Caroline Garcia's Tianjin Open title defence came to a grinding halt against Wang Yafan on Wednesday.

The Frenchwoman suffered a 6-4 6-2 loss to exit at the last-16 stage, leaving Chinese player Wang to face Sweden's Rebecca Peterson in the quarter-finals.

Peterson was leading 7-5 3-2 against Wang Xinyu when her Chinese opponent retired hurt.

Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva, the sixth seed, sealed a dominant 6-1 6-2 triumph over 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur.

Up next for the world number 36 is a meeting with Ons Jabeur, who downed Wang Xiyu 6-4 6-2.

Coco Gauff made the most of a second chance at the Linz Open, while Belinda Bencic suffered a surprise defeat on Tuesday.

Teenage sensation Gauff was defeated by Tamara Korpatsch in qualifying on Monday but entered the main draw as a lucky loser when sixth seed Maria Sakkari withdrew with a right wrist injury.

The American 15-year-old, playing her first WTA Tour event since losing to Naomi Osaka at the US Open, defeated Stefanie Voegele 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in two hours and two minutes to set up a meeting with Kateryna Kozlova in the second round.

Speaking about her last-minute entry into the main draw, Gauff told a news conference: "It was very surprising because I was supposed to do a press thing today. I had practiced earlier, went back to the hotel, and then got a phone call, and was back on court 40 minutes later.

"I didn't know too much about my opponent; I found out a little how she plays through word of mouth, but most of it was me improvising.

"This is my first WTA win indoors. I live in Florida, so we don't get a chance to play indoors that much, but I enjoy it."

Second seed Bencic lost in three sets to qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam, but Donna Vekic – seeded fourth – cruised past Polona Hercog 6-1 6-1.

Barbora Strycova lost 6-4 6-4 to Alize Cornet, while Julia Goerges and Kristina Mladenovic were among the other victors.

An irritated Andy Murray accused Fabio Fognini of "hindrance" in their fiery second-round clash at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.

Three-time Shanghai champion Murray was annoyed by a loud noise, which he claims was made by Fognini, when he had a volley at the net for a 15-30 lead at 5-5 in the third set.

The Briton went on to break Fognini for a second chance to serve out the match, but at the changeover the pair were involved in a heated discussion.

When Murray complained about the noise to chair umpire Fergus Murphy and Fognini attempted to interject, the three-time major champion told his opponent to "shut up".

Murray was unable to close out the victory and Fognini, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair, had the last laugh by sealing a 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) triumph.

Asked about the incident, Murray said: "I had a volley on top of the net. Someone made a noise, I didn't know who made the noise.

"I looked in the direction of where the noise came from. He [Fognini] then told me, 'Stop looking at me, what are you looking at me for?' and I was like, 'I was just about to hit a shot and someone made a noise.'

"He was then telling me to stop looking at him. Normally when someone shouts during the middle of a point, which is pretty rare something like that happens, he told me to stop complaining, to have a sense of humour, that when you have a volley on top of the net you're not going to miss it.

"Well I know I'm not going to miss it but I wanted to know where the sound came from. It came from him, which you're not allowed to do, it's against the rules, it's hindrance, you shouldn't do it.

"He said I should have a sense of humour about it, but I would say in the moment neither of us were in a joking, laughing kind of mood. That was the issue."

Roger Federer began his Shanghai Masters campaign with a comfortable victory, but Andy Murray suffered defeat in a tense encounter with Fabio Fognini.

Federer had only featured at the Laver Cup since the US Open yet made relatively light work of Albert Ramos Vinolas.

Murray, meanwhile, succumbed to Fognini in a three-set match which included a heated exchange in the deciding set.

Last season's runner up Borna Coric fell to Andrey Rublev, while third seed Daniil Medvedev beat Cameron Norrie in straight sets.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic will go up against Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday, though got into his groove at the tournament with victory in the doubles alongside compatriot Filip Krajinovic.

FEDERER MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN

World number three Federer decided to skip most of the Asian swing, though he did not need to be at his sharpest when he took on Ramos Vinolas, who had defeated him at the event in 2015.

The 20-time grand slam champion - who struggled with a back issue in his US Open defeat to Grigor Dimitrov - showed no sign of injury in a 6-2 7-6 (7-5) win on Tuesday, though he did make 31 unforced errors.

"I got out the blocks quick, played a good match," Federer said. "Ramos had his chances in that tie-break up 4-1, that was a nice comeback there."

Federer's reward is a third-round tie with either David Goffin or Mikhail Kukushkin.

