Andrey Rublev wins Madrid, edging Felix Auger-Aliassime

Andrey Rublev
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

When Andrey Rublev began to play in Madrid,he was almost lost. The Russian started pretty good in January, when he won a small event, in Hong Kong. Then  he reached into the quarterfinals at the Australia Open and he looked very decent, until  he backer off, and he lost against the soon-to-be champion in Melbourne Jannik Sinner. 

However, they can lose, but they can re-set what they are going. Well, Rublev didn’t do much of anything, as over the next three months, he did not go deep again, until now.

Rublev won Madrid, overcoming Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-5 in the third set to grab it. He also beat the No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz as well as the American, Taylor Fritz. All of a sudden, his huge strokes came back.

“I think it’s normal to have ups and downs because this season I started really well and I was playing amazing,” Rublev said. “Then somehow I started to do a bit worse and then a couple of weeks I could not win a match. I think this is normal to have up-and-downs and everyone go through this, so I guess my focus was not to feel if when I will go back to normal or what is normal.”

Is it really normal? It could, if the player can be very focused, on court. When he runs, Rublev  can be fast, and when he has a decent chance to start to nail the ball, he can crack it, with his heavy forehand and his backhand. He can flatten it out, or he can split it. Also, he can change the direction. 

 Rublev is currently ranked No. 6, and he will have another chance to win a Grand Slam for the first time. Yes he has won a bunch of very good players, but in a three-out-of-five, it is certainly tougher to win seven matches in a row, rather than two-out-of-three. It is a huge difference.

At Rome and Roland Garros, Rublev will have to be even more solid to go super deep, again.

Perhaps that Auger-Aliassime was out of it, all year, until he went to Madrid. He lost almost all of the time, which was unusual, because in 2022 and 2023, he was darn, good. But then he fell out, and he missed so many errors. That was unusual, but in the final in Madrid, he returned, and while he lost in the final, he put together some terrific, calm shots. He has always been super fast, and he also can try to grind it. Now, at least last week, in the clay, he touched some soft shots, with his backhand close to the net. The winners, came. However, at the end of the third set, he was close to win it, but the now No. 20 missed a few critical error and he lost. Auger-Aliassime can be consistent for the rest of the year. He must prove it, going into the summer.   


Sinner had to retire in Madrid, and then he couldn’t play in Rome, due to an injury. The No. 2 also said he might play at Roland Garros, but maybe not,  unless he is 100 percent. That mean he won’t become the No. 1 in Paris, unless he gets healthy, which will be tough, anyway.

Four people had a fine week in Madrid with Fritz, Jiri Lehecka, Mariano Navone and Alejandro Tabilo.

Three of the Grand Slam champions are there in Rome with  Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Rafa Nadal. Will one of them win Rome again? Maybe not, as Djokovic pulled out in Madrid, Medvedev got hurt, on the court, and Nadal is still trying to play more consistent. 

One of the players, Casper Ruud, won Barcelona, so his confidence is so high. Try to do it again.