Daniil Medvedev explains reasons he made US Open rival his daughter’s godfather

Daniil Medvedev will take on a very familiar face in the US Open quarter-final – Andrey Rublev. The pair have played one another seven times already but, more importantly, they are like “family” off the court. Rublev is the godfather to the 27-year-old’s daughter and Medvedev explained why he picked the world No 8 to be an important part of her life.

Medvedev and Rublev will leave their friendship at the door when they do battle for a spot in the US Open semi-final. But the world No 3 is confident that their bond won’t be broken even if they “fight” on court, as his friendship with the 25-year-old is so strong that he asked him to be the godfather to his daughter Alisa.

The 20-time title winner and his wife Daria welcomed their first child last October, and in April photos emerged of Rublev at Alisa’s christening as both players later confirmed that the world No 8 had become her godfather. Ahead of their meeting at the US Open, Medvedev explained why he picked one of his rivals for the important role.

“To be honest, yes, because as I say, we’re really close,” the 2021 champion said when asked if it was an easy decision. “I don’t like to, let’s say, label ‘best friend’ because I would say I have a lot of best friends, I have a lot of good friends.

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“But we are very close. He’s very kind. He’s kind of a little bit into – how we can call it – he’s religious, so that’s important to be a godfather. So it was kind of an easy decision, yeah.” Medvedev also opened up on their friendship, as he had no fear of jeopardising their bond during a match.

The 27-year-old added: “I think we’re really close friends. I think we have great relationship. Even if on the court we’re big competitors, so I do think one match, I say a fight, we can talk or something like this, I think nothing is going to, let’s call it, come between us to separate us in real life.

“We’re really close. I mean, we share a lot of let’s call it interests and stuff like this. It’s great to have someone like this on tour because sometimes can be not easy. You travel, travel, travel. To have a friend like this is great. Not much more to add. But again, on the court we both want to win. We not going to be friends in two days.”

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Rublev echoed his countryman’s sentiment, claiming that they were more like family. “I mean, I think it’s something already like a family because I’m godfather of his daughter,” he explained.

“Obviously we build our relationship because of tennis, but now it’s already bigger than tennis. We know each other, I don’t know, since we were six maybe or something. I don’t know. We have great relationship. He’s super honest, super relaxed. It’s super easy to communicate with him. Very humble. In the same time he’s really, really funny. Then when you spend time with him, you always have fun.”

But the 14-time title winner will be hoping that he can send his good friend packing from the US Open when they meet on Wednesday. Rublev has reached the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam tournament eight times in the past but never made it further and will attempt to make it nine times lucky in New York.

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