Lucas Pouille, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year, has withdrawn from next month's tournament in Melbourne.

The Frenchman, ranked 22 in the world, announced on Monday he would not be participating in the first grand slam of the year, which starts on January 20.

Pouille, 25, has also withdrawn from the ATP Cup, where he was set to represent France along with Gael Monfils and Benoit Paire.

He has not played since the Shanghai Masters in October after ending his season early with an elbow injury.

"Since October 9, we did everything needed to be ready for the beginning of the year," Paire wrote in a statement on social media, referencing the date of his last match of 2019 against John Isner in China.

"We have followed every medical protocol but unfortunately it was not enough. It's a huge disappointment for me to announce that I can't play the first edition of the ATP Cup, the Adelaide tournament, and that I won't play the Australian Open. 

"As you can imagine, I am very disappointed and sad. I am going to miss the beginning of the year, but the season is long, the career is long. 

"Now my goal is to be 100 per cent competitive as soon as possible, to come back stronger."

Pouille's last-four finish at the 2019 Australian Open was his best major performance. He lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic after a run that had included wins over Milos Raonic and Borna Coric.

Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray were among the big winners as the recipients of the 2019 ATP Awards were announced on Thursday.

World number one Nadal was already certain to be the Player of the Year, having ended the season on top of the rankings.

But he also collected the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, voted for by his fellow players, for the second straight year.

Nadal won the French Open and US Open, beating Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev respectively, to take his career tally to 19 majors.

There were no surprises as Murray was named the Comeback Player of the Year less than 12 months after he announced plans for retirement.

Murray was set to quit before undergoing hip resurfacing surgery, after which he starred on the doubles circuit, winning the Queen's Club Championships alongside Feliciano Lopez before playing with Serena Williams at Wimbledon.

The Briton then won the European Open in October, his first singles crown on the ATP Tour in 31 months.

Meanwhile, Jannik Sinner, the 18-year-old who ended the 2018 season ranked 763rd, was the Newcomer of the Year after his Next Gen ATP Finals success.

Fellow Italian Matteo Berrettini, who reached the US Open semi-finals and is now the world number eight, claimed the Most Improved Player of the Year honours.

Medvedev's stunning second half of the season did not go unnoticed, with coach Gilles Cervara the ATP Coach of the Year. The Russian played nine finals, winning four, in 2019.

Yet popular stars Roger Federer and Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan were not forgotten, collecting the Fans' Favourite awards.

Andy Murray opted not to take any risks with a "bit of an issue" after only playing once for Great Britain in their run to the Davis Cup semi-finals.

The former world number one recorded a three-set singles victory against Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands but did not feature again during the new-look tournament in Spain.

Murray instead cheered on his team-mates as they reached the last four in Madrid, where they lost to eventual champions Spain.

The Scotsman – who lifted his first title following hip surgery at the European Open in October – revealed a "mild" groin issue kept him off the court, though only after consultation with both medical staff and team captain Leon Smith.

"I had a bit of an issue with my groin, pelvis. I wanted to play but I wasn't allowed to risk it," he said, according to quotes in the Mirror.

"I took the final decision but I'm obviously speaking to my physio, doctor, speaking to Leon.

"I don't know exactly when I did it because I had a scan straight after the match with Tallon Griekspoor because my groin area was sore during the match.

"I had noticed it a little bit a couple of days in the build-up so I didn't know because after Antwerp I took 12 days off or something and didn't hit any balls, and then I slowly built up till I got over to Madrid and then started practising hard and I noticed it was a bit sore.

"It was more like a bony bruise. It’s mild. But that was something which if I had played on it, it could have got worse. And that's why it was difficult for me."

Murray was speaking prior to the premier of his Amazon Prime Video documentary - Andy Murray: Resurfacing - that charts his comeback from a career-threatening hip issue.

Roger Federer joked he may never retire from tennis as he continues to focus on extending his career for as long as possible.

World number three Federer turned 38 in August and has just rounded off a hugely successful tour with Alexander Zverev.

The 20-time grand slam winner won four titles this season, while he missed out on glory at Wimbledon after losing in an epic final against Novak Djokovic.

Federer has recently invested in Swiss-based shoe company On Running, but he insists his business venture is not a sign he is set to stop playing the sport he loves. 

"I've been asked all week about how retirement is going to be and when it is going to come, I think they all needed to know," Federer said during his appearance on the Today Show.

"But no, this is not about retirement. On [the company] doesn't want me to retire, they want me to play as long as possible and that is my goal. I will never retire!"

