APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Rublev comes back to conquer Madrid

The Mutua Madrid Open has a new king. Andrey Rublev’s name is the eleventh to grace the prestigious winners’ circle at the Spanish Masters 1000 after he beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Manolo Santana Stadium (4-6, 7-5, 7-5).

The seventh seed needed two hours and 47 minutes to earn himself a place alongside legends such as Andre Agassi, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marat Safin, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, David Nalbandian, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz.

Auger-Aliassime was the first to strike in a set in which he found himself two breaks up in the blink of an eye. Rublev responded by letting fly from the baseline and managed to cut the deficit from 4-1 to 4-3. The Canadian then began to falter, but saved a break point that would have levelled the set, before going on to seal it for himself after 48 minutes of tennis (6-4) with his thirteenth winner – nine on his forehand and four from the service line.

After the break, Rublev persevered with his strategy and held firm on his delivery, thanks to some effective first-serving (80%) and net play (5 successful approaches out of 6 attempts). He eventually broke Auger-Aliassime’s serve at the third time of asking. His first chance came in game six, while the other two were in the twelfth and deciding game (7-5) after 53 minutes of action.

It was a similar story in the decider. Rublev came out on top of a set where breaks were hard to come by. However, the Tokyo 2020 mixed doubles gold medallist had had four chances to break by the time they reached game twelve, where he finally managed to topple the Canadian, before throwing himself onto the Madrid clay, just as Iga Swiatek had the night before.

The victory in the Spanish capital gives Rublev his second Masters 1000 title just thirteen months after he claimed his first in Monte Carlo, also on clay. He also moves into fifth on the list of active players with the most titles in the category behind Nadal, Djokovic, Zverev and Murray.

In 2024, Fernando Vicente’s understudy now has two titles to his name after the one he picked up in Hong Kong. His campaign in Madrid will mean he climbs two places up the ranking to No. 6, just one below his peak (No.5, 13 September 2021).