MURRAY GOES DOWN FIGHTING

The former world number one made it to the quarter-finals in Beijing last week, though did not have enough in the tank to overcome Fognini after squandering a chance to serve out for the win.

After failing to take his opportunity, Murray became embroiled in a spat with his opponent, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair.

Murray, who had broken for a 6-5 lead in the decider before losing his next service game, complained Fognini had called out during a rally.

When the Italian attempted to interrupt Murray's conversation with umpire Fergus Murphy, the Scot quickly shot him down, telling Fognini to "shut up". Eventually, though, Fognini had the last word, triumphing 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

MEDVEDEV THROUGH, CORIC SENT PACKING

Having taken time off following his triumph at the St Petersburg Open, world number four Medvedev swiftly clicked into gear with a routine 6-3 6-1 win over Norrie.

Medvedev will take on Vasek Pospisil in round three, after the Canadian defeated Joao Sousa in straight sets. 

Coric - who lost to Medvedev in the St Petersburg final – was outdone by Rublev, who won 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Alex de Minaur, meanwhile, failed to build on his success at the Zhuhai Open last month. He slipped out to John Isner.

DJOKOVIC PLAYING IT SAFE WITH SHOULDER ISSUE

Djokovic starts his singles campaign against Shapovalov but took the chance to get into the swing of things as he partnered Krajinovic against Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies.

The duo won 6-3 3-6 10-3 and will go up against Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in the next round, though Djokovic confirmed he has been nursing a shoulder problem, albeit one that is not preventing him from playing.

"It was just over the time, maybe the posture and the shoulder position and so forth that once we have now corrected that it appears to be fine," he told a news conference.

"But it still needs a couple of weeks to really get back and not be concerned about it. I don't feel pain playing but there is still being cautious about it and still working daily a lot on the preparation and rehab."

Andy Murray was involved in an angry exchange with Fabio Fognini at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday, telling his opponent to "shut up" on his way to a second-round defeat.

Former world number one Murray, continuing his return from hip resurfacing surgery, put up a valiant fight before going down 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) in a clash that lasted over three hours.

However, the match was more notable for an angry exchange during the changeover after Murray had broken for a 6-5 lead in the decider.

The Scot complained that Fognini, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair, had called out during a rally and Murray expressed his anger to umpire Fergus Murphy.

Murray repeatedly attempted to engineer conversation with Murphy, claiming "he [Fognini] does it to everyone". Fognini attempted to intervene but was told to "shut up" up by his opponent.

If anything, the exchange, appeared to disrupt Murray more as when he came out to serve for the match he was promptly broken before Fognini ran through the tie-break to advance.

Roger Federer started his Shanghai Masters campaign by exacting revenge on Albert Ramos Vinolas to progress to the third round.

Federer, whose only previous matches since his US Open campaign ended in a thrilling five-set defeat to Grigor Dimitrov were at the Laver Cup, saw off an opponent he lost to at the same stage in 2015 in relatively straightforward fashion.

The 20-time grand slam champion, who was hindered by back problems in his loss to Dimitrov, needed only an hour and 24 minutes to see off Ramos Vinolas 6-2 7-6 (7-5).

It was far from vintage Federer, as he committed 31 unforced errors. However, Ramos Vinolas, who knocked out Marin Cilic in the opening round, never looked to have the firepower to pull off another shock as Federer set up a clash with either David Goffin or Mikhail Kukushkin.

Federer trailed 4-1 in the second-set tie-break, but won six of the next seven points to secure his progression as he seeks a third title in Shanghai.

"I got out the blocks quick, played a good match," the 38-year-old said afterwards. "Ramos had his chances in that tie-break up 4-1, that was a nice comeback there."

The likelihood of Federer, who sent down 32 winners, needing a comeback at any stage did not seem high when he breezed through the first set.

He dropped only two points on serve and was clinical in taking his opportunities when returning, breaking Ramos Vinolas three times.

The Spaniard proved more obdurate in the second, however, with neither player having an opportunity to break serve.

A repeat of Ramos Vinolas' success of four years ago looked a possibility when he forged ahead in the tie-break, but Federer was not to be denied and moved a step closer to a 29th Masters 1000 title.

 

 

Saisai Zheng overcame her regular doubles partner Ying-Ying Duan to book her place in the second round of the Tianjin Open.

Zheng defeated Sloane Stephens on her way to the third round of the China Open last week - a second top-20 win of the year - and continued her form against Duan.

Having entered as a wildcard, Duan, who also faced her doubles partner in Guangzhou in this season's Asian swing, forced a tie-break in the first set, but Zheng - defeated by world number one Ashleigh Barty in Beijing - ultimately came out on top with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 triumph.

