2024 Madrid Open Men's Semi-Final Match Preview as Felix AUGER-ALIASSIME and Jiri LEHECKA looks for first Masters 1000 final

Friday, 03 May 2024 at 19:23
The second semifinal at the Madrid Open will feature two unexpected protagonists as Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jiri Lehecka vie for a spot in the final following physical problems for Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev.
Auger-Aliassime is playing in the semifinals of a Masters 1000 for the third time in his career, although he has never reached the final before, while Lehecka is having his best Masters campaign by reaching the semifinals for the first time at the age of 22.

Auger-Aliassime and Lehecka: big surprises in the semifinals

The Canadian had a quiet path, benefiting from two retirements of opponents along the way. Auger-Aliassime entered as an unseeded player and secured victories against Yoshito Nishioka, Adrian Mannarino, Jakub Mensik (retirement of the Czech in the second set), and Casper Ruud. He didn't even have to take to the court for the quarterfinals against Sinner, who withdrew from the tournament due to physical discomfort.
On the other hand, the 30th seed secured consecutive victories over Hamad Medjedovic, Thiago Monteiro, and Rafael Nadal, in addition to claiming victory against Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals after the Russian retired at the end of the first set.
So far, they have only had one previous encounter back in the 2023 Australian Open. Lehecka was outside the top 70 and was one of the surprises of the fourth round, with victories over the 21st seed Borna Coric and the 11th seed Cameron Norrie along the way. However, he achieved the biggest win of his career against world No. 6 Auger-Aliassime with a score of 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 7-6. He would later fall in the quarterfinals against No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Lehecka has reached to two ATP finals so far, but none of them on clay courts.
The good performances of both players in recent weeks at the Madrid Open have allowed them to secure significant advances in the rankings. Lehecka has already guaranteed at least world No. 22, his best historical ranking, while Auger-Aliassime will return to the top 30 after a few weeks and will practically be guaranteed a seeding at the French Open.
The winner of the match will play their first Masters 1000 final against the winner between Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz. Not many people would have predicted the four surprising semifinalists, in an exciting open draw with the exit of the main favorites, which will culminate in a new champion in Madrid.

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