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Felix Auger-Aliassime takes a positive look, despite the defeat against Rublev in the final of the Madrid Open.

Felix Auger-Aliassime reached the final of the Madrid Open after three walkovers along the way, but fell to Andrey Rublev in his first Masters 1000 final. The 23-year-old Canadian started the first set strongly, but was only able to maintain his level at the end of the match and ultimately lost the title 6-4, 5-7, 5-7.

Despite the loss in the final, the young player was proud of his performance in Madrid: “Even under the conditions there were some good moments where I showed a good level,” said Auger-Aliassime after the defeat to Andrei Rublev in the championship match of Sunday. . “It was obviously a strange week with all the walkovers, but I’m going into next week with the same confidence as this week. This tournament I felt like I could play well.”

Felix Auger-Aliassime hopes to maintain his confidence for the rest of the clay swing

His Madrid campaign has propelled him to world number 17, earning him a seeded position at the Rome Open and Roland Garros. Auger-Aliassime acknowledged that he faces the coming challenges with confidence: “Rome is the same. I have the feeling that it is a tournament that I have had good memories of in the past. I’m going to try to just keep going, keep doing the things I’m good at, not put too much pressure, have expectations that I need to be perfect, and enjoy. Enjoy the days and learn from the setbacks, stay cool and take it easy.”

During the final against Rublev, the Canadian saved eight break points against him, but in both the second and third sets he faltered just before the tiebreak: “It’s a long match, three sets, a lot of games. I think overall I served well, as best I could. But from the baseline and the return I had the feeling that there are matches where I do a little better,” said Auger-Aliassime.

“(I wasn’t) as accurate as other times on certain shots, the return, coming in early and trying to apply some pressure but not being precise. So not having this tool of mine that I can have, I put pressure on the return (of his) second serve early, and then the backhand didn’t find as much precision on the crosscourts and along the lines.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime lost his first Masters 1000 final and has a 5-10 record in finals

“That part, the first set, was great, but the second set wasn’t quite the best. But in the end I was just fighting with what I had. I think my serve kept me going through the match, and I was really hoping to find a way to get a break or something. But yeah, that wasn’t the intention.”

“From the beginning of the third set, as soon as it started, I started having some cramps in both my legs. Then I just tried to hold serve and I don’t know, I had a lot of thoughts. I was a little disappointed with how it went,” Auger-Aliassime said.

“I tried to make it happen, tried to stay there, obviously knowing I could serve well. I just thought: ‘I have to serve every serve as best I can’, and I succeeded until 6-5. And then it’s not rocket science. Two double faults in the (last) game, and I don’t know, another mistake probably on my part.”

“I just want to say that he deserved to win today,” Auger-Aliassime said.