Federer did acknowledge, however, that he is looking forward to the freedom his eventual retirement will bring, considering the impact tennis has on the rest of his life.

"I like my sweets, desserts, time off," he said. "I start my planning for the year around where I'm going to go on vacation with my family, and that's where I'll be in a couple of days, on the beach, so I can't wait.

"Actually, when I had my knee issues in 2016 and I was rehabbing for almost eight months, I felt like that could be my life after [retirement].

"Of course I was never as busy but it was just nice to be able to have schedules with friends – lunch on Wednesdays, dinners on Fridays, let's have a good time on the weekends together with another family. I’m really looking forward to that."

Federer's tour included matches against Zverev in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Ecuador. The pair were due to play in Colombia too, but a curfew in Bogota meant the exhibition was called off.

"It was absolutely crazy," Federer said of the tour. "We played in four cities, almost in front of 100,000 people and Mexico City, had 42,000 people, double of Arthur Ashe Stadium here in New York.

"Breaking those records, doing it with Zverev, it's not something I ever thought I would do."

Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev shattered the world record for attendance at a tennis match.

A crowd of 42,217 watched an exhibition match between Federer and Zverev at Plaza de Toros Mexico – the world's largest bullring – in Mexico City on Saturday.

Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters had previously set the record in their exhibition contest in 2010, which attracted 35,681 fans in Brussels.

But that figure was topped as 20-time grand slam champion Federer defeated Zverev 3-6 6-4 6-2 in the "The Greatest Match".

Afterwards, Federer tweeted: "I will never forget this magical evening in Mexico City with @AlexZverev 42,517 people came, We broke this record together! Viva Mexico."

Andy Murray will not feature for Great Britain in their Davis Cup quarter-final tie against Germany on Friday after Kyle Edmund was once again picked for singles action.

Murray was rested for the Group E victory over Kazakhstan on Thursday that secured Great Britain's place in the knockout stages of the new-look tournament in Spain. 

Captain Leon Smith admitted after the 2-1 win that he was unsure if the Scot - who had laboured to a three-set victory over Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands in his team's opening outing - would return to the line-up.

And Edmund, who played instead against Kazakhstan, recording an impressive victory over Mikhail Kukushkin, has retained his spot in the line-up.

His opponent in the opening match will be Philipp Kohlschreiber, with Dan Evans then going up against Jan-Lennard Struff.

If required, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski will once again team up for the doubles. Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies are scheduled to be their opponents.

The winners of the tie will go up against either Argentina or hosts Spain - who also meet in Friday's second session in Madrid - in the last four.

In the other half of the draw, Russia knocked out Novak Djokovic's Serbia courtesy of a hard-fought doubles win, Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov saving three match points before eventually prevailing. Next up will be Canada, who qualified for the semi-finals on Thursday.

Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil sent Australia packing as Alex de Minaur's singles victory proved fruitless in the first Davis Cup quarter-final.

With Pospisil defeating John Millman 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in the opening match, Australia relied on a comeback from De Minaur to haul themselves level.

Next Gen ATP Finals runner up De Minaur – Australia's star player in Thursday's tie with Nick Kyrgios sitting out – did it the hard way, coming from a set down to beat Shapovalov 3-6 6-3 7-5 and tee up a deciding doubles encounter.

But Canada were too good in the doubles – Pospisil picking up where he left off while Shapovalov bounced back from his loss in style via a 6-4 6-4 win.

A break of serve in the opening game against Australian counterparts Jordan Thompson and John Peers paved the way for the pair to claim the first set with ease.

Thompson and Peers looked set to take the match all the way when they earned a 3-0 lead in set two, only for Shapovalov and Pospisil to restore parity before pushing on to seal progression with their first match point.

Serbia play Russia, Argentina face Spain and Great Britain go up against Germany in the other quarter-final ties, which will be played on Friday.

Roberto Bautista Agut has withdrawn from Spain's Davis Cup team following the death of his father on Thursday.

Bautista Agut had played two singles matches for Spain at this week's tournament in Madrid, losing to Andrey Rublev on Tuesday before defeating Croatia's Nikola Mektic on Wednesday.

However, Spain will be without the 29-year-old – who is their number two player behind world number one Rafael Nadal – for the rest of the competition.

"We want to accompany Roberto in these hard times. He is an exceptional tennis player who symbolises the highest values ​​of tennis and sports," Royal Spanish Tennis Federation​ (RFET) president Miguel Diaz said in a statement.

