Taylor Fritz runs into buzzsaw called Andrey Rublev at Madrid Masters

Fritz should happy with his play overall.
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Taylor Fritz should be proud of himself. No, he did not win the Madrid Masters, but he proved American men can be dangerous on clay courts again. No American man had made the semifinals in Madrid since the event switched over to clay in 2009 and only two American men have won a European clay court event since 2010.

Fritz was also able to keep his semifinal match fairly tight against Russian Andrey Rublev who is an excellent clay court player. Of his 15 career titles, six were played on clay. Fritz has never won a clay court event. While Rublev won in straight sets, there were only two poor service games by Fritz that decided the match.

Rublev put himself in position to get the victory at the end of the first set when he served at love to get to 5-4 and then broke at love to take the set. Fritz was then broken again with Rublev leading 3-2 in the second set.

Andrey Rublev defeats Taylor Fritz at Madrid Masters 6-4 6-3

The American was able to swing away with Rublev, but the Russian simply has a better idea of where to consistently hit the ball and with the stellar pace that Rublev normally has. With Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, and Jannik Sinner failing in the Madrid Masters, Rublev should be the solid favorite against whoever he faces in the final. That will be either against Felix Auger-Aliassime or Jiri Lehecka.

One key for Rublev during his run in Madrid is that he has been able to keep his volcanic temper under control. He acknowledged as much after his victory over Carlos Alcaraz in three sets in the quarterfinal. In his post-match press conference, Rublev said, "I can't believe I was able to stay calm throughout the match. I didn't say a word. Even I'm impressed by that."

Rublev is a very likable player off the court but he detracts from that at times by exploding on the court. Keeping himself under control is better for the sport and the player.

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