Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev go way, way back. As juniors growing up in Russia, their competitive spirit was just as intense as it is today though their strokes looked very different.

"Both of us were crazy on court, destroying the racquets, complaining," Rublev told press. "What I remember from him, he was always one of the biggest fighter that I ever saw in my life since he was, I don't know, seven years old, he could play lobs maybe hours just to win."

Both noted that their frustration was never at each other. Since those early days, their games have continued to evolve, though in different directions.


"I play a little bit more counterattack with trying to make my opponent in trouble, maybe seeing what my opponent does, then deciding how I'm going to play," world No. 5 Medvedev said "Andrey is different. He tries to dictate his game with the forehand, go for the shots. He doesn't really care what the opponent does, he just cares about himself."

While many of their memories are from on the court, they've also spent quality time off it, like at the 2013 US Open, when they explored Times Square with Jelena Ostapenko.

"It was nice memory," Rublev said. "I think it was already more than 10 p.m., all the shops were closed. We decided to go to Central Park. It was not good idea because as soon as we arrive there, some guys were, like, behind the trees trying to follow us. As soon as we saw it, we went back to the hotel."

Medvedev, almost two years older and nine ranking spots higher, has the greater experience as last year's finalist, but Rublev will be thirsty to get his first pro win over his friend. The 22-year-old has lost just one set so far in New York and Medvedev has lost zero.

The two Russians have faced off twice as pros (with Medvedev winning two quarterfinal bouts in 2019) and will duke it out on the biggest stage yet in the US Open quarterfinals on Thursday.

"But I think what is a similarity, that starting from juniors we always tried to get better, we always pushed each other," Medvedev said. "We were always happy when we win and disappointed when we lose. Really happy that we manage to play in the quarterfinal of a Slam."