"He is an example, not only as an athlete, but also as a person. I want to transfer in my name all the support of Spanish tennis."

Five-time Davis Cup champions Spain face Argentina in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Roger Federer insisted it was still "easy to get motivated" despite being in the later stages of his career.

The Swiss great has won a record 20 grand slam titles, with the last of those coming at the 2018 Australian Open.

But Federer – who is set to play Alexander Zverev in exhibition matches in North and South America – said he was still motivated, with the 38-year-old still hungry to play in front of big crowds.

"When we come back to tennis, how do I stay motivated? It's actually quite simple," he told a news conference on Monday.

"When you walk out to a stadium with 15,000 [or] 20,000 people, it's easy to get motivated. It would be much harder for me to play on court 16 and there be like 15 people there after everything that I've gone through. That would be hard. I tell you this, I wouldn't last super long out on court 16.

"But playing in front of a huge crowd you get the adrenaline going, you get excited.

"Playing against future champions [Zverev], number one in the world whenever it may be, playing for another title, it's a great feeling and I enjoy that a lot."

Playing in the final years of his career, Federer is often asked about his retirement plans.

Discussing how he planned to announce his retirement, Federer said he saw no reason to stop playing just yet.

"If you look back at how a lot of the players have retired there is no rules to it. You go by feel. I actually don't know if I'm going to announce it early, late, all of a sudden," he said.

"I think it all depends on my health, my family, on my results also a little bit obviously. I don't know the answer to be honest.

"I'm feeling good right now and I'm really enjoying my life on the road and enjoy playing against 'Sascha' [Zverev] and the other players on the Tour.

"I see no reason to stop, but of course with age everything gets a bit more difficult, but at the same time with experience also you can savour the moments more.

"I don't know how it's going to end. I hope it's just going to be somewhat emotional I guess and nice. I don't know. I just hope it's going to be good the whole process and not too difficult."

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes he is "really close" to winning a grand slam after his ATP Finals success on Sunday.

The Greek, 21, became the youngest player to win the ATP Finals since 2001 after a thrilling 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) victory over Dominic Thiem in London.

Tsitsipas, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year, feels a major success is not far away, with Wimbledon a goal.

"For sure Wimbledon is the tournament that has a lot of tradition. I think most of the players if you ask would want to win Wimbledon, but for me any grand slam would be great," he told a news conference.

"I feel like my game is getting better over time. I believe I'm really close on being crowned a grand slam champion. I know these are strong words that I say but I do feel like I belong to be there.

"I'm competing against some of the best players in the world and the amount of effort and the amount of work I put [in] every day deserves to have an outcome like this."

While Tsitsipas and Thiem reached the final in London, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic won two grand slams each in 2019.

The 'Big Three' of Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer have won 55 grand slams since 2003, including the past 12, and Tsitsipas is aware of the huge challenge awaiting the next generation.

"The thing that we have, the 'Big Three' dominating in the grand slams the last couple of years makes it really difficult for us because someone needs to get the job done to defeat them [in the] early rounds because once they get deep into a tournament they tend, as we saw, over the years to get better and play better, feel better," he said.

"For me, that's a really difficult task to do, for players to be able to beat them in these grand slams because it's a best-of-five format and this gives them more chances to stay in the match.

"It's not a best of three. If things were best of three it could have been much more different when it comes to grand slam champions over the years.

"So, that's an issue because they have been sharing how many grand slams? I don't know, 60 something?

"And for the young guys, it's all about time. I don't know. We'll either have to beat them or wait for them."

Stefanos Tsitsipas had "no idea" how he moved to another level in the second set of a "rollercoaster" clash with Dominic Thiem before going on to win the ATP Finals.

The 21-year-old became the first Greek champion at the season-ending tournament, beating Thiem 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) in a classic showdown at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

Tsitsipas and Thiem put on a thrilling show in London, the aggressive sixth seed putting the disappointment of losing a first-set tie-break behind him by bossing the second set.

Two-time French Open runner-up Thiem came 3-1 down to force another breaker, which Tsitsipas led 4-1 before the fifth seed stormed back again by winning the next three points.

Tsitsipas was not to be denied the biggest title of his fledgling career on his debut at the event, a year after he was crowned Next Gen champion, and he was at a loss to explain how he was able to level the match in such assertive fashion.

"I have no clue how I played so well in the second set," said Tsitsipas, the youngest winner of the tournament since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.

