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Rublev Rolls to Madrid Masters Title

Rublev Rolls to Madrid Masters Title
May 5, 2024

Andrey Rublev battled through a fair amount of physical issues as he pushed the mental side of his game to the extreme. In the end it all came together with the best dividends he could have hoped for.

The 26-year-old, who was runner-up at last year's Rolex Shanghai Masters, had been going through a horror run of results. For six weeks coming into the Mutua Madrid Open he had not won a match. His tennis was just not there, and in Madrid he wondered if he would get through matches let alone win the tournament. 

In what he called his "proudest" title, he came back from a set down to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in two hours 48 minutes. It is his second Masters 1000, his sixth title on clay and 16th career title.

It took Rublev's head-to-head record with the Canadian to 5-1. It was their second meeting this year, the last, in Rotterdam, also went three sets as Rublev rallied from a set down and again won 7-5 in the final set.

"I feel happy. I feel relief, happy, and that's it. Could not do better that I did this last one week and a half," Rublev said.

"(The doctors) were doing kind of anesthesia in my finger, on my feet, because my finger and the feet somehow get inflammated and start to be double bigger and all the pressure start to be on the bone, and the pressure on the bone, when you have pressure on the bone, you cannot even put your feet inside the shoe. 

"The feeling is similar to when it's broken, I guess. So that's why they were putting anesthesia for me to don't feel it. Like I say, at least I was able to play without thinking.

"I'm still sick from everything. No, yeah, I'm still sick, and I guess I will go to the hospital for full check. Don't know exactly what's going on, because I have been sick already for eight, nine days, and this is not normal.

"The same, like, not really improvements, which is strange, because normally all my life, if I was sick, it's two, three days, maximum. Still maybe fever but nothing special. This time, first time I feel that worst in my life."

It was almost as if Andrey was auditioning for a part in a television medical series.

This result should put him back on the right path with his results as he heads to Rome. He said it is normal to have some ups and downs through the year. He worked on keeping his focus, after all he had started the season very well. For him it was just to keep working, to keep trying to improve and using the chances that will come.

"In one moment, I will have a chance, and then as soon as I will have a chance, I will need to use it, because this week will change everything," he said. "In the end, it happened here. Now looks like clay season been so good to me, you know, even the last two clay tournaments I lost first round."

Auger-Aliassime said as soon as the third set started, he began to feel some cramps in both legs. The physio attended to him a couple of times. He added that he started to think about things, and he was just trying to hold serve. In that final set his serve was under pressure throughout.

"I was a bit disappointed with how things were going. I was trying to manage it, trying to stay there, obviously knowing that I could serve well," Auger-Aliassime said. "I was just, like, every serve I've got to serve as good as I can, and I was able to until 6-5, and then, I mean, then it's not rocket science. 

"I just, two double faults in the game, and I don't know, one more mistake probably from my part, I can't remember. And every time I had to run, every time I had to engage in a rally -- yeah, we had this long rally at 30-All, actually, and I think that was also the reason I double-faulted on match point.

"Yeah, I wasn't able to win any rallies in the third set. He was deserving. I just want to say he was deserving to win today."

The Canadian has been through a rough time with his results and maybe this will be a launch pad for him. It has moved his ranking back to the top 20 from the mid-thirties.

The doubles title which was decided the day before went to Jordan Thompson and Sebi Thompson who were teaming up for the first time. They beat Ariel Behar and Adam Pavlasek 6-3, 7-6.

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