Alexander Zverev celebrates in Rome.

Recapping Rome and Madrid: Rublev, Zverev Crowned Champions of Clay

While it was Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev – both firmly entrenched in the ATP and UTR Top 10 – who brought home the hardware in Rome and Madrid this past month, it was a few other players who made headlines with new career pinnacles.

Let’s do a quick round-up of the key clay-court swing finals before we get into who stood out the most.

April 1-7
ATP 250 Marrakech: Matteo Berrettini def. Roberto Carballes Baena, 7-5,6-2
ATP 250 Houston: Ben Shelton def. Frances Tiafoe, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
ATP 250 Estoril: Hubert Hurkacz def. Pedro Martinez, 6-3, 6-4

April 7-14
ATP 1000 Monte-Carlo: Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Casper Ruud, 6-1, 6-4

April 15-21
ATP 250 Bucharest: Marton Fucsovics def. Mariano Navone, 6-4, 7-5
ATP 250 Munch: Jan-Lennard Struff def. Taylor Fritz, 7-5, 6-3
ATP 500 Barcelona: Casper Ruud def. Stefanos Tsitsipas, 7-5, 6-3

April 23-May 5
ATP 1000 Madrid: Andrey Rublev def. Felix Auger-Aliassime, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5

May 7-19
ATP 1000 Rome: Alexander Zverev def. Nicolas Jarry, 6-4, 7-5

Chileans Make History in Rome

On Sunday, Zverev (UTR rating 15.88) defeated Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 7-5 in the Rome final. For Zverev, who subsequently moved up one ATP ranking spot to No. 4, it was his first trophy of the season and 22nd of his career. He now has six ATP Masters 1000 titles.

But for Jarry, it was a first-ever final at the ATP 1000 level and came just after a second-round loss in Madrid. The Chilean (UTR 15.49) had made two quarterfinals prior, at Shanghai 2023 and Miami 2024. This time, in Rome, he burst through the quarterfinals with a comeback 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over Monte- Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nicolas Jarry hits a forehand in the Rome final.

In the semifinals, Jarry bested Tommy Paul 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3. At the age of 28, Jarry is now up to a career-high ranking of ATP world No. 16. For his part, Paul (UTR 15.80) now has two Masters 1000 semifinals to his name this year. He reached the same stage at Indian Wells and is up to No. 14 in the rankings.

In the second semifinal in Rome, Zverev needed to dig deep to oust Alejandro Tabilo 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2. It was a spectacular run for Tabilo (UTR 15.45), a 26-year-old from Chile, to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal. En route, he most notably took down world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round, and he didn’t drop a set until his loss to Zverev. Tabilo is now into the ATP Top 30 for the first time in his career at No. 25.

Jarry and Tabilo also created history for their country, as Rome was the first time two Chileans made the semifinals at the same Masters 1000 event.

Rublev Triumphs in Madrid

Andrey Rublev and Felix Auger-Aliassime pose with their Madrid trophies.

Two weeks earlier, Madrid featured four completely different semifinalists. The final was a thriller, with Rublev (UTR 15.85) posting a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime (UTR 15.49) for his 16th ATP title. Rublev, who now has two Masters 1000 crowns, ousted Carlos Alcaraz (UTR 16.07) in the quarterfinals and Taylor Fritz (UTR 15.83) in the semifinals.

Probably most noteworthy though – and bizarre – was Auger-Aliassime’s route to his maiden Masters 1000 final. After two hard-fought wins to open the tournament, he advanced past the third round when his opponent Jakub Mensik retired at 6-1, 1-0.

He shook off the shortened match by posting a superb triumph over Casper Ruud 6-4, 7-5 before receiving a walkover from an injured Janik Sinner in the quarters. And then, in the semifinals, Jiri Lehecka retired at the 3-3 mark, putting Auger-Aliassime into the final.

Despite the rollercoaster of match play, the 23-year-old Canadian put up one of his best efforts of the season against Rublev in the final before coming up short.

Doubles Roundup

The doubles events saw No. 1 seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos win 6-2, 6-2 over Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic for the Rome crown, and the pairing of Sebastian Korda and Jordan Thompson capturing Madrid with a 6-3, 7-6(7) triumph over Ariel Behar and Adam Pavlasek.

With the two biggest clay-court Masters 1000s completed, the tennis world’s attention turns toward Paris. If Rome and Madrid were any indication, Roland Garros could be anyone’s tournament.

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