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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Wearing a white sleeve covering his cranky right forearm, Carlos Alcaraz was disarmed in the final set today. 

Andrey Rublev dethroned two-time defending champion Alcaraz 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to roar into the Mutua Madrid Open semifinals.

More: Brave Rybakina Saves Match Points, Into Madrid SF

The seventh-seeded Rublev beat the Spaniard to the punch in the final set snapping Alcaraz's 14-match Madrid winning streak.

A key tactic Rublev executed effectively was hammering his two-handed backhand down the line to force Alcaraz to hit some running forehands.

An ongoing right forearm issue forced Alcaraz to withdraw from both Monte-Carlo and Barcelona.

By the latter stages of today's two-hour match, Alcaraz was sometimes resorting to the slice forehand when stretched wide.

Afterward, the second-seeded Spanish superstar said he was feeling some tightness in his forearm and felt he couldn't fully open up on that wing in the face of Rublev's power. 

"Today probably I felt more in the forearm than yesterday's match," Alcaraz told the media in Madrid. "I mean, playing three hours yesterday, I knew that I'm gonna feel something or I'm gonna think about it even more.

"But, you know, playing someone like Rublev that I couldn't push him to the limit in every point is tough. But yeah, the end of the match, I sliced the forehand a bit more."

Despite feeling some strain today, Alcaraz he should "be okay to play Rome."

"Well, it was difficult feelings, let's say, at the end of the match, but, I mean, the point is that I'm gonna go to Rome," Alcaraz said. "I'm going to work these days to be close to 100% or in a good way to play Rome, but I'm gonna decide these days.

"But I think I'll be okay to play Rome."

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty