Andrey Rublev Ends Alcaraz’s Madrid 2024 Reign with Stunning Victory; Jannik Withdraws

Andrey Rublev showcased a remarkable comeback, defeating Carlos Alcaraz and ending his impressive 14-match winning streak at the Mutua Madrid Open 2024.

Entering the Caja Magica with a four-match losing streak, the No. 7 seed overcame the two-time defending champion to get to his first Masters 1000 semifinal of 2024.

Andrey Rublev Ends Alcaraz’s Madrid 2024 Reign with Stunning Victory; Jannik Withdraws

At the 2024 Mutua Madrid Open, Andrey Rublev continued his mid-season comeback, defeating two-time defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and ending his 14-match winning streak 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

“The serve saved me a lot of times today,” Rublev remarked on the court following the game. The fact that it was one of my first matches in which I was totally composed was, I believe, crucial. Despite the fact that I was losing, I remained silent. I believe it was the key to my ability to serve even better because, although I wasn’t serving well at first, I gradually improved after one set and finished really well.”

The No. 7 seed had a four-match losing streak going into the Caja Magica, but he has recovered just as the clay-court season gets underway, defeating the No. 2 seed in less than two hours to win his first Top 3 match since the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals (d. Stefanos Tsitsipas).

“I’m at a loss for words. Perhaps things will improve next week, therefore it’s best not to think that way now. I wasn’t winning anything for six weeks, which is what happens when you start to think how great everything is, which was the case at the start of the season. It is best to not think at all because it is only a fleeting moment and neither good nor negative. Everyone has experienced these moments; it’s only a matter of continuing to work on yourself, get better, and never forget that a single week has the power to transform your life.”

In fact, Rublev had changed drastically in the months following his unexpected withdrawal from the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The 26-year-old was playing Alexander Bublik in the third set when he was ejected from the match for unsportsmanlike behavior after using an audible profanity towards a line official.

Rublev won his first match back at the BNP Paribas Open and was granted to keep his ranking points and prize money after filing an appeal. However, he then went on a long slump that saw him lose in the first round of both the Miami Open and the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, where he was the reigning champion.

Few people were watching Rublev, a longtime fan favorite, as he began his Madrid campaign with victories in straight sets over No. 27 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Facundo Bagnis. After defeating Tallon Greikspoor, ranked No. 24, he was scheduled to play Alcaraz, who had defeated him in their lone previous match in Turin last autumn.

Alcaraz arrived in Madrid without any match experience, having missed events in Barcelona and Monte Carlo because of a nagging forearm injury. Rublev, on the other hand, lacked momentum. The 20-year-old looked strong in his opening two matches, winning in straight sets over Thiago Seyboth Wild and Alexander Shevchenko despite wearing a compression sleeve over his right arm.

Alcaraz, who lost the second set and almost the match after serving for it in the third, had a drastically different match against No. 23 seed Jan-Lennard Struff in a rematch of the 2023 Madrid final.

Even yet, the defending Wimbledon champion looked assured against Rublev right on, breaking serve in the fifth game and posing a threat to break again when the Russian served to tie the match at 5-3. Rublev survived two set points, but after a change of ends, Alcaraz managed to serve it out, and he was down a set.

Rublev took an 0-40 lead only to end on his fifth opportunity as the second set came down to a marathon second game. He save two of his own when the Spaniard charged to even the set and continued to pressure Alcaraz’s serve with more break chances.

Rublev managed to force a decider and open with another break when a rubbed-out mark left him unable to challenge. Fighting off two more break chances to remain in the lead, the upset was clearly in sight when he surged ahead with a 5-1, double-break benefit.

Though Alcaraz enthusiastically held serve as the match neared the two-hour mark, Rublev was unperturbed stepping to the line to serve for the match. A drop shot winner from Rublev and a backhand miss from Alcaraz brought up two match points; Rublev would only need one, jamming Alcaraz with one last serve to book his spot in the semifinals.

Waiting for him there will be the winner of the final quarterfinal match of the day between No. 12 seed Taylor Fritz (Fritz leads 5-3) and No. 21 seed Francisco Cerundolo (H2H tied 1-1).

Also Read: Carlos Alcaraz Secures Consecutive Indian Wells (2024) Triumphs, Defeating Medvedev in Final

Jannik Sinner’s Withdrawal Due to Right-Hip Injury

In a recent turn of events at the Mutua Madrid Open, top seed Jannik Sinner was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a right-hip injury. This news came shortly after the departure of second seed Carlos Alcaraz, setting the stage for a dynamic shift in the competition.

Andrey Rublev Ends Alcaraz’s Madrid 2024 Reign with Stunning Victory; Jannik Withdraws

Sinner’s withdrawal was preceded by signs of discomfort during his earlier matches, particularly noticeable during his third-round victory over Pavel Kotov. This indicated an ongoing issue with his right hip, prompting concerns about his fitness and ability to continue competing at the highest level.

The withdrawal of the world No. 2 created an opportunity for Felix Auger-Aliassime to advance to the semi-finals, following his victory over Barcelona titlist Casper Ruud. This development reshaped the tournament’s landscape and added a layer of unpredictability to the remaining matches.

While Sinner expressed disappointment over his withdrawal, he emphasized the importance of prioritizing recovery and following medical advice to avoid aggravating the injury further. His focus now shifts to preparing for his upcoming participation in the Rome Masters 1000 event, where he aims to showcase his full fitness and competitive prowess.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *