John Isner reached his fourth Hall of Fame Tennis Championships final as Alexander Bublik also moved into the decider.

Isner, a three-time champion of the ATP 250 event, edged past Ugo Humbert 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 in their semi-final on Saturday.

The American served 15 aces and claimed the only break of the match in the final set on the grass in Newport.

Humbert was unable to take his chances, failing to convert any of his seven break points in the defeat.

Bublik, 22, moved into his first ATP Tour final after overcoming Marcel Granollers.

The Kazakh battled to a 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-4 victory over Granollers despite serving 14 double faults.

Nicolas Jarry is a win away from his first career ATP singles title after breezing to victory over Federico Delbonis at the Swedish Open.

The Chilean has yet to drop a set on the clay in Bastad, keeping up his flawless record with a 6-3 6-2 defeat of Delbonis on Saturday.

After seeing off an Argentinian in the semi-final, he will face another in the showpiece, with Juan Ignacio Londero overcoming 2016 champion Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-3 6-4 to progress to the final.

"I am really looking forward to [the final]," said Jarry. "Juan Ignacio is a friend and he is playing really good this year. He already won his first ATP [Tour title] and I am looking for mine. It is going to be a tight match. I have to fight a lot.

"He is very fast. He is a grinder, so I have to play very aggressive and try to serve well. The key will be the returning games. I have to keep playing them well."

At the Croatia Open, qualifier Attila Balazs will play in his first ATP final after stunning third seed Laslo Djere, setting up a clash with Dusan Lajovic.

Balazs, who retired from tennis five years ago before having a change of heart, prevailed 6-2 6-4 against world number 32 Djere. Lajovic won the first set 7-5 against another qualifier, Salvatore Caruso, who retired with a leg injury ahead of the second set in Umag.

Bernard Tomic has failed to recoup the prize money he was docked at Wimbledon and the Australian was also hit with a verbal volley from the Grand Slam board.

Tomic had to hand back the £45,000 he was given for a 6-2 6-1 6-4 first-round thumping by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the All England Club this month due to a perceived lack of effort.

The world number 103 was dispatched by Tsonga in just 58 minutes - the shortest men's singles match at SW19 in 15 years - but Tomic stressed afterwards he was trying.

Tomic challenged the decision to take his prize purse off him, but not only was he unsuccessful with that appeal, he was also given a ticking off. 

Two years ago, the 26-year-old was also fined $15,000 (£11,581) after admitting he was "bored" in an opening-round loss to Mischa Zverev in the grass-court major.

Grand slam board director Bill Babcock wrote in a verdict letter that was published by the New York Times: "A review of your historical record of misconduct at grand slams, never mind elsewhere, provides little justification for an adjustment.

"In your case, Bernard, I am sure you would agree there is no historical evidence to give comfort to the theory that you can reform your behaviour."

Babcock added that Tomic will be refunded 25 per cent of his fine should he avoid a sanction in his next eight grand slam events.

However, Tomic intends to appeal the decision further, telling the New York Times: "I don't care about this 25 percent; I care about the right thing for players in the future."

John Isner once again got the better of Matthew Ebden at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships to remain on course for a fourth title on the grass at Newport.

The big-serving American triumphed over Ebden in the 2017 final in straight sets and while he was taken the distance on Friday, eventually prevailed 4-6 6-3 6-4 thanks mainly to 24 aces.

Isner has now lost just once in six career meetings with the Australian, with his latest victory setting up a semi-final clash with Ugo Humbert, a 7-5 3-6 6-2 winner against Ilya Ivashka.

In the other half of the draw, Marcel Granollers picked up from where he left off on Thursday in his rain-delayed match with Mischa Zverev, triumphing 6-3 6-0. He will face seventh seed Alexander Bublik, who reached his first semi-final on the ATP Tour by beating American Tennys Sandgren.

At the Swedish Open in Bastad, last year's runner-up Richard Gasquet saw his bid for glory ended by Juan Ignacio Londero, who impressively saved seven of the nine break points he faced. His reward is a last-four clash with 2016 champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Nicolas Jarry made it three successive straight-set victories at the tournament by easing past Jeremy Chardy, while Federico Delbonis progressed at the expense of Joao Sousa.

Attila Balazs continued his fine run at the Croatia Open Umag, the qualifier overcoming Stefano Travaglia in three sets to join seeds Dusan Lajovic and Laslo Djere – who defeated Aljaz Bedene and Leonardo Mayer respectively – in the semis along with Salvatore Caruso, who beat Facundo Bagnis.

Tim Henman believes Novak Djokovic can top Roger Federer's record grand slam haul after the Serbian beat the Swiss great in a historic Wimbledon final.

