Rublev enters the Madrid final after defeating Fritz

MADRID.- Andrey Rublev beat Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the Madrid Open final on Friday and continue to turn around her season on clay.

The Russian, ranked eighth, arrived in Madrid on a four-match losing streak with premature eliminations in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He has four consecutive wins in the Spanish capital, including one against two-time Spanish champion Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals.

“It's crazy,” Rublev said. “He is the good thing about sports, about tennis. One week can change everything, you have to remember that… because you can't always give 100%, so it's normal that there are ups and downs.”

Rublev will face the winner of the match between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jiri Lehecka later in the final on Sunday.

The European is seeking the 16th title of his career and his second of the season after winning the title in Hong Kong in January.

Fritz, number 13 in the ranking, came into the match with a 5-3 record against Rublev. He was also looking for his second title of the season and eighth of his career. He won in February in Delray Beach.

Rublev recovery:

After a close start, Rublev took advantage by breaking Fritz's serve at love in his final service game of the first set. Fritz hit seven aces (compared to Rublev's five), but only connected on 55% of his first serves. The Russian connected 75% of his first serves and had 20 winners compared to Fritz's 16.

“Mentally I felt much better and was able to perform,” Rublev said. “Put emotions in the right direction. “It sure helped me get to the final.”

On Saturday, current top player Iga Swiatek will face No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in a repeat of last year's final, which Sabalenka won.