Russian born tennis star, EvgenyDonskoy who ranked at World No. 116 defied his Emirates ATP Rankin pushing forward to save three match points, before rallying back 5-1 down in the third set tie-break which saw him finally prevail over Roger Federer, seven time winner on Wednesday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Since then, he has caused quite the stir. With a career-high ranking of No. 65 (July 2013), alongside nine ATP Challenger Tour titles, he has been able to prove his potential. Donskoy who is steadily working his way back up the rankings, possesses the hunger for the fight as he has gone on to qualify for main draws in Rotterdam and Marseille last month.

2017 has already seen the 26 year old qualify for three tournaments out of a total of five attempts this year.

In qualifying at Rotterdam, his fellow countryman, Mikhail Youzhny lost to him early last month and also during the first round played in Dubai. They both share the same coach, Boris Sobkin, who is conspicuously absent in the United Arab Emirates this week.

Donskoy noted that Youzhny has been helping him a lot, even when he was outside 200 in the ATP rankings. He also made his love for Russian players known even though he distanced himself from having anyone of them as his idol.

“When I was young, I loved Russian players, like Marat Safin and (Yevgeny) Kafelnikov, but they were never my idols. I’m different. Roger (Federer), everybody loves him, but they don’t have to be your idol to understand that he’s an unbelievable player.” He concluded.

His dream however, is to play well enough and become a legend while carving out his own legacy as well. In the Rio Olympics last summer, he went on saving two match points to beat David Ferrer.