WATCH: Alcaraz Buries Head In Towel To Conceal Emotion In Madrid Defeat

WATCH: Alcaraz Buries Head In Towel To Conceal Emotion In Madrid Defeat

by Nurein Ahmed

Carlos Alcaraz was visibly emotional as he surrendered his 14-match undefeated streak at the Madrid Open in the quarterfinal stage.

The young Spaniard met his match in the last-eight clash when Russian Andrey Rublev played some of his best tennis to silence the Caja Magica. After dropping the first set 4-6, Rublev was almost flawless in the second and third sets as he turned the match around.

Rublev finished the match with 27 winners, which were eight more than Alcaraz, and broke the two-time defending champion three times from 13 chances to seal the upset victory.

The seventh seed arrived in Madrid on the back of a four-match losing streak and with his season in disarray after coming under fire for failing to keep his temper under control. But he's restored his confidence at this tournament, reaching his first semifinal since that infamous default in Dubai.

For Alcaraz, defeat in the quarterfinals extinguished his hopes of completing an unprecedented three-peat of the Madrid Open. It also raised more questions than answers regarding this forearm injury, which has clearly scuppered his preparations for the clay swing.

Rublev acknowledged that his opponent was not playing near full fitness during an interview with Tennis Channel. Alcaraz also mentioned that he was restricted from hitting the ball with real authority and was in danger of causing more damage to an already existing injury.

It's unclear whether Alcaraz winced in pain during the match because of the forearm. At the changeover, the courtside cameras captured him burying his face into the towel as he hid his emotions.

It's also possible that Alcaraz felt the pressure of playing in front of a packed stadium on home soil and felt resigned at the prospect of losing the match because he was lacking his biggest weapon.

For now, his biggest focus is to play the Italian Open in Rome. You can see the video of the moment that left Alcaraz's fans heartbroken below.


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