New Delhi: Never before had he reached beyond the second round of a major, but the 19-year-old Andrey Rublev from Russia is turning out to be the giant slayer in Flushing Meadows, setting up a quarterfinal date with his idol and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, thereby becoming the youngest to reach that far in the tournament since Andy Roddick in 2001.Also Read - Third Straight Win For Daniil Medvedev in Nitto ATP Finals
The Russian lad flayed any doubts about his talent with wins over top-10 seeds David Goffin and Grigor Dimitrov on his way to the last-eight stage in New York. Also Read - Novak Djokovic is The Greatest of All Time - Pete Sampras Reignites GOAT Debate in Tennis, Rates World No.1 Serb Ahead of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
Rublev defeated No. 9 Goffin 7-5, 7-6, 6-3 in the Round of 16, after his 7-5, 7-6, 6-3, win over Dimitrov. Also Read - Andrey Rublev Storms Back Into Form, Overcomes Stefanos Tsitsipas in Nitto ATP Finals
“I’m just going to try to enjoy, and that’s it,” Rublev was quoted by metro.co.uk. “This is going to be good challenge for me to see how far I am from top players, and how much more I need to work. So we’ll see.”
Rublev’s claim to fame before this had been the 2014 French Open boys’ singles title, and he added to his credentials on the circuit earlier this year with his first tour-level title in Umag, which got him a lucky-loser entry to the US Open main draw.
Interestingly, Rublev – who learned tennis from his mother, Marina Marenko – trained with Nadal in Mallorca for a week after the 2014 US Open.
Son of a restaurateur father who was also a professional boxer, Rublev made his Grand Slam debut at the 2015 US Open, where he lost to Kevin Anderson, who incidentally is also through to the quarterfinals this edition.