Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev’s then and now photos as latter opens up about their ‘easy friendship’
Some things don’t change, just ask Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev as the two have been competing against each other since they were kids.
With both born in Moscow, the pair spent their childhoods facing each other at local tournaments before progressing to national events and now as professionals during ATP Tour matches – and often in big matches on the Tour.
Whenever they play each other in top-level tournaments, a photo of the duo alongside 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in New York’s Times Square during the 2013 US Open usually pops up on social media.
Medvedev was 17 at the time, Latvian Ostapenko 16 and Rublev was 15 with his birthday only in October.
“It was nice memory. I think it was already more than 10 pm, all the shops were closed,” Rublev said of the photo a few years ago. “We decided to go to Central Park. It was not good idea because as soon as we arrive there, some guys were, like, behind the trees trying to follow us. As soon as we saw it, we went back to the hotel.”
Andrey Rublev, Jelena Ostapenko and Daniil Medvedev a few years ago in New-York.
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) September 8, 2020
But Medvedev gave social media a new photo on Friday after he defeated Novak Djokovic to set up a final clash against Rublev at the Dubai Tennis Championships.
“Even as kids we were suppperrrr excited to play each other😝🤣 @AndreyRublev97,” the 2021 US Open winner wrote in his caption.
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) March 3, 2023
And on Saturday they created a newer version as Medvedev defeated his good friend 6-2, 6-2 in the Dubai final to lift his third title in three weeks.
“Fun to share the court with my good friend @AndreyRublev97. Hopefully many more finals to come. Proud of #18 🏆. Thank you to all the fans this week for an amazing atmosphere,” Medvedev wrote.
Fun to share the court with my good friend @AndreyRublev97. Hopefully many more finals to come. Proud of #18 🏆. Thank you to all the fans this week for an amazing atmosphere. pic.twitter.com/YMrkksRGvw
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) March 4, 2023
After the defeat Rublev explained why they get on so well.
“We have great connection outside the court. We understand each other really well,” he said.
“We have 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, I don’t know, we have always nice time.”
Medvedev extended his head-to-head record against the 25-year-old to 5-2 with his win in Dubai and Rublev knew he was always going to be up against it in the final.
“Tennis-wise, is like I was saying on court, I have such a big respect for him because since he was a kid he was always fighter,” he said.
“No matter what, he could have only one racket in his bag, his racket 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, doesn’t matter, I have broken racket, only one racket, broken shoes, whatever, he will be there, he will fight. He’s still the same.”
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