Tennis News: Andrey Rublev eats baby food and Iga Swiatek's mad confession

  • Rublev found a way to win through his illness
  • Swiatek issues a funny apology
Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Even while facing some accusations of sexism, the Madrid Masters ended up being a grand success. Both the women's and men's finals went a full three sets and there was drama until very late in the final set. Tennis fans truly could not have wanted more. The winners, Iga Swiatek and Andrey Rublev, seemed exhausted by the end, though.

Rublev barely made the final, but not because of his form. He played extremely well all week, including a victory over Carlos Alcaraz in three sets. The Russian kept his calm through the nearly two-week event. This is rare as Rublev sometimes explodes on the court with much of that directed at himself. He can be self-defeating at times.

Besides his opponents, however, Rublev battled a virus for most of the tournament. He questioned whether he could play early in the event but once he started winning, he was not going to stop. Rublev thanked his team and doctors for helping him to keep playing including one of his team for running to the pharmacy so many times.

Andrey Rublev and Iga Swiatek make revelations after winning the Madrid Masters

Rublev also admitted he had a fever and a throat so sore he could not swallow normal food. Instead, he was forced to eat baby food as it went down a bit easier. Speaking to Sky Sports after his victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6 7-5 7-5 in the Madrid final, Rublev discussed his issues over the fortnight.

He said, "I would say this is the most proud title of my career. I was almost dead every day. I was not sleeping at night. The last three, four days I didn’t sleep...In the beginning of this week, starting at the weekend, I had a virus...Half of my throat is blocked completely. And the first days I couldn’t eat because it was burning so I had to eat baby food. It was a disaster."

On the women's side, Swiatek was brilliant and untouchable for most of the Madrid Masters but the final was anything but easy. In a match that took over three hours and three sets to play, the WTA No. 1 finally prevailed 7-5 4-6 7-5(7) over Aryna Sabalenka but Swiatek could hardly speak afterward. She was too tired.

She did eventually right herself, as she almost always does on the court, and came through with a funny post-match victory speech that even had Sabalenka chuckling. The Pole thanked everyone she ever knew but then added this gem: "Also, volunteers, ball kids, sorry for the mean faces sometimes."

One might safely assume that the "ball kids" did not take the "mean faces" too seriously or personally. They likely understood Swiatek was making her faces more at herself and the situation. That we know, there was no awkward run-in with a ball kid as that would be even more notable than Swiatek's memorable speech.

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