Injury-Ridden Madrid Open: Jiri LEHECKA’s retirement sends Felix AUGER-ALIASSIME into final

Friday, 03 May 2024 at 20:54
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Felix Auger-Aliassime (No. 35) advanced to the final of the Madrid Open after Jiri Lehecka (No. 31) retired due to a back injury. The second semifinal witnessed another withdrawal in an eventful Madrid Open, where injuries have been abundant in the final stages of the tournament.
The Czech player had progressed after Daniil Medvedev's retirement during their quarterfinal match. The Russian managed to play only five games before suffering physical discomfort that forced him to retire at the end of the first set.
On the other side, Auger-Aliassime didn't even have to take to the court to face Jannik Sinner, who also had physical issues and decided to withdraw from the tournament to focus on the Rome Open next week.
There wasn't much action in the match. Both players dominated with their serves in the early games, and Lehecka easily saved a break point against him in the third game. At 3-3, a medical time-out was called for Lehecka, who was struggling with his back.
Auger-Aliassime will play his first final of the year
After just over 8 minutes of a break, Lehecka returned to the court, but he only played three points before collapsing in clear discomfort from the pain in his back, forcing him to retire before finishing the game and granting Felix Auger-Aliassime passage to his first Masters 1000 final.
Luck has been on the Canadian's side in Madrid these weeks. Of the six matches that led him to the final, he advanced three times due to his opponents' injuries. First, in the third round, where he was leading 6-1, 1-0 against Jakub Mensik before the young Czech retired due to injury.
Later in the quarterfinals, Sinner did not show up to play, so Auger-Aliassime advanced directly to the semifinals, where only six games were played before he reached his first Masters 1000 final. On Sunday, competing for the title will be Andrey Rublev, who easily defeated Taylor Fritz with a score of 6-4, 6-3.

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