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Other SportsCarlos Alcaraz's Madrid Open title defence ended by Andrey Rublev

Carlos Alcaraz’s Madrid Open title defence ended by Andrey Rublev

Carlos Alcaraz’s hopes of a third straight Madrid Open triumph were ended in stunning fashion by Andrey Rublev on Wednesday.

Russian Rublev recorded the biggest win of his career to date by defeating the two-time Grand Slam winner 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the quarter-finals and ending his opponent’s 14-match win streak in the Spanish capital.

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The 17th seed will face American Taylor Fritz or Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo for a place in the final.

Alcaraz, 20, struggled to find his best form throughout the contest following his gruelling three-hour showdown with Jan-Lennard Struff on Tuesday.

After claiming the upset in front of an Alcaraz-backed home crowd, Rublev told Sky Sports Tennis: “I can’t believe that I was able to stay calm throughout the match. I didn’t say a word and even I’m impressed by that.

“I want to believe that I have been working on this because if not then I’m stupid.

“After so many years, to not improve on this would mean that something is wrong with my head. I just thought to myself to keep trying, keep fighting, keep believing in yourself.

“I just wanted to go for it and thought maybe I will have more break points and in the end, I was able to return well and break him. It gave me confidence and go for it and little by little I was able to do it.

“The atmosphere was crazy and it was nice to play here.”

It is a fatal blow to Spain’s hopes of a home champion after five-time winner Rafa Nadal was sent packing by Jiri Lehecka on Tuesday in what is likely to be the 37-year-old’s final appearance at the tournament.

Meanwhile, world No2 Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the tournament with a hip injury and will not take to the court to play his quarter-final against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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