"I have no idea. I think my mind was at ease and I wasn't really thinking of much, which led to such a great performance in the second set, breaking him twice. It was pretty much an excellent set for me.

"It was pretty frustrating for me to be playing with such nerves [during the final set]] for the first time in such a big event. I was a break up, I couldn't manage to hold it.

"Things were decided in the tie-break and I am so relieved by this outstanding performance and fight that I gave out on the court."

He added: "It's been a rollercoaster. Holding this trophy right now feels amazing."

Stefanos Tsitsipas edged a final-set tie-break in a classic battle with Dominic Thiem to claim the biggest title of his career and become the first Greek ATP Finals champion.

Tsitsipas and Thiem served up a thriller at the O2 Arena on Sunday and it was the 21-year-old tournament debutant who came out on top, prevailing 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4).

It took two hours and 35 minutes to settle an epic match that swung one way and the other, Thiem coming from 4-1 down in the decisive tie-break to get back on serve before Tsitsipas became the youngest winner of the competition since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.

Tsitsipas struck 34 winners to two-time French Open runner-up Thiem's 36 in a pulsating, high-quality final, ending the season on a high note in London.

There was evidence of nerves as both players held to love in their first service games and Thiem thwarted the sixth seed when he faced the first break point in the fourth game.

The two warriors were aggressive from the start, unleashing winner after winner off both wings and charging to the net with authority.

Tsitsipas and Thiem saved two break points apiece before the Austrian came out on top in a tie-break, an errant backhand costing the Athens native.

A sprightly Tsitsipas put that behind him by taking a firm grip of the second set, putting away a brilliant forehand winner after toying with Thiem to go a double break up at 3-0.

Tsitsipas was relentless, serving it out after making only one unforced error in a one-sided second set and Thiem disappeared off court to gather himself for the decider.

The momentum was with Tsitsipas, who showed no let-up as he piled huge pressure on Thiem, who saved two break points in the first game of the final set but was up against it at 2-1 down after drilling a backhand into the net.

Thiem was not done yet, drawing on his fighting spirit and class to get back on serve at 3-3 and it seemed almost inevitable another breaker would be required to split the two.

Tsitsipas stormed into a 4-1 advantage and although Thiem refused to accept defeat as he stormed back to level at 4-4, a couple of stray groundstrokes cost him as he was denied in a titanic tussle between the first-time finalists.

Rafael Nadal would already be established as the greatest men's tennis player in history if injuries had not disrupted his career, according to uncle and former coach Toni Nadal.

The Spaniard has 19 grand slam titles and is one short of matching Roger Federer's record haul, with the Swiss in his sights heading into the 2020 season.

Nadal's princely haul includes an unprecedented 12 French Open crowns, as well as four successes at the US Open, including his 2019 triumph when he toppled Daniil Medvedev in a breathtaking final.

Knee problems in particular, but also a host of further physical issues, have blighted 33-year-old Nadal during his career, and since making his grand slam debut in 2003 he has missed eight majors.

Federer, in stark contrast, has only been forced to miss two by injury - the French Open and US Open in 2016 - although he also elected to skip Roland Garros in 2017 and 2018 in favour of a rest.

And Novak Djokovic, the third member of the men's 'Big Three' with 16 slams, has been absent for just the 2017 US Open since his big-stage debut at the 2005 Australian Open.

"For the moment, the best in history I do not know if is Federer, Rod Laver… it is very difficult to determine who is the best in history," Toni Nadal told Omnisport.

"I do not like excuses and I do not want to make them. If my grandmother had two wheels, it would be a bicycle…

"I believe that if Rafael wouldn't have had so many injuries, probably today he would be the best tennis player in history. He had the injuries and there is nothing more to say.

"Anyway, let's wait until the end, when everybody has finished their careers, we will say who is the best one, but it is always difficult to determine who is the best.

"I do not know which aspects of the games of statistics you take into account, if it is one or another. It won't be much difference, I believe, when Federer, Djokovic and Nadal finish their careers… and Rod Laver, it won't be much difference."

Toni Nadal saluted his nephew for another scintillating season, in which he landed slams in Paris and New York and finished the year as world number one.

It hardly mattered that he fell short at the ATP Finals, edged out in the group stage.

"Back in 2005, it was unthinkable that he would be number one of the world again in 2019," said Toni Nadal.

"I think that Rafael has made efforts all his life to keep being on the top and at the end he has had this reward.