Djokovic retained his title at the All England Club with a 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3) victory last Sunday.

The world number one saved two match points before winning the longest singles final in the grass-court grand slam, in the first edition of the tournament since deciding-set tie-breaks were introduced at SW19.

Djokovic has won four of the last five major titles to move four behind Federer's record tally of 20 and two short of Rafael Nadal's total.

Henman, a six-time grand slam semi-finalist, thinks 32-year-old Djokovic could go on to surpass Nadal and Federer's haul of major triumphs.

The Brit, a HSBC ambassador, told Omnisport: "It's going to be very interesting to watch. He's [Djokovic] five years younger than Federer so he's got much more time on his side.

"The level of play that Djokovic is at right now, it really wouldn't surprise me if he did overtake Federer in the future."

Henman feels Federer, who turns 38 next month, has at least one more grand slam victory in him.

Asked if he thinks the epic final in London was Federer's last chance to win another major, he said: "I don't think so. I think it's very difficult to write these guys off that are playing at such a high level.

"Federer's not going to be around forever but I think it's important we all enjoy him while he's still playing."

Henman does not consider the classic showdown last weekend to be the greatest final he has seen, even if it ranks high up with his favourites.

He said: "It's got to be up there as one of the best finals of all time. I still think for me the 2008 Wimbledon final [between] Nadal and Federer was probably the best match I've ever seen but this was a close second."

 

- Tim Henman was talking on behalf of The Open patron HSBC. HSBC are once again offering free golf to children and their friends via the HSBC Hour which are taking place at over 500 clubs in the UK and Ireland. For more information, please visit: https://www.theopen.com/patrons/hsbc

Salvatore Caruso caused an upset by beating Borna Coric to move into the quarter-finals of the Croatia Open Umag, while Federico Delbonis shocked Pablo Cuevas in Bastad.

Italian Caruso overcame the second seed 6-2 3-6 6-1 to seal his spot in the last eight.

The qualifier will take on Facundo Bagnis after breaking five times and fending off as many break points to see off Coric, who was among the leading contenders to take the title in his homeland.

Fourth seed Dusan Lajovic got the better of Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-3, while Bagnis knocked out Nino Serdarusic 6-3 6-3. Aljaz Bedene also advanced at the expense of Jannik Sinner.

Cuevas was sent packing in the round of 16 at the Swedish Open, going down 6-4 6-4 in a South American battle with Delbonis.

Frenchman Richard Gasquet was made to work for a 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Dennis Novak and Juan Ignacio Londero fought back to oust Hugo Dellien 4-6 7-5 6-3.

Joao Sousa also came from a set down to see off Swede Elias Ymer 4-6 6-4 6-2.

At Newport, rain halted Thursday's play, with Marcel Granollers taking the first set over Mischa Zverev 6-3 in the only singles quarter-final to get started at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.

John Isner started his pursuit of a fourth Hall of Fame Tennis Championships title with a three-set win over Kamil Majchrzak in the last 16.

Top seed Isner reached the quarter-finals after outlasting his Polish opponent 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 on the grass at Newport on Wednesday.

Winner of the ATP 250 tournament in 2011, 2012 and 2017, Isner hit 25 aces and saved all five break points he faced.

"It wasn't easy, I played a long match, two hours and eight minutes. The conditions were brutal. It's windy and like 90 per cent humidity, so it was tough conditions out there," Isner said. "But I'm happy to claw through there because it wasn't pretty at times, that's for sure."

Next up for Isner is Matthew Ebden in a rematch of the 2017 final after the Australian defeated Denis Kudla 6-2 6-2.

While Isner progressed, seeds Adrian Mannarino and Jordan Thompson exited in the round of 16.

French second seed Mannarino was beaten by Tennys Sandgren 6-4 6-1, while third seed Thompson lost 6-2 7-6 (8-6) to Marcel Granollers.

It was not all bad news for the seeds as Ugo Humbert (fourth) and Alexander Bublik (seventh) advanced at the expense of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Viktor Troicki respectively.

Elsewhere, Mischa Zverev saw off Guido Andreozzi 6-4 6-4 and Christopher Eubanks lost 6-4 6-3 against Ilya Ivashka.

Top seed Christian Garin and second seed Fernando Verdasco were knocked out of the Swedish Open on an action-packed Wednesday.

World number 37 Garin was no match for Jeremy Chardy in the upset of the day, the Frenchman winning 6-4 6-4.

Chardy hit 12 aces in his triumph and won six of the last seven games in the second set to set up a meeting with Nicolas Jarry, who beat Mikael Ymer 7-5 6-3.