Meanwhile, second seed Wang Qiang defeated Arina Rodionova in straight sets, while world number 23 Dayana Yastremska bettered Lin Zhu to set up a second-round tie with 2016 Tianjin champion Peng Shuai.

After her doubles triumph in Beijing, Sofia Kenin withdrew from her match with Kristie Ahn, who then lost to Wang Xiyu, with Seoul runner up Magda Linette easing past Christina McHale.

Linette will face Kurumi Nara, after the qualifier beat Great Britain's Harriet Dart. Wang Xinyu got the better of Ma Shuyue. 

 

Former world number one Andy Murray will play at the 2020 Australian Open in January, confirmed tournament director Craig Tiley.

The 2019 Australian Open appeared to be Murray's final appearance in Melbourne as the three-time grand slam champion revealed his retirement plans due to a troublesome hip problem.

Murray, however, underwent hip resurfacing surgery following the grand slam and has since returned to the ATP Tour following a comeback via doubles and the Challenger Tour.

Now, Murray – a five-time Australian Open runner-up – is set to feature at next year's event at Melbourne Park.

"For sure Andy will be here," Tiley told Melbourne radio station Triple M on Tuesday. "I was on the phone to his agent this morning. He is going to be in Australia early.

"He is ready to return. Remember he said goodbye a year ago. It's great in that period he had surgery and has rebounded really well."

Tiley was speaking after Murray reached the second round of the Shanghai Masters with a three-set win over Juan Ignacio Londero on Monday.

It has been a long road for Murray, who dropped down to the ATP Challenger Tour in August for the first time since 2005 in a bid to improve his fitness following surgery in January, which threatened to end his stellar career.

The Brit started a singles comeback at ATP Masters 1000 tournament the Western & Southern Open before making a swift exit from the Winston-Salem Open.

Murray – who played a series of high-profile doubles tournaments after teaming up with Serena Williams in the mixed event at Wimbledon – then opted to skip the US Open in New York.

A run to the China Open quarter-finals then followed for Murray last week and 20-time grand slam star Roger Federer hailed the 32-year-old's comeback.

"I saw Andy [Murray] briefly, don't know if it was yesterday or the day before now," Federer said. "It was great to see him again and great to chat to him a little bit. I'm just relieved that he's in the place that he's in right now.

"I saw him after the Bautista [Agut] match because I finished my match, he played that five-setter against him and I saw him in the locker room and just had a personal interest. I asked him 'what's up, if he was going and 'I'm sorry to ask you, I kind of want to know and I think the people want to know'. He said I don't know, and I know what I said, I said, but I think he just wanted to get better for his life in general.

"I think that's been achieved number one, I think that's the priority there. Number two that he's getting a shot again to be on the tour, and see how far he can go. How deep he can go at tournaments, I think it's super exciting for the tour, for us players, because he's very much a guy we like and respect a lot. He doesn't have enemies, we need guys like him also who lead by example with hard work and toughness and fairness.

"I love seeing Andy back, I feel like he's playing better and better, which is great. I think we're going to play him at the ATP Cup in the first match of the season too if I'm not mistaken. That should be fun, so I'm happy for Andy."

Andrea Petkovic cruised into the second round of the Linz Open with a crushing defeat of Jil Teichmann and Coco Gauff failed to qualify on Monday.

Petkovic has twice reached the semi-finals of the tournament in Austria and moved into round two with a 6-1 6-1 thrashing of Teichmann.

The experienced German knocked Teichmann out in the first round of the China Open last week and took just 68 minutes to send the Swiss packing once again.

Teenage prodigy Gauff will not feature in the main draw after she was beaten 6-4 6-2 by Petkovic's compatriot Tamara Korpatsch in qualifying.

Viktoria Kuzmova eased to a 6-4 6-2 victory over Julia Grabher, while Anna Blinkova fell to a 6-1 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-5) first-round defeat to Kateryna Kozlova on day one.

Three-set tussles have played a defining role in Andy Murray's comeback on the ATP Tour, and he had to come through another to see off Juan Ignacio Londero in reaching the second round of the Shanghai Masters.

Murray was impressive in making the quarter-finals of the China Open, where his run was ended by Dominic Thiem following a gruelling contest with compatriot Cameron Norrie in which the Scot appeared a spent force in the second set.

The former world number one, a three-time winner in Shanghai, needed to work just as hard to see off Londero, who won the first set but could not complete what would have been a memorable victory as Murray prevailed 2-6 6-2 6-3 in an engrossing battle.

