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02/05/24 | 10:59 am

Flawless Rublev knocks out champion Alcaraz to move into Madrid semis

Carlos Alcaraz’s hopes of becoming the first player to win three-straight Madrid Open titles came undone as the second seed fell to a 4-6 6-3 6-2 loss in front of his home crowd to Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals on Wednesday (May 1).

The 20-year-old two-times Grand Slam champion was not at his best despite taking the opening set in 41 minutes, while Rublev put in a dominant performance to roar back and snap Alcaraz’s 14-match winning streak at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament.

The 26-year-old was on a four-match losing streak coming into the tournament but has turned the tide in Madrid. It will be Rublev’s first semi-final in Madrid and he will face either American Taylor Fritz who needed three sets to see off Argentine 21st seed Francisco Cerundolo in their Madrid Open quarter-final on Wednesday (May 1).

The 12th seeded American claimed a 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory to seal his 250th tour-level win and reach a first ATP Masters 1000 semi of the season.

Meanwhile, in the women’s category, defending champion Aryna Sabalenka eased into the Madrid Open semi-finals with a dominant straight sets win over 17-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva on Wednesday (May 1).

The Belarussian world number two did not face a break point en route to a 6-1 6-4 win in one-hour and 19 minutes.

Sabalenka next faces fourth seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in what will be their ninth career meeting and first on clay.

(Reuters)

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