"When things don't go well he has this capacity to continue. But after that, I think that he has a capacity to generate great shots in bad postures, if we talk about technical aspects. On this matter I believe that he is the best in the world. He is a guy that on a position of instability, he can make even better shots."

Asked to similarly pick out the main virtues of Federer and Djokovic, the man popularly known as 'Uncle Toni' added: "Federer: his elegance above all. But elegance based on effectivity, not only elegance and little effectivity. Elegance and great effectivity.

"And from Djokovic, his extraordinary capacity of attack and defence and his mobility: it is easy from him to be in the right place, he is a very complete player. I believe that the three of them have similar capacities."

Stefanos Tsitsipas described himself as "living the dream" after knocking out Roger Federer to book an ATP Finals showpiece against Dominic Thiem.

Greek star Tsitsipas ousted Federer 6-3 6-4 in the semi-final of the season-ending event to reach the biggest final of his career.

Tsitsipas has had an up-and-down year which started with a run to the last four of the Australian Open and was followed by a mid-season slump, but he appears to be keeping his best until last.

The 21-year-old saved 11 of Federer's 12 break points on Saturday and explained beating the 20-time grand slam champion, who he watched winning major tournaments growing up, was difficult to comprehend.

"I grew up watching Roger here at the ATP Finals and Wimbledon and other finals," said Tsitsipas, who also beat Federer in the last 16 of the Australian Open.

"I wished one day I could face him and now I'm here living the dream.

"I remember myself being one of the kids here watching the event and I could never picture myself here. But it can happen.

"This victory is probably one of my best moments of the season. These are the moments I live for.

"This does feel, in a way, like a grand slam, because all eyes are here. Everyone knows this event. Everyone who watches tennis knows what the ATP Finals are.

"For me, it's a great new start, great new beginning to be here, playing in the Finals. It's really very difficult to be in that position I am in right now and it counts a lot."

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the prime minister of Greece, was in attendance for the match and greeted Tsitsipas afterwards, highlighting the magnitude of his triumph.

"I'm really glad I played well, stayed calm," Tsitsipas said.

"It's a great moment not just for me, for everyone else, my country, my team. I'm proud of myself, how hard I fought, how concentrated I stayed in the break points. 

"I didn't crack under pressure. I was very composed and very mature in my decisions."

Tsitsipas and Thiem have met on six occasions over the last two years.

Thiem won four of those, including the most recent clash last month, which was a three-set battle in the China Open final.

Roger Federer conceded he had let chances slip through his fingers and made "pretty bad" mistakes as he crashed out of the ATP Finals with defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Swiss star went down 6-3 6-4 in London, taking only one of his 12 break-point opportunities to lose the semi-final in straight sets just two days on from a near-faultless victory over Novak Djokovic.

It means he ends the year having not won any of the four grand slams or the season-ending event, with Sunday's final to be contested by Dominic Thiem and Tsitsipas.

Federer turns 39 in 2020 but, as he reflected on a year that saw him squander two championship points against Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, he is optimistic he will have plenty more opportunities to win top tournaments.

"No doubt I had my chances," Federer – who hit 26 unforced errors including two wayward smashes in his opening service game – said after his defeat, which leaves him without an ATP Finals title since 2011. 

"The break points were part of it. I had some good spells, but the spells where things were not working well, they were pretty bad.

"Getting broken and missing two smashes in one game – that hasn't happened in a long, long time or ever, so that was tough.

"At this level, you just can't have it happen, so that was pretty disappointing."

Of his 2020 hopes, Federer said: "I've got to keep on playing at the level like I have this year and then I will create some chances. 

"[I have] Got to take care of my body, listen to the signs, work well with the team and get the balance right with everything that's happening in my life."

Federer had produced a fine display to see off Djokovic in the round-robin stage but conceded he cannot afford to let his level drop when big matches and important moments arrive in quick succession.

He added: "When the matches come, it's not maybe as easy as it was maybe 10, 15 years ago, where you're just going to play very good day in, day out. 

"Maybe you need to do extra effort sometimes for that to happen. Maybe that's what it felt like, just things were complicated. 

"But I've got to maybe do even a better job at figuring these moments out, because the opportunities were there. They were there in other moments as well this season, maybe Indian Wells [in a final defeat to Thiem] or Wimbledon.

"That can change an entire season around, the confidence, the flow of things."

Federer retained an optimistic outlook going into another season on the ATP Tour, adding: "I'm happy [with] how I played this season. I thought I played some consistent, solid tennis and I'm extremely excited for next season."

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