WATCH: Rublev heaped praise on Dimitrov after reaching the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters semifinals on Friday.


The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters spent the week promoting a very special project featuring bourgeoning besties Grigor Dimitrov and Andrey Rublev, who could hardly contain his admiration for the artist formerly known as “Baby Fed[erer].”

“I almost fell in love with you,” Rublev teased as Dimitrov attempted to get fans hyped for the mysterious feature presentation.

“The way he looks, everyone is in love with him,” elaborated the No. 5 seed after reaching the semifinals on Friday. “He is as well, and he think everyone’s in love with him. It’s everything in one!

“The way he looks, the way he plays tennis, he can hit a backhand and miss in the net, but it’s so beautiful: amazing backhand, forehand, technique, touch. Whether it’s a winner or a miss, it always looks perfect.”


The feeling certainly appeared mutual when the bromance culminated with the release of a retro racquet challenge between Dimitrov and Rublev, who traded their racquets for vintage sticks from the 1950s and 1980s, respectively.

“Because [Monte Carlo] is one of the oldest tournaments in the world, we’re both going to play with equipment from the past,” explained Dimitrov, donning a country club sweater to complete the look.

Rublev went for a grittier style, swiping a sock hat from one of the camera men as he took an early lead in the exhibition tiebreak, but Dimitrov soon found his range.


“I am too focused on Grigor,” Rublev complained, racquet on his head. “Look how beautiful he looks; every shot’s so beautiful. Even when he does one mistake, it’s a beautiful mistake.

“There cannot be a reaction,” he added, mocking his own penchant for mid-match meltdowns. “You have to stay with inner peace!”

Dimitrov ultimately won the contest, and though Rublev sealed the friendly hit with a kiss at net, the Bulgarian is only one of the 25-year-old’s many friends on the ATP tour.

“If you ask me who I spend the most time,” Rublev said after listing around half of the world’s Top 20, “Daniil Medvedev, Karen Khachanov, Ilya Ivashka.”

On his friendship with Medvedev, Rublev said, “[He’s] very simple, honest, and funny guy…we play tennis and we see each other every week. Maybe if I stopped tennis today, maybe I’d never see him again.

“No, no,” he self-corrects, and seemingly confirms reports he was named godfather to the former US Open champion’s first child. “I’m going to see him because we’re family members now.”

Should Rublev take home his first Masters 1000 title this week in Monte Carlo, safe to say he’ll receive an outpouring of support from his formidable squad.