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Alcaraz beaten while Sinner exits with injury in Madrid

Carlos Alcaraz's quest for a third successive Madrid Open title has been ended with a shock quarter-final defeat to Andrey Rublev, while Jannik Sinner is also out with a hip injury.

The reigning Wimbledon champion Alcaraz was on course to extend his winning streak at the tournament to a record-breaking 15 matches after clinching the opening set on Wednesday.

But Russian seventh seed Rublev hit back in stunning fashion to register one of the greatest victories of his career, progressing 4-6 6-3 6-2 in just over two hours.

Asked about the most pleasing aspect of his performance, the 26-year-old Rublev said wryly: "That I was able to stay calm all the match. I don't know how - even me, I'm surprised."

World No.3 Alcaraz, who in March defended his Indian Wells title, saw the start of his clay court season disrupted by an arm injury which caused him to miss both the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open.

Backed by a partisan home crowd, which included former Spain's former  international footballers David Villa and Raul as well as Real Madrid star Luka Modric, the 20-year-old began well.

But underdog Rublev swung the momentum by breaking serve in the second game of the second set before dominating the remainder of the contest to set up a semi-final with either American Taylor Fritz or Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo.

Alcaraz's surprise elimination came a day after compatriot Rafael Nadal, a four-time winner of the competition, crashed out to Jiri Lehecka.

World No.8 Rublev, who hit 30 winners under the roof on Manolo Santana Stadium, added: "I just was saying, 'keep playing, keep fighting, keep trying'.

"I had one break in the first set so keep believing in yourself, be more convinced, go for it and maybe you will have more break points.

"In the end, I was able to return well and I was able to break him straight away in the second set and that gave me a bit more confidence."

The exit of one of the favourites was followed by news of the withdrawal of another through injury.

Italian top seed Sinner, who was due to face Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals on Thursday, reported on X: "Very sad to have to withdraw from my next match here in Madrid.

"My hip has been bothering me this week and has slowly been getting more painful.

"Taking the advice from the doctors we decided it's best to not play further and make it worse."