By Richard Pagliaro | Saturday, March 4, 2023
Stefanos Tsitsipas served up the snark last fall dissing Andrey Rublev as a player with “few tools” following his ATP Finals loss in Turin.
In Dubai today, Daniil Medvedev struck back with a stinging return praising Rublev as a future major champion and offering his sincere wish for Tsitsipas.
More: Medvedev Dethrones Rublev in Dubai Final for 14th Straight Win
The third-seeded Medvedev dethroned defending champion Rublev 6-2, 6-2 in tonight’s Dubai final collecting his 14th consecutive win and third straight tournament title.
It was Medvedev’s fifth win in seven meetings vs. his childhood friend and rival Rublev, who showed pure class after the final praising Medvedev as a “real champion and real inspiration for the players. Because obviously we know each other since we were kids and Daniil didn’t have much financial help or power and I never hear from him never that he was unlucky or that he doesn’t have other players’ financial help.”
When it was his turn to speak, Medvedev, without mentioning Tsitsipas by name, skewered the Greek for his “few tools” slagging of Rublev and said he hopes his buddy will beat the Australian Open finalist “many, many times. I wish this for sure.”
“I just want to say that I remember not long ago one player says that [Andrey Rublev] has just a few weapons and I was reading this interview and I was like how can you say this?” Medvedev told fans in Dubai and those watching TV coverage around the world. “In my opinion, Andrey is one of the most skillful players on the tour. He just didn’t exploit fully his potential yet, but I’m sure he can win Grand Slams.
“Hopefully, he can beat this guy who said it many, many times. I wish this for sure. Also want to say I feel that people start to know it that Andrey is probably the kindest person on Tour and I just want to say it so people know it.”
Last November, Rublev rallied past Tsitsipas 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the semifinals of the ATP Finals Turin. Afterward, Tsitsipas turned the first question of his post-match presser into tool time suggesting Rublev is a player with limited weapons and implying the better player lost.
“It’s a shame. I feel like the better player,” Tsitsipas said. “I felt like I could do more with the ball today. I felt like I could just be much more creative. I don’t even have to say that. I think it’s quite obvious.
“But, yeah, he prevailed with the few tools that he has. He was able to really take advantage of them and win today.”
The 2021 US Open champion Medvedev was clearly annoyed by those comments and struck back today.
Of course, Medvedev and Tsitsipas, who nearly came to blows on court at the Miami Open years ago, have had their own share of bad blood in the past. Now, Medvedev’s comments will add further fuel and intrigue for future Tsitsipas vs. Rublev and Tsitsipas vs. Medvedev matches.
Photo credit: Getty
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