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Felix Auger-Aliassime Reaches Madrid Open Final in Unusual Fashion

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Montreal‘s rising tennis star, Felix Auger-Aliassime, has secured a spot in the final of his first ATP Masters tournament at the Madrid Open. However, his journey to the final has been unconventional, marked by a series of opponents’ retirements and withdrawals

Auger-Aliassime’s recent opponent, Jiri Lehecka from Czechia, retired during their semifinal clash with the score tied at 3-3 in the first set. Lehecka, visibly affected by back pain, attempted to continue but ultimately had to concede the match after three more points.

In an unfortunate turn of events, Auger-Aliassime’s quarterfinal foe, top-seeded Jannik Sinner, pulled out of the tournament due to a hip injury. Additionally, the Canadian advanced by walkover in the third round when Jakub Mensik retired from their match with Auger-Aliassime leading 6-1, 1-0.

Despite the atypical route to the final, Auger-Aliassime has showcased his skill on the court in Madrid. He dominated against the likes of Casper Ruud from Norway and Adrian Mannarino from France in previous rounds, displaying impressive form.

Up next for Auger-Aliassime in Sunday‘s final is the seventh-seeded Russian, Andrey Rublev, who secured his spot with a convincing victory over American Taylor Fritz in the semifinal. Rublev holds a 4-1 record against Auger-Aliassime, with their only clay court meeting taking place at the 2018 Croatian Open.

This unprecedented sequence of withdrawals and retirements in Auger-Aliassime’s run at the Madrid Open marks a unique chapter in the young Canadian’s career, setting the stage for an intriguing final showdown against the formidable Rublev.

Rachel Adams

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