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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, May 6, 2024

Andrey Rublev withstood his "worst" illness to win the biggest title of his career.

The seventh-seeded Rublev fended off Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Madrid final 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 to capture his 16th career championship, including his second Masters 1000 title.

More: Brave Rybakina Saves Match Points, Into Madrid SF

Afterward, Rublev revealed he was battling a virus for eight days and required anesthesia just to compete.

Prior to his determined Madrid stand, Rublev shared he could barely put on his shoe as inflammation, he presumes from the virus, caused swelling in his feet and finger.

"They were doing kind of anesthesia in my finger, on my feet," Rublev told the media in Madrid. "Because my finger and the feet somehow get inflamed and start to be double bigger and all the pressure start to be on the bone, and the pressure on the bone, when you have pressure on the bone, you cannot even put your feet inside the shoe. The feeling is similar to when it's broken, I guess.

"So that's why they were putting anesthesia for me to don't feel it. Like I say, at least I was able to play without thinking."


A post shared by #MMOPEN (@mutuamadridopen)

A virus drained Rublev during this magical Madrid run but could not stop him from capturing his sixth career clay-court championship.

"Well, I'm still sick from everything. No, yeah, I'm still sick, and tomorrow I guess I will go to the hospital for full check," Rublev said. "Don't know exactly what's going on, because I have been sick already for eight, nine days, and this is not normal.

"The same, like, not really improvements, which is strange, because normally all my life, if I was sick, it's two, three days, maximum. Still maybe fever but nothing special. This time, first time I feel that worst in my life."

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty