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Andrey Rublev Wins Maiden Madrid Title

MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 05: Andrey Rublev lifts the Mutua Madrid Open trophy following victory in the Men’s Singles Final match against Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada on Day Thirteen of Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on May 05, 2024 in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Facing fault lines and jolting firepower, Andrey Rublev calmly completed red clay reclamation.

In a dramatic Mutua Madrid Open final, Rublev rallied past Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 to capture his 16th career championship, including his second Masters 1000 title.

The sometime volatile Rublev was resolute today. Rublev overcame a gritty Auger-Aliassime and his own emotion to become the first Russian man since Hall of Famer Marat Safin in 2004—when it was still a hard-court event—to win Madrid.

The seventh-seeded Rublev double faulted twice in succession to start the match, gifted two breaks almost immediately, was a point away from going down 1-5, yet never completely let his sometime raging temper consume him.

Instead, Rublev channeled frustration into action closing a two hour, 48-minute battle when Auger-Aliassime coughed up his fourth double fault.

“For sure, the best mental performance [of my career] when I won the title,” Rublev told Tennis Channel’s Prakash Amritraj afterward.

A match that started and ended with doubles had a whole lot of dynamic shotmaking for the duration.

Afterward, Rublev, who knocked off four seeds—-Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Tallon Griekspoor, two-time defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and Taylor Fritz—en route to the final, paid tribute to Auger-Aliassime as a class character.

“I would like to say thanks a lot to Felix,” Rublev said. “Very disappointed to lose a match like this. I’m sorry I know the feeling.

“I say this many times and I will not be tired to say it again: You are a true inspiration for me as a player, for the spectators, for the kids, how professional you are, how humble you are, how nice person you are. I just want to wish you all the best. You always have great people around you…hope you will have together many more success.”

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World No. 35 Auger-Aliassime, who took a couple of medical timeouts for apparent muscle spasms in his legs, was denied his 200th career victory. Still, Auger-Aliassime will rise to No. 20 with this inspired run to his maiden Masters 1000 final.

“Congrats to Andrey, [you’re a] very deserving winner congrats to you and your team,” Auger-Aliassime said afterward. “I tried until the end. I’m sorry I made you maybe think, overthink, I was struggling. You’re a great player, we always have a great time on the tour, very deserving. Well done.”

Though 2023 Monte-Carlo champion Rublev has been criticized for failing to surpass a Grand Slam quarterfinal in 22 major appearances, consider what he has achieved. In addition to six Slam quarterfinals in his last seven appearances, Rublev now owns two Masters 1000 titles.

The 26-year-old Russian is just the fifth active man with multiple clay-court Masters 1000 titles at different events joining Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Andy Murray in that class. Six of Rublev’s 16 career titles have come on red dirt.