Tennis star leaves rivals in awe after beating Novak Djokovic 6-0 in Serbia

Andrey Rublev left his colleagues awestruck when he recalled his victory over Novak Djokovic at last year’s Belgrade Open. The world No 5 lifted the title in Djokovic’s home country with a 6-2 6-7(4) 6-0 win, bagelling the man whose name adorned the tennis centre they were playing at. Rublev has wins against all of the Big Four, also beating Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the past.

Rublev has cemented himself as a consistent top-10 player in the last few years, racking up 14 career titles and counting, also having an Olympic gold medal in mixed doubles to his name. While his rivals know that he is a dangerous opponent, he stunned three other players after opening up on his victories over each of the Big Four – especially Djokovic.

During a chat with Diego Schwartzman, Christopher Eubanks and Jan-Lennard Struff at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, the 26-year-old was quizzed about his record against the multi-Grand Slam champions. Asked whether he had beaten Djokovic, Rublev replied: “Yes, once. Rafa once and Roger once.”

Eubanks then revealed that he had been in the commentary booth when the Russian outlasted Djokovic to lift the Belgrade Open trophy last year. The world No 34 added: “I commentated his win against Novak in Serbia. I asked him, I was like you beat him like 0 and something.”

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The scoreline left Schwartzman in disbelief as he sat forward and tried to find out more. “Where? To Novak?” the former world No 8 asked. “Serbia, in Belgrade,” Rublev replied. And Eubanks showed why the 26-year-old’s victory was even more impressive, revealing that it came at Djokovic’s own facility.

The American added: “At the Novak Tennis Centre. Yeah, the final. 6-0 in the third set so you bagelled him.” Schwartzman also wanted to know more about Rublev’s victory over Federer which came in their only meeting at the 2019 Cincinnati Open. At the time, the Russian was aged just 21 and came through qualifying to reach the main draw.

The match lasted just 62 minutes as Rublev – who had recently returned from a series of injury problems – blew the 20-time Grand Slam champion off the court 6-3 6-4.”F***. Bravo Rublo,” Schwartzman said after learning the scoreline. 

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“I think not many players have that stat. I want to see that. How many? How many guys beat all of them at least one time,” he added. And it was Eubanks’ turn to be left impressed by the 14-time title winner. “Wait, do you have all of them? Do you have all three?” he asked.

Rublev replied: “Yes, and Andy,” before Eubanks leaned forward to commend his rival. The Russian’s victory over Nadal was extra impressive given that it came on the Spaniard’s favourite surface – the clay. Rublev defeated the former world No 1 6-2 4-6 6-2 in the quarter-final of the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters. He also managed to beat Andy Murray in the same year, downing the three-time Major winner 7-5 6-2 at the ATP 500 in Rotterdam.

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