Roger Federer looking despondent

‘I couldn’t hang with him’ – Roger Federer impressed with ‘perfect’ youngster

Roger Federer admits he was impressed with Russian youngster Andrey Rublev after being blown away by him at the Cincinnati Masters.

Rublev dismissed Federer in just 62 minutes on Thursday, inflicting the the fastest defeat upon the 20-time Grand Slam winner since 2003.

It was the first time Federer had faced Rublev and, while he admits that may have been a slight advantage for the 21-year-old, he didn’t want to take anything away from his opponent.

“If I play Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, I know more or less what they are going to do or can do” Federer told reporters after the match.

“That’s different with a player you play for the first time.

“It’s maybe a small advantage to have over us, but regardless, you’ve still got to hit the corners, hit the lines, keep it going.

“He did exactly that. He was really perfect today. It was a great performance.”

Rublev, the world number 71, has struggled with injury in his short career so far, but Federer believes he may just have a chance of forcing his way to the top of the game.

“You need an opponent that maybe lets you get by some tougher moments, but he didn’t do that,” Federer added.

“He was super clean. Defence, offence, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere.

“It was tough for me, but an excellent match by him. I was impressed. I think I just have to play better overall to hang with him.”

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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.