After walk-over laden run, Felix Auger-Aliassime benefits also through ranking rise after Madrid Open

Sunday, 05 May 2024 at 02:30
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Felix Auger-Aliassime will experience a significant rise in the ATP Ranking following a series of withdrawals that propelled him to the final of the Madrid Open. Injuries have been a major theme at the Caja Magica this year, and the Canadian was the big beneficiary.
The world No. 35 hadn't been having a stellar 2024, having dropped out of the top 30 for the first time since 2019. However, the withdrawal of three of his opponents along the way helped him, at 23 years old and far from his best, to reach his first Masters 1000 final.

A golden opportunity in Madrid

The Canadian only needed to finish three out of the six matches he was supposed to play to reach the final, becoming the first player to advance in this manner in a Masters 1000 since 1990. Even more astonishing, of the four matches he was scheduled to complete in the week, he finished only one.
On Monday in the third round, young Czech Jakub Mesik retired while trailing 6-1, 1-0 against the Canadian, who two days later defeated Casper Ruud in straight sets and secured his spot in the quarterfinals against the first seed Jannik Sinner. The Italian announced he would not compete due to hip discomfort, and the former world No. 6 unexpectedly advanced to the semifinals.
He took to the court against Jiri Lehecka, but only managed to play 6 games before the Czech decided to retire due to lower back pain. "It’s crazy," said Auger-Aliassime at the press conference before the final. "I don’t know if it’s ever happened to a player before."
Auger-Aliassime has a record of 5-9 in finals, with an 0-2 record on clay courts.
"It’s kind of a weird situation to be in on my part. It’s never happened to me in my career so far, a withdrawal or a walkover or retirement of this sort, and back-to-back like this. I couldn’t believe what was happening when I saw his back blocked on him."
His appearance in the Madrid Open final guarantees his return to the top 20 of the ATP Ranking after six months and secures him a seeding at the upcoming French Open. The former world No. 6 has a golden opportunity against Andrey Rublev (No. 8) and will seek his first Masters 1000 title. If he clinches the title, he will rise a few more spots to No. 17.

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