ATP

Alcaraz withdraws from Italian Open, Rublev to meet Auger Aliassime in Madrid

By Sports Desk May 03, 2024

Carlos Alcaraz has withdrawn from next week's Italian Open due to the arm injury that troubled him at the Madrid Open, where Andrey Rublev and Felix Auger Aliassime will face off in Sunday's final.

Alcaraz saw his bid for a third successive Madrid Open crown halted by Rublev in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, the Spaniard being pegged back after taking the opening set in a 4-6 6-3 6-2 loss.

The two-time grand slam champion – who had won his previous 24 matches at Spanish clay-court events – looked tired throughout that match and has now withdrawn from next week's ATP 1000 Masters event in Rome.

In a post to X, Alcaraz wrote: "I felt pain after playing in Madrid, discomfort in my arm. 

"Today I had some tests and I have muscle edema in the pronator teres, a consequence of my last injury. Unfortunately I won't be able to play in Rome. I need rest to recover and be able to play 100 per cent pain-free." 

Alcaraz only has limited time to recover if he is to feature at the year's second major, with the French Open due to begin on May 20.

Alcaraz's conqueror Rublev advanced to the final of the Madrid event on Friday, producing a commanding performance to beat American Taylor Fritz 6-4 6-3 in the last four.

Rublev entered the Madrid Open on a run of four straight losses, but he is now into his third ATP Masters 1000 final since the start of 2023 – a tally only bettered by Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev (four apiece).

His opponent in Sunday's showpiece match will be Auger Aliassime, who progressed by virtue of a walkover on Friday after semi-final opponent Jiri Lehecka was forced to retire through injury.

Lehecka left the court for treatment on a back injury after just six games, with Auger Aliassime having held serve for 3-3. He only managed to play three further points on his return before calling the match to a halt in a disappointing ending to the night session.

Data Debrief: Lucky Auger Aliassime

Auger Aliassime would surely have preferred to win his semi-final the traditional way, but the Canadian should be fresh for Sunday's final after spending very limited time on court.

He has progressed through three rounds at this year's Madrid Open courtesy of a retirement or walkover, with Jakub Mensik and Jannik Sinner also stricken.

He is the first player since 1990 to progress through three rounds via retirement or walkover at a single ATP Masters event.

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