As Murray continues to try to work his way back to the top of men's tennis, a rising star in the sport, Denis Shapovalov, set up an enticing second-round clash with Novak Djokovic by beating Frances Tiafoe.

Meanwhile, there was a surprise defeat for Marin Cilic, who was beaten in straight sets by Albert Ramos Vinolas.

 

MURRAY SCRAPS INTO THE SECOND ROUND

Three-time grand slam champion Murray was not shy about letting his frustration show as he was made to work extremely hard for his place in the second round by Londero.

Murray served poorly in the first set but found form in the second, though he rarely looked satisfied with his performance and shouted an expletive as he gave a break of serve back in the decider.

However, a searing cross-court forehand saw Murray break once more and he did not the let the initiative slip again, winning a match in which he seemed to battle himself as much as Londero in two hours and 17 minutes.

He had to save two break points to serve it out, securing a victory that books a meeting with Fabio Fognini, who overcame Sam Querrey in straight sets.

"I've always enjoyed playing here, I enjoy the faster conditions but it's a tricky one. Since I came back to play these are by far the fastest conditions I have played in and I struggled a bit with that early on, with my movement and stuff," Murray said.

"But it's nice to be back, nice to get the win and hopefully [I'll] start the next match a little bit quicker.

"I got better as the match went on so hopefully I'll be a bit better in the next match. I know what to expect, I know you can't hang back and let the opponent dictate. Try to be more aggressive.

"Fabio has had a great year, he's a very talented guy. I think he's playing for one of the last spots in London [ATP Finals] so I'm sure he'll be up for it. He played a very good match in the first round so it'll be a tough one."


SHAPOVALOV SET FOR DJOKO DUEL

Two players each expected to be future heavyweights met as Shapovalov faced Tiafoe, but it is the Canadian who is clearly further along in his development, and he provided evidence of that in a comfortable victory.

The world number 36 eased to a 6-4 6-2 win over the American, who won only two points against his opponent's first serve.

Shapovalov's win marked his first at the Masters 1000 tournament and means he will face world number one Djokovic for the third time this year.

Djokovic beat Shapovalov in four sets en route to winning the Australian Open and also defeated the 20-year-old in straight sets in Rome.


ROGER NEXT FOR RAMOS VINOLAS

Cilic would have faced Roger Federer in a rematch of the 2017 Wimbledon final had he seen off Ramos Vinolas​, but did not have a break point as he was defeated 6-4 6-4.

It will now be the Spaniard who takes on the 20-time grand slam champion, who is eyeing a third Shanghai title.

Ninth seed Gael Monfils needed three sets to progress in his opening-round match with Lorenzo Sonego and 15th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili went the distance in his triumph over Radu Albot, but Diego Schwartzman suffered a shock loss to Vasek Pospisil.

Pospisil's fellow qualifiers Norrie and Jeremy Chardy also reached the second round, coming through against Kyle Edmund and Gilles Simon respectively.

Elsewhere in the draw, there were wins for Taylor Fritz, Cristian Garin, Hubert Hurkacz, Benoit Paire, Mikhail Kukushkin and Joao Sousa.

Caroline Garcia came from behind to avoid a shock defeat in the first round of the Tianjin Open, but Venus Williams was dumped out.

Fourth seed Garcia lost the first set to Anastasia Potapova before fighting back to claim a 2-6 6-2 6-2 win.

Seven-time grand slam champion Williams could not produce a similar recovery, however, losing 6-3 4-6 6-3 to Rebecca Peterson, who maintained her upward momentum after winning her maiden WTA singles title in Nanchang last month.

Williams spurned two match points in a defeat to Belinda Bencic in the second round of the China Open last time out and was unable to deliver the kind of display that saw her push a top-10 player to the limit as she fell at the first hurdle.

Sixth seed Yulia Putintseva needed three sets to see off Astra Sharma 6-1 1-6 7-5, while Sam Stosur - a finalist in Guangzhou last month - also had to go the distance to beat Yang Zhaoxuan.

There was home success for Wang Yafan, the Chinese dishing out a bagel in a straight-sets defeat of Lauren Davis, while Heather Watson overcame Kateryna Bondarenko.

 

 

Taylor Fritz ended his dismal run of first-round exits with a hard-fought victory over Fernando Verdasco on day one of the Shanghai Masters.

Fritz had not reached the second round of an ATP Tour tournament since he was runner-up in Los Cabos in August but beat Verdasco 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 on Sunday.

