Daniil Medvedev Cincinnati Open 2022

Daniil Medvedev admits to ‘feeling sorry’ for Andrey Rublev after defeats

Daniil Medvedev has admitted that he ‘feels sorry’ for compatriot Andrey Rublev after beating him – but only after.

The Russians met in the round robin stage of the ATP Finals this week, with Medvedev coming away with a win that extends his head-to-head advantage over Rublev to 7-2.

It was a landmark win for Medvedev, with him becoming the male player too win 65 matches in 2023. It was also his 40th win over a top 10 player during his career.

Rublev and Medvedev are close friends though. So close, in fact, that Rublev is the godfather to Medvedev’s daughter.

He says he cannot take that relationship onto the court with him, although it can make things awkward for both afterwards.

“For me on court, friends and enemies do not exist,” Medvedev said about when he plays Rublev.

“I just try to win the match. I don’t think about anything else, but when the last point is finished, it’s like I feel sorry for him.

“If he beats me, I mean, last year was brutal when he beat me in Turin. So I felt, I felt for one or two days he was shy to talk to me, taking care.

“It’s the same. You always try to look at him and see if tomorrow we can talk like normal. I am going to say to him good luck, go for it in the next matches, and he is probably going to say to him good luck in the next matches, and he is probably going to say the same.

“In general I need one hour to cool off after a defeat. It depends on the match. Sometimes I need 30 minutes. I laugh about it.

“For sure I will be disappointed, but I can talk to people, laugh about it. I think Andrey needs a little bit more time, but that’s just the way he is.”

The day Daniil Medvedev worried he or Andrey Rublev ‘may die’ on court

Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev have played each other nine times with the former winning seven, including all three meetings in 2023.

The most recent one before Turin was at the US Open in September, and it may also be the most infamous of their matches due to very real dangers of heat stroke.

As the New York heat baked down onto the court, Medvedev towelled himself off between points before looking into the camera and saying: “You cannot imagine. One player [is] gonna die, and they’re gonna see.”

At a later changeover, Medvedev required an inhaler while Rublev slowly cooked in his chair, unable to escape the heat.

“At the end of the first set, I couldn’t see the ball anymore,” Medvedev said afterwards. He later added that at one point he looked at Rublev before a point and though: “Wow. It seems like he cannot run anymore.”

Thankfully for everyone, probably even Rublev, Medvedev only needed three sets to win.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.