Roger Federer is the ‘most talented’ player on the ATP Tour, according to Russain ace Andrey Rublev.
Rublev has previously described Rafael Nadal as the world’s – not just tennis’ – greatest athlete, but when the conversation turns to talent he has a different perspective.
“In terms of natural talent, Roger Federer is the number one player I’ve ever seen,” Rublev said
“He is super clean: Defence, offence, serves well.”
Rublev has had a stunning year on the ATP Tour, winning four titles and breaking into the top ten for the first time in his career.
It hasn’t come as a surprise to Federer though, who forecast it after the Russian beat him at Cincinatti last season.
“I think that Rublev is going to be something special,” Federer said after that match. “He impressed me a lot.”
Rublev’s rise has coincided with the injection of confidence from that result, and he knows he has come a long way since Federer’s comments.
“It’s incredibly nice when such a great player compliments you,” Rublev said.
“But at that moment, I was not ranked so high. Many of my peers were much higher than me, and even younger guys, such as Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex de Minaur, came close.
“And Stefanos Tsitsipas was already firmly established in the top 10 then.
“So I realised that I still had to work and work to try to get closer to the top 10. I understood the level of Tsitsipas, Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime…
“It was hard for me to play with them. Even when I played good tennis, I could easily lose to them in two sets.
“Now I am confident that if I can play my game, then I will have many chances to win, to control the course of the match. Last year, I did not feel this way.”
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