Carlos Alcaraz’s hold on Madrid Open ends with loss to Andrey Rublev

Carlos Alcaraz’s hold on Madrid Open ends with loss to Andrey Rublev

Carlos Alcaraz’s hopes of becoming the first player to win three straight Madrid Open titles came undone as the second seed was beaten in front of his home crowd 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 by the Russian seventh seed, Andrey Rublev, in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old two-time grand slam champion was not at his best despite taking the opening set in 41 minutes. Rublev put in a dominant performance to end Alcaraz’s 14-match winning streak at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament.

It will be Rublev’s first semi-final in Madrid. The 26-year-old had entered the tournament on a four-match losing streak, including defeats in Miami, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. “Maybe this week is a relief but then next week we go back to the same … so better not to think this way because when you start to think: ‘Oh, how good everything is’. That’s what happened at the beginning of the season,” he said.

“Then for six weeks I wasn’t winning anything. It’s better to not think at all. It happens to everyone. Every player has been through these moments. The most important thing is to keep working and improving and then remember that one week can change anything.”

Meanwhile, men’s top seed Jannik Sinner, who was due to face Félix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals on Thursday, has pulled out of the tournament with a hip injury. Auger-Aliassime gets a walkover into the last four.

“Very sad to have to withdraw from my next match here in Madrid,” Italy’s Sinner said on X. “My hip has been bothering me this week and has slowly been getting more painful. Taking the advice from the doctors we decided it’s best to not play further and make it worse.”