Andrey RUBLEV claims Madrid Open crown with gritty performance against Felix AUGER-ALIASSIME

Monday, 06 May 2024 at 01:43
Andrey Rublev (No. 8) is the champion of the Madrid Open after defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime (No. 35) 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. The Russian had a shaky start but showed increasingly higher level to clinch his second Masters 1000 title.
In an entertaining final, the Canadian displayed great resilience despite Rublev's superiority for much of the match. The 26-year-old Rublev now has 16 titles as a professional, 6 of them on clay, and will advance to world No. 6.

Unexpected Finalists at Caja Magica

The Canadian had luck on his side on the way to the final, as he received a walkover in the third round against Jakub Mensik after playing only one set. Then in the quarterfinals, his opponent, the first seed Jannik Sinner, decided not to play due to hip problems, and a day later, he played only six games against Jiri Lehecka in the semifinals before he also retired.
Rublev (7th seed) also left behind a rough patch after four consecutive defeats before coming to Madrid. This week, the 26-year-old Russian eliminated the second seed and two-time defending champion Carlos Alcaraz on his way and then defeated the American Taylor Fritz in the semifinals.

Rublev clinches second Masters 1000 Title

Rublev came in as the most experienced player in these stages, marking his fourth Masters 1000 final, and had a slight favoritism over his opponent. The Russian showed nerves as he conceded his first service game without winning a point, giving his opponent a significant advantage.
Rublev had 4 conssecutive losses before Madrid
Auger-Aliassime maintained the lead for some service games and threatened his opponent's serve with some break points in his favor. The Canadian secured the second break and went up 4-1, although Rublev immediately recovered it, it was not enough to turn the set around, and Felix managed to hold on to the lead and took the set 6-4.
As the match progressed, Rublev loosened up his service and improved the sensations from the first games that were entirely in favor of Auger-Aliassime. The Canadian had a 77% first serve and won 67% of them, while Rublev had a 66% first serve, winning 62% of them. However, Auger-Aliassime's 14 winners and 5 unforced errors marked clear differences against his rival's 5 winners and 4 unforced errors.
In the second set, the pressure was once again on Rublev's side, who seemed much calmer from the service but didn't manage much from the return. The set unfolded smoothly for both, in the sixth game Auger-Aliassime saved a break point against him, and it was becoming increasingly evident that Rublev was closer to taking the lead. Just when the tie-break seemed imminent, Rublev got a couple of break opportunities and eventually clinched the set 7-5, becoming increasingly superior to his opponent.
The third set continued with Rublev easily winning his service games while Auger-Aliassime struggled to keep up with his rival. The Canadian saved break points against him in most of the service games but stayed alive against an impeccable Rublev who at times became practically unplayable for his opponent.
With the score 5-6 against him, the pressure was too much for Auger-Aliassime, who conceded the first match point of the match and unfortunately committed a double fault that handed the title to Rublev 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. With this victory, Rublev reaches world No. 6, extends his head-to-head against Auger-Aliassime to 5-1, and totals 16 titles in his career.

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