Verdasco was also a surprise loser, failing to exact revenge for his 2016 Swedish Open final defeat to fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Ramos-Vinolas won that 2016 final in Bastad 6-3 6-4 and he nearly won by an identical score on Wednesday, posting a 6-2 6-4 triumph in one hour and 46 minutes.

Key to the world number 99's win was saving eight of a possible nine break points.

Ramos-Vinolas will next play another Spaniard, Roberto Carballes Baena, who posted a 6-1 7-6 (7-4) win over Damir Dzumhur.

Also on Wednesday, Leonardo Mayer fought back impressively to defeat Jiri Vesely in three sets at the Croatia Open in Umag.

In a match that lasted two hours and 12 minutes, Mayer won 3-6 6-4 6-4.

Attila Balazs was on court for even longer in Croatia, winning a tough encounter against sixth seed Filip Krajinovic 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-5).

Stefano Travaglia progressed in an all-Italian affair, after he won the first set against Fabio Fognini, who retired early in the second.

And in the late match in Croatia, Lazlo Djere edged Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 3-6 6-4.

Steve Johnson's title defence at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships came to an end in a surprise first-round loss on Tuesday.

Johnson, the fifth seed at the ATP 250 event, went down to wildcard Christopher Eubanks 7-6 (11-9) 7-6 (7-5) on the grass at Newport.

Eubanks, the 23-year-old ranked 188th in the world, sent down 15 aces in a shock victory over his fellow American.

Defending champion Johnson was one of two seeds to fall, with Bradley Klahn also departing, suffering a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) loss to Denis Kudla.

Alexander Bublik almost joined them in exiting, but the seventh seed edged past qualifier Alex Bolt 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-4).

Runners-up from the past two years, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Matthew Ebden moved through.

Last year's finalist and a qualifier in 2019, Ramanathan overcame Sergiy Stakhovsky 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-2, while 2017 runner-up Ebden claimed a 6-1 2-6 6-3 victory over Brayden Schnur.

Viktor Troicki served 10 double faults but still got past Jason Jung 3-6 7-5 7-5, while Mischa Zverev was too good for Tim Smyczek 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

Nicolas Jarry enjoyed a winning start at the Swedish Open on Tuesday, while Fabio Fognini learned his second-round Croatia Open Umag opponent.

Fifth seed Jarry came through his opener unscathed, beating Henri Laaksonen 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 despite trailing by a break early in the first set.

The Chilean joins compatriot and top seed Cristian Garin, who was handed a bye, in the next round, with the latter to face Jeremy Chardy.

Chardy came through in three sets in his first-round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta, a qualifier this week.

Juan Ignacio Londero and Joao Sousa eased through, while Damir Dzumhur had too much for Casper Ruud.

In Croatia, Fognini was in doubles action as Stefano Travaglia secured a date with his compatriot, beating another Italian in Thomas Fabbiano.

Filip Krajinovic had to wait until late in the day to take on and defeat Taro Daniel, but Martin Klizan let a one-set lead slip up against Facundo Bagnis. Leonardo Mayer, meanwhile, beat Pablo Andujar in straight sets.

Novak Djokovic has described his sensational Wimbledon final victory over Roger Federer as "a match to remember forever".

Djokovic claimed his 16th grand slam title on Sunday, overcoming fellow great Federer in the longest men's singles final at the All England Club.

For the first time, a fifth-set tie-break at 12 games all was required to determine the winner, with the defending champion eventually prevailing after saving two match points earlier in the contest.

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Djokovic wrote: "It was a match to remember forever. [A] match that had everything in it. [A] match that transcends our sport. I am eternally grateful to be part of it. Major respect to Roger for a titan fight."

After struggling for form and fitness in the wake of his 2016 French Open triumph, which ensured he held all four slam titles at once, Djokovic has dominated at the highest level once again since winning Wimbledon last year.

He has now won four of the last five slams, only failing to succeed at Roland Garros.

"It has been quite a tennis journey for me in the last 12 months. Coming back from injury and trying to get to the level of tennis which would allow me to compete for slams," Djokovic added.

"Self belief, resilience, dedication and major support from my closest people in life allowed me to be where I am today. I am blessed and I am aware of it.

"Wimbledon, it has been a great pleasure to make history and share the court with [a] legend of our sport once more. I will keep on dreaming to still be part of these memorable moments in the future. By the way, grass tasted like never before."

Former champion Ivo Karlovic made a first-round exit at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, while Bernard Tomic's tough year continued.

Karlovic, 40, served 19 aces but suffered a 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (9-7) loss to Guido Andreozzi on the grass at Newport on Monday.

The Croatian sixth seed claimed the ATP 250 title in 2016, having also been runner-up in 2014 and 2015.

