the latest development suggests that he can then play an ATP 500 tournament in nearby Dubai.  In a recent interview, a jovial Martina Navratilova learned the news and reacted with some humor. The 18-time women’s Grand Slam champion expressed, “I think he just wants to stay in Burj Al Arab again, but amazing! “It’s great to see Roger back, it’s about time for him sitting for over a year. So I’m glad he’s healthy and playing again.”  That he is coming back with an ATP 250 will ensure that he does not have to put too much pressure on himself for advancing deeper in the event. Prior to this, there were headlines that alleged Roger was fit enough to return for Australian Open 2021 and that he decided against it because of family reasons. Can the Ninjafed make a successful return? Roger Federer gestures to the spectators before hitting signed tennis balls into the stands during the 2019 Hopman Cup. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)Well, it might be an ATP 250, but it has participation from some of the best ATP players. The 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem, the ATP Cup 2021 hero Andrey Rublev, and of course King Roger himself will stay in the highlight of the event. Apart from these names, there are six players from the Top-20 that’ll make the competition juicier. From Roger’s Swiss companion Stan Wawrinka to Roberto Bautista Agut, Gael Monfils, and others, it will not be an easy draw for the legendary 39-YO. However, the rusty Federer is also the mighty Federer, and he has always dominated all the aforementioned names with his stinging play. Also notably, his participation in the Dubai event will depend on how his body reacts to the Qatar event. The event will kick off on March 8th and the world will cheer for the arguable GOAT. READ MORE- Why is Roger Federer Considered the GOAT?

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 15, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in action during his fourth round match against Mackenzie McDonald of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
Andrey Rublev ensured Grand Slam history will be made for Russia after setting up an Australian Open quarterfinal against compatriot Daniil Medvedev on Monday.
With qualifier Aslan Karatsev already through to face Grigor Dimitrov in the top half of the draw, it means there will be three Russian men in the last eight of a Slam for the first time since the Open era began in 1968.
Fourth seed Medvedev extended his win streak to 18 matches Monday when he took just 89 minutes to blow away Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 and reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
World number eight Rublev followed Medvedev onto Margaret Court Arena and was back in the locker room even quicker, as Norway’s Casper Ruud retired with the scores at 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).
“At least one of us will be in the semi-finals. So it’s good news but yeah, it’s going to be a tough match,” said Rublev after his short workout against the 24th seed, who had received treatment for an injury midway through the second set.
“Last time he beat me in the quarters in the US Open. So now we’re in the quarters in the Australian Open, so we’ll see what’s going to happen.”
Rublev also reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros last year in a breakthrough season that saw him win five ATP Tour titles, more than any other player.
He won 41 matches, equal with world number one Novak Djokovic as the best in 2020, and started 2021 on an eight-match streak after winning all four of his singles to help Russia win the ATP Cup, alongside Medvedev.
Fourth seed Medvedev’s best Grand Slam performance to date was reaching the final at the 2019 US Open.
His unbeaten run dates back to November and includes titles at the Paris 1000, the ATP Finals in London and the ATP Cup.
But Medvedev said the Russian pair, both in maiden Australian Open quarter-finals, would push their friendship aside on Wednesday when they aim for the last four.
“It’s our job — of course during the match we’re going to try to win, fight for our best,” said Medvedev.
“You never know. Sometimes you can maybe… argue on the court or something because we’re competitors.
“After the match we are great friends.”
The last Russian man to win a Grand Slam was Marat Safin at Melbourne Park in 2005.

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FILE – Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrates winning match point during his Men’s Singles quarterfinal match against Andrey Rublev of Russia on Day Ten of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP
A relentless Russia crushed Italy 2-0 to win their maiden ATP Cup Sunday with Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev in ruthless, red-hot form leading into the Australian Open.
Russia was the only nation in the 12-team event to boast two top 10 players and they had swept past Japan, Argentina and Germany en route to the decider.
Italy was flattened by the same Russian juggernaut on Rod Laver Arena, with Rublev destroying Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-2 in just 61 minutes before Medvedev overpowered Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 6-2 in 79 minutes.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Russia captain Evgeny Donskoy.
“If the level is going to be the same, these guys are going to see each other in the (Australian Open) quarter-finals because I saw the draw.”
World number four Medvedev and eighth-ranked Rublev have been the two hottest players on tour since last year’s US Open.
They kick off their Australian Open campaigns on Tuesday and are scheduled to meet in the last eight.
Medvedev is now on a career-long win streak of 14 matches, including his third ATP Masters title in Paris and victory at the season-ending ATP Tour Finals, with 10 of those victories over top 10 opponents.
“It’s a really big achievement … it’s a big boost in confidence,” said Medvedev of his run of wins against top-ranked players.
“Even when you lose, you know that you’re capable of playing this level, and it helps you for the next time to stand up.”
Rublev has been equally impressive, winning five ATP titles in a breakthrough 2020, more than anyone else, as he raced up the rankings.
He ended his season by beating world number three Dominic Thiem at the ATP Finals and has started 2021 with four straight wins at the ATP Cup, dropping just one set, to make him a contender at the Australian Open.
His sizzling form extended to world number 17 Fognini, who went into the match with a 5-1 record against the Russian but was blown away.
Machine-like Medvedev
Rublev dominated with his forehand and lost just seven service points in the entire match.
“I was playing really well all week since the first match and I was just going on court thinking that I needed to fight for every ball,” said Rublev.
“I knew it didn’t matter the score, he always has a chance. He always knows how to come back, so I was trying to keep going no matter the score.”
Medvedev faced a tougher assignment against Berrettini, the world number 10 who has also been in prime early season form, winning all his matches before meeting the Russian, including against world number three Dominic Thiem.
The 24-year-olds had only met once before, in 2018, when Medvedev won, and he took an early break in the opening set to go 3-1 ahead, holding on to serve out the set.
It followed a similar pattern in the second set with the machine-like Medvedev raising his game to another level to grind down Berrettini.
“He’s playing really good. He’s confident, you can tell. He’s a really tough player to beat,” said Berrettini of Medvedev. “These days, you just have to say bravo to him and think about the next matches.”
Serbia beat Spain in the final of the inaugural and hugely popular tournament last year in Sydney — launched as a rival to the Davis Cup.
It has been slimmed down from 24 teams to 12 this year due to the coronavirus over five days at Melbourne Park with $7.5 million at stake, rather than the multi-city format employed in 2020.

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