In a video that went viral online earlier this year, World No. 19 Grigor Dimitrov and World No. 7 Andrey Rublev showcased their friendship. Dimitrov was seen putting his arm over Rublev as he spoke into the camera, “To all the fans, to all the people out there, we had a lot of fun with [Andrey]. Can you tell us what we did?”

To which Rublev replied, “I almost fell in love with you”. The video originated from Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters’ X account and was released in April 2023.

Six months later, The Tennis Letter re-posted the video just days before Dimitrov and Rublev’s semi-final showdown. Tennis fans gushed in the comments section over the two’s blossoming court bromance, claiming it’s rare to see such tight camaraderie amongst tennis professionals these days.

“Throwback to the moment Andrey Rublev declared his love for Grigor Dimitrov earlier this year.

Andrey: “I almost fell in love with you.” 😂

The bromance that keeps on giving.

Ladies & Gentleman, I give you your Shanghai Masters Semifinalists.”

When asked about playing his close buddy in the semi-finals, Rublev responded that it would be challenging because, one, he is his friend, and two, he is an outstanding player.

“It’s gonna be a tough match. First, because he’s a friend & I like him. Second, because he’s a really great player. It’s really tough to beat him when he feels the game. When he’s in form, he can play amazing. We can see this week he’s playing really well. Especially the match against Alcaraz. Last time he beat me in straight sets. We’ll see. I hope we can show great tennis & the people will enjoy,” per The Tennis Letter.

And, in a post-match interview, Rublev reiterated to the viewers that facing Dimitrov in Shanghai will be difficult, saying, “It’s going to be a really tough match against my love.

Rublev vs. Dimitrov

Last Saturday’s Shanghai Masters semi-final saw Dimitrov and Rublev put their friendship on hold to face off in a thrilling match. The spectators witnessed the duo pushing each other to their limits in the initial set, which featured a tie-breaker that extended the match to a total of 76 minutes.

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The ball looked to clip the net at one point during the highly charged match, but the umpire did not issue a “let”, prompting Dimitrov to become furious with the umpire. Rublev, on the other side, volunteered to play the point, which Dimitrov declined gracefully, adding “It’s fine really, it’s fine. I appreciate it.

Rublev eventually won the set, then labored from 0-2 in the second set to beat Dimitrov 7-6(7), 6-3.

As the match ended, the two reverted to being friends and hugged on the court, capturing the attention of Tennis fans once more.

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The photo above is from a YouTube screengrab

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