Andrey Rublev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime: Madrid Final Showdown for a Masters 1000 Turnaround

Andrey Rublev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime Mutua Madrid showdown

The men’s event has been marred by injuries, but it will conclude with an intriguing final between two well-known players seeking a rare Masters 1000 victory. Aside from Rafael Nadal‘s goodbye to Madrid, this has hardly been a memorable week in men’s tennis.

Andrey Rublev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime: Madrid Final Showdown for a Masters 1000 Turnaround

Novak Djokovic, the tour’s top player, was absent. Carlos Alcaraz, a Spanish hero recovering from an arm injury, was defeated in the quarterfinals. Jannik Sinner, the greatest player in 2024, had to withdraw with a hip ailment halfway through the event. Daniil Medvedev injured himself early against Jiri Lehecka and retired, while Lehecka followed suit against Felix Auger-Aliassime after six games. Auger-Aliassime reached the final after just three matches.

Despite all of that bloodshed, we’re left with a fairly interesting conclusion. Rublev and Auger-Aliassime are both Top-10 players, long-time big-event contenders, and well-liked by fans, and each is working to overcome a slump.

Auger-Aliassime’s injuries have contributed to a more than a year-long slowdown, leaving him ranked 35th. Rublev has won one match in the two months following his default in Dubai for unsportsmanlike conduct in early March. While FAA benefited from Sinner’s injuries in Madrid, he also achieved his finest win of 2024 over Casper Ruud. Rublev accomplished the same, defeating Alcaraz in the quarterfinals.

This is a rare opportunity for both men to win a Masters 1000 event. FAA is in his maiden final at that level, while Rublev is in his sixth, having won one of the previous four in Monte Carlo last year.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Auger-Aliassime says. “This is my first Masters’ final, and I’m in a new situation. These don’t happen very often, like once a week. So we play a lot of matches and train a lot, but when you get an opportunity like this, you’re obviously really motivated.”

Also Read: The 22nd Grand Slam Champion Rafael Nadal’s Comeback; From Despair to Hope

Based on their previous matches, it should be a competitive game. Rublev leads their head-to-head 4-1, but four of the five encounters have gone to a third set, including their most recent one earlier this year in Rotterdam.

“All our matches that we played was always drama, always three-sets matches,” Rublev told reporters. “It’s quite near. I’m not sure how many match points I saved the last time we played in Rotterdam.

Auger-Aliassime arguably has the advantage on the serve, while Rublev’s has been impressive this week. From the baseline, they both pound their forehands and two-handed backhands, depending on pace and placement rather than spins or speeds to win games. Because neither has a distinct advantage over the backcourt, rallies should be both lengthy and fast-paced.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we see tiebreakers or a third set, but Rublev appears to be further advanced in his comeback than Auger-Aliassime. He followed up his win over Alcaraz with a victory over Taylor Fritz in the semis. I expect him to back it up in the final.

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