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Andrey Rublev had 'worst sickness of his life' and needed anaesthesia at Madrid Open

Andrey Rublev opened up on the extent of his health issues after winning the Madrid Open as he explained that his illness had been the “worst of [his] life”. The world No. 8 also revealed that he needed anaesthesia to put his shoes on when one of his toes became inflamed. But he defied the odds to lift his second Masters 1000 trophy.

Rublev came from behind to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6 7-5 7-5 on Sunday night, lifting his 16th career title. The 26-year-old came into the Madrid Open on a four-match losing streak but looked impressive all fortnight and beat two-time defending champion Carlos Alcaraz on his way to the title.

While Rublev appeared fine on the court, he had actually been suffering from several health issues that almost forced him to pull out of the tournament. After overcoming them to lift the trophy, he opened up about everything he had faced. “They were doing kind of anaesthesia in my [toe],” he said, explaining the first issue.

“Because my [toe] 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 anaesthesia for me to not feel it. Like I say, at least I was able to play without thinking.”

Even though he managed to come through a two-hour and 48-minute final to clinch the title, Rublev said he was still unwell and would be visiting the hospital to get to the bottom of the problem after failing to recover. He continued: “I’m still sick from everything.

“I’m still sick, and tomorrow I guess I will go to the hospital for full check. 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.”

Speculating over what his illness could be, the seventh seed added: “Tomorrow we will find out what exactly it is or if it’s angina? I don’t know if you know it, or if it’s some virus, but the throat is completely blocked. My throat, for nine days, it’s impossible to swallow, impossible to eat and headache full because of it.”

After thanking the tournament doctors in his victory speech, Rublev confessed that it was the medicine that helped him finish the fortnight with the trophy in his hands. “Yes, because injections, painkillers. For the two, three hours, painkillers full. Inside of me is full of medication,” he smiled.


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