Felix Auger-Aliassime Australian Open 2022

Felix Auger-Aliassime hopes to take advantage of ‘weird situation’ as he prepares for Madrid Open final

Felix Auger-Aliassime will contest his first Masters 1000 final at the Madrid Open on Sunday, but he has only completed three matches in the Spanish capital to get there.

A bizarre turn of events in Madrid has seen many of the high-profile names withdraw due to injury concerns in the latter stages of the event.

Jannik Sinner handed the Canadian a walkover in the quarter-final stage and Jiri Lehecka was forced to retire at 3-3 in their semi-final bout.

Auger-Aliassime referred to the situation as ‘crazy’, but will hope to take full advantage when he faces Andrey Rublev in the final.

“It’s crazy, it’s a weird situation to be in,” said Auger-Aliassime. “It’s never happened to me in my career so far. A withdrawal or walkover or retirement of this sort, back to back like this. I couldn’t believe what was happening when I saw his back failed him – I feel really bad.

“We can all imagine what it feels like to come out on a night like this hoping to win and go through. Having to battle with your opponent and not being able to play. I have a lot of empathy for Jiri. For me, I can’t do anything but try to prepare for Sunday.”

What did Felix Auger-Aliassime say about facing Andrey Rublev in the final?

World No.8 Rublev made his way through world No.3 Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-final before despatching Taylor Fritz in straight sets to book his spot in Sunday’s final.

The Russian will be contesting his fifth Masters final, having only won one of them in Monte Carlo last year, but the lack of experience in finals of this level will not deter Auger-Aliassime from producing his best tennis.

Though the Canadian did have kind words for his opponent ahead of their clash in what will be their sixth meeting on tour.

“It’s always a tough battle against Rublev,” the 23-year-old said. “I had a close one with him in Rotterdam this year, I had some match points, so hopefully it can go my way this time.

“He’s always a player that fights hard and is always present every tournament. We all have highs and lows as players but he’s always there. That’s why we’re seeing him again in a big final like this. He really deserves it.”

READ NEXT: Andrey Rublev feeling better mentally as he advances to fifth Masters final in Madrid

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Jerome Coombe, Tennishead Writer, discovered his love for tennis journalism whilst studying languages and playing competitive tennis. He has a vast knowledge of tennis and strives to shed a light on all corners of the sport.