Rublev upsets Alcaraz to end Spaniard’s Madrid dominance

Rublev upsets Alcaraz to end Spaniard's Madrid dominance
Rublev upsets Alcaraz to end Spaniard’s Madrid dominance

 

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Andrey Rublev Ends Carlos Alcaraz’s Madrid Title Streak with Quarter-Final Victory

Andrey Rublev scored his top victory this season on Wednesday at the Mutua Madrid Open by halting Carlos Alcaraz‘s bid for a third straight ATP Masters 1000 title.

The seventh seed confidently defeated the third seed in the quarter-final match, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 after two hours and one minute. Rublev credited his strong serving for his victory, stating, “My serve helped me a lot today. I remained calm throughout the match, which was crucial. Even when I was behind, I stayed composed. My serving improved as the match progressed, especially towards the end. Initially, my serve wasn’t as good, but it got better with each set, and I finished strong.”

Under the roof at Manolo Santana Stadium, the 26-year-old hit powerful shots from his forehand side, overpowering Alcaraz at times. Rublev hit 30 winners and often moved forward to pressure the Spaniard, who didn’t perform as well after his long match against Jan-Lennard Struff in the fourth round.

Rublev clinched his 19th tour-level win this season, boosting his record to 8-10 against top-ranked opponents. His last victory over a top-ranked player was at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2022, where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas. Alcaraz hoped to be the first ever to win three Madrid titles in a row. The 20-year-old Spaniard began well against Rublev but struggled when he didn’t hit deep shots. Rublev, ranked 8th globally, capitalized on this, hitting precise shots to hand Alcaraz his first loss on Spanish soil since 2021 Madrid.

Rublev came to the clay-court tournament after losing four matches in a row, but he’s back in form now. He served well, making 74% of his first serves, and followed them up with strong groundstrokes. Alcaraz couldn’t handle his game in sets two and three.

 

Having only lost one set in Madrid, Rublev will face either Taylor Fritz or Francisco Cerundolo in the semi-finals of the ATP Masters 1000, his eighth at this level.

Rublev recently shared, “For six weeks, I wasn’t winning at all when I focused on how good everything is. So, it’s better not to dwell on thoughts. These moments happen to everyone. The key is to keep working and improving.” Rublev won in Monte-Carlo last season, and he also clinched an ATP 250 title in Hong Kong this year. He’s currently ranked ninth in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin.

Alcaraz has an 18-5 record this year, with his major win being in Indian Wells, where he secured his fifth ATP Masters 1000 title. Due to a right arm injury, the two-time major champion missed clay-court events in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. In Madrid, he played all four matches with strapping.

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