Tomic's difficult 2019 continued as the Australian was beaten 6-2 7-6 (7-5) by Ilya Ivashka.

The 26-year-old, who has fallen back outside the top 100, now holds a 5-12 win-loss record at ATP level this year.

Meanwhile, Tennys Sandgren battled past Denis Istomin 6-4 5-7 6-4, Marcel Granollers brushed past Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-2 6-2 and Kamil Majchrzak was too good for wildcard Alastair Gray 6-3 6-4.

Marco Cecchinato was a first-round casualty at the Croatia Open as he lost to Aljaz Bedene in straight sets.

Fifth seed Cecchinato reached the semi-finals of the French Open last year but lost in the first round at Roland Garros in 2019 and was undone on the clay in Umag on Monday.

Bedene came through 6-3 6-2 in an hour and 19 minutes, the brisk nature of the contest in stark contrast to Jiri Vesely's three-hour win over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.

Vesely stunned Alexander Zverev en route to the third round at Wimbledon but needed a third-set tie-break to avoid the tables being turned on him by another German opponent, eventually claiming a 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (7-2) win over Stebe.

Wildcard Jannik Sinner, 17, beat Pedro Sousa in the day's other first-round match.

At the Swedish Open, Roberto Carballes Baena beat fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar and there was home success as Mikael Ymer overcame Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Roger Federer has the most grand slams, Rafael Nadal eventually might and Novak Djokovic has them both covered head-to-head.

So go part of the arguments amid endless debates about who the greatest men's player of all time is.

Those discussions will persist for decades to come, like there is somehow a right answer to separate Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, who have won 54 grand slam singles titles between them.

Djokovic edged Federer in a classic Wimbledon final on Sunday, winning 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3) in a match lasting just shy of five hours.

That took the 32-year-old up to 16 major singles triumphs, closer to Federer (20) and Nadal (18).

But will that final tally even matter as much as some think? Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi are all titans of the Open Era. They won 49 between them, and only Agassi completed a career Grand Slam by claiming the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are all-time greats. The sports world is blessed to have the trio still going head-to-head, producing matches like the latest one between the Swiss maestro and Serbian star at the All England Club.

The final major tally will never be enough to settle the conversation and for good reason: namely, how different the greats are.

The ever-popular Federer is loved by purists for the brilliant serve, effortless movement and glorious shot-making. Nadal? The forehand, intensity and previously unseen – and probably never to be seen again – dominance of a major at the French Open. Djokovic? The best returner, turning defence into offence so easily he has found a way to beat Federer and Nadal more often than not.

Why must one be the greatest when all three are the greatest at different, admirable aspects?

The debate about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will rage for decades to come, too, and they are also so different that both can, and should, be enjoyed, if some can for one moment put aside Ballons d'Or, trophies, goals, assists and whatever other numbers suit their views.

Even if just for a moment, forget tallies and appreciate greatness, because the Big Three in men's tennis deserve it.

Roger Federer is not worried about Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal potentially usurping him as the most successful player in the history of men's tennis following his Wimbledon defeat.

World number one Djokovic won a five-set, near five-hour marathon 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3) on Centre Court on Sunday to claim his fifth Wimbledon crown and the 16th grand slam title of his career.

Federer has the most in men's singles, with 20, while Nadal sits between the pair with 18.

Ahead of his 38th birthday next month, Federer was asked for his thoughts on being overhauled by one or both of his younger rivals, but the Swiss insisted it was not something that drove him to continued success.

"I take motivation from different places," he told a media conference. "Not so much from trying to stay ahead because I broke the record, and if somebody else does, well, that's great for them.

"You can't protect everything anyway. I didn't become a tennis player for that. I really didn't.

"It's about trying to win Wimbledon, trying to have good runs here, playing in front of such an amazing crowd in this Centre Court against players like Novak and so forth. That's what I play for."

Federer's defeat – at the end of a final set which went to a tie-break after he and Djokovic were level at 12-12 – brought back memories of his epic 2008 decider against Nadal at the All England Club, when the Spaniard prevailed over five classic sets.

"Similar to '08 maybe, I will look back at it and think, 'well, it's not that bad after all,'" Federer reflected.

"For now it hurts, and it should, like every loss does here at Wimbledon. I think it's a mindset. I'm very strong at being able to move on because I don't want to be depressed about actually an amazing tennis match.

"This one is more straightforward maybe in some ways because we didn't have the rain delays, we didn't have the night coming in and all that stuff. But sure, epic ending, so close, so many moments.

"Sure, there's similarities. But you got to go dig, see what they are. I'm the loser both times, so that's the only similarity I see."

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