Player Features

Rublev, Medvedev Experience One Direction Mania

Rublev reflects on memorable moment
March 23, 2023
Louis Tomlinson and Andrey Rublev pose for a photo in Mexico.
Louis Tomlinson and Andrey Rublev pose for a photo in Mexico. By ATP Staff

One Direction and two ATP Tour stars combined for an unforgettable moment in Mexico.

Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev spent a day in Mexico before traveling to Florida for the Miami Open presented by Itau. They received a big surprise when they met One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson.

“That was funny because when we were arriving, we saw so many people in front of the hotel,” Rublev said. “Daniil was like, ‘Why [are there] so many people here?’

“Outside of the hotel were a thousand people, kids, girls. As soon as he came out you cannot imagine what was happening. I saw it only in YouTube videos. I’ve never seen something like this in my life.”

Rublev took his phone out to record the scene as Tomlinson’s fans screamed. When the singer walked by, he stopped to take a photo with the tennis players.

“It was a bit embarrassing, but it was still okay. In Daniil’s situation it was embarassing-embarassing because first of all the guy had no idea who we are and Daniil had no idea who he is. Me at least, I knew who he is, but Daniil had no idea,” Rublev said. “He was with 10 security [guards] around, he was in the middle and they were like, ‘Okay, fast, or something’. Even if they told him that we are athletes, that we are not that bad, not just random people.

“It was just, ‘Hey hey’, fast photo. But at least I knew who he is. Daniil, he didn’t even know, so he didn’t even want to do the photo. But [he did] because they said, ‘Okay let’s do it, it’s going to be nice’. Daniil didn’t know him, the guy didn’t know him, but it looked like Daniil is a fan of his because he was the one who approached.”

Rublev was plenty familiar with Tomlinson. In 2015, he recorded a music video covering One Direction’s Steal My Girl.

“Actually, I had fun. I like music a lot and I never had at that moment [the] experience [of] how you do [a music video] from the beginning because all the instruments that were there, it’s not from the cover,” Rublev said. “The guys were playing with real instruments. Everything — piano, guitar, drums — were separated and then they put them all together. So for me it was a really nice experience to see how this process goes.”

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The biggest question is, who would Rublev have join him in a tennis-player version of One Direction.

“I would not pick myself,” Rublev quickly said.

He thought of players who look like an artist, producing names including Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul and Casper Ruud, who reminds him of Niall Horan.

How about Medvedev?

“No chance,” Rublev said. “Daniil can be the agent. Daniil is the manager.”

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