From Madrid resurgence to Rome misery as Andrey Rublev dumped out by qualifier Alexandre Muller

Monday, 13 May 2024 at 15:48
Andrey Rublev won the Madrid Open while being horrifically sick defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime, but he became the second part of the final tandem to fall on Monday as he was dumped out in stunning fashion by Alexandre Muller 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Muller who is World No.109 had to come through qualifying, but dominated Rublev in every facet after losing the opening set to the fourth seed. The World No.6 who had another stint in hospital perhaps can't be expected to produce again this week to his highest level.
But perhaps it is a showcase that his form woes aren't exactly over just yet. He had previously gone through a barren streak stretching all the way back to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships which saw the Russian scream in the face of a line judge. Muller came through two tough tests prior to this on paper too with Marton Fucsovics (a winner this year) and Arthur Fils (a proficient clay court player) proving to be cannon fodder for the rising Frenchman.
With fights to rage likely for Roland Garros wildcards, Muller will aim to put himself in the best position possible to benefit and not have to go through qualifying and a top win against Rublev could help with that. Next up is either Stefano Napolitano or Nicolas Jarry with the home hero or a proficient clay courter in the latter. Against Rublev, the opening set was a fairly one moment affair with Muller losing his serve at 2-1 down and this allowed Rublev to sneak the set. The second saw Muller have break points to go 4-2 up. But in the end, it was to go 5-3 up after initially handing Rublev chances to hold that gave Muller the lead and he took his chance to seal the set.
Fine margins were the name of the game as Rublev lost his serve twice in a row in a more emphatic next stanza of the tie as Muller took the impetus and ran to a 5-1 lead. He did have match points to win it 6-1, but instead had to wait until the next game to claim it. Still though a superb win for Muller and questions to be asked for Rublev.

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