Lehecka advances after Medvedev’s retirement in the Madrid quarterfinals

His next rival will be Auger-Aliassime

May 02, 2024

Daniil Medvedev and Jiri Lehecka hug at the net on Thursday in Madrid.
By Staff

Jiri Lehecka is in his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final thanks to advancing this Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open, where the Czech benefited from Daniil Medvedev withdrawing from the round of 16 clash between the two.

Medvedev left the court to receive treatment on his upper right leg while leading 3-2 in his second clash against Lehecka. The third seed complained to the physiotherapist about having trouble moving to the right and received additional treatment on the court two games later, when the score was 4-3.

After Lehecka broke serve in the ninth game en route to winning the first set 6-4, Medvedev retired.

Lehecka’s opponent in the semi-finals in the Spanish capital will be Felix Auger-Aliassime. It will be a duel between No. 31 and No. 35 in the PIF ATP Rankings, respectively. This marks the first time multiple players outside the Top 20 have reached the quarterfinals at a Masters 1000 event since the 2023 event in Madrid.

“A match like this is never easy,” Lehecka said of Medvedev’s retirement. “If I had to choose the way to win this game, it wouldn’t be like this. So, of course, it’s never easy to see your opponent fighting, but at that moment, you just need to focus on yourself and trying to get the best out of yourself.”

This year’s Adelaide champion, who reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final in March at Indian Wells, moves up to No. 22 in the live rankings with Thursday’s result. If he reaches the finals, he will debut in the Top 20 and rise to No. 17 with the title.

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Lehecka is playing his first clay court tournament after withdrawing from Monte Carlo and Barcelona due to a right vertebra problem.

“I think after my back injury I came back in a different way,” he said. “I tried to focus more on the quality and intensity of all the training. I tried to work hard in preparation for this week. And I think from the first day, when I got here, I felt good. “I got used to the conditions.”

By reaching the quarterfinals in the Spanish capital, Medvedev completed his presence in this instance in all the Masters 1000. If he had reached the semifinals, he would have risen to No. 3 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings, displacing Carlos Alcaraz.


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