The American, who did manage to beat Dominic Thiem in the Laver Cup last month, saved eight break points and claimed the solitary break of the deciding set to progress.

Fritz faces a tough second-round assignment against seventh seed Karen Khachanov in the Chinese capital.

Nikoloz Basilashvili, the only seed in action, was also taken the distance as he sent Radu Albot packing 4-6 6-1 6-3.

Hubert Hurkacz defeated wildcard Zhang Zhizhen 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, while Joao Sousa was 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) winner against Filip Krajinovic.

Dominic Thiem came from behind to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6 6-4 6-1 to secure China Open glory and his fourth title of the year.

Thiem took advantage of a sloppy Tsitsipas start in Beijing to break to love in the opening game but the Greek respondedf immediately to get back on serve.

Tsitsipas, playing in his first final since May, was able to get on the front foot thereafter, breaking to go 5-3 up by taking advantage of unforced errors from top seed Thiem.

A cute volley gave Tsitsipas set point and his terrific wide serve allowed the 21-year-old to power home, then a smash volley saw him break at the start of the second.

But again the reply came swiftly from the world number five, this time Thiem profiting on misplaced Tsitsipas shots to get back on track at 2-2.

Tsitsipas had two chances to secure a second straight break but Thiem battled back and forced the third seed to save three break points to make it 4-4 and add to the Austrian's growing frustration.

Consecutive forehand passes from Tsitsipas created another break point, Thiem able to claw his way back to hold serve - that success giving him a timely confidence boost.

A stunning forehand set up three break points for Thiem and he seized upon the last of them to take the final to a decider, a cross-court passing shot beating Tsitsipas with the aid of the net cord.

Again Tsitsipas collapsed to 0-40 in his first service game of the third and, although he reeled off four straight points to recover, he then pushed a volley wide to hand Thiem the break.

Thiem's relentless energy was causing Tsitsipas problems and the two-time French Open finalist soon secured a double break to move 4-0 up, a position of strength he would not let slip to complete a fine week in which he also qualified for the ATP Finals.

"I think this was one of the best matches I've played in my whole career," Thiem said at the post-match presentation after sealing his first triumph in Asia. 

"He played amazing and I hope we have lots more finals in the biggest tournaments. Last year we had a great rivalry so I hope this continues."

Naomi Osaka came from a set down to beat world number one Ashleigh Barty in the China Open final and claim her second WTA Tour title in succession.

Osaka, the champion on home soil at last month's Pan Pacific Open, extended her winning streak to 10 matches with a richly deserved 3-6 6-3 6-2 triumph in Beijing.

The Japanese has endured an up-and-down year but now shapes as the form player heading into the WTA Finals later this month, having earned the second Premier Mandatory title of her career 19 months on from a breakthrough success in Indian Wells.

"I just really wanted to win here, I felt I had something to prove," said Osaka in the on-court presentation.

"Basically I was telling myself to keep fighting even though my attitude was really trash. This is a final, I'm really privileged to be here in the first place, so keep fighting."

Although Barty took the first set on Sunday, Osaka could take plenty of heart from the fact she looked untroubled on serve barring the one game in which she was broken.

Barty saved two break points on her way to winning the opener and a third early in set two, but Osaka's pressure was eventually rewarded as she finally enjoyed success on her rival's serve and levelled the contest.

Another break came Osaka's way at the start of the decider and a subsequent missed chance for Barty, who put a forehand long when she had a chance to get back to 2-2, proved crucial.

Osaka, who ended the long winning run of US Open champion Bianca Andreescu at the quarter-final stage, soon reeled off eight points in a row to open up a 5-2 lead, before converting her second match point to seal victory.

Novak Djokovic landed his first title since Wimbledon by crushing John Millman in the Japan Open final.

The world number one cruised to a 6-3 6-2 victory in Tokyo as he secured a 76th career singles tournament win.

This was Djokovic's first playing visit to the Japanese capital, and he hopes to return in 2020 to challenge for an Olympic gold medal, one of the few honours to have eluded him.

Australian Millman was playing his first ATP Tour final at the age of 30, and the qualifier predictably could not contain Serbia's 16-time grand slam winner.

Djokovic said of his latest success: "It was a fantastic win in every sense. I felt great on the court and felt really welcomed by the Japanese people off the court as well. They made me feel at home.

"We spent an amazing 10 days in Japan and I can't wait to be back next year hopefully for the Olympic Games."

The 32-year-old had to abandon his US Open fourth-round match against Stan Wawrinka in early September, when two sets and a break behind, because of a shoulder injury.

He enjoyed proving his fitness has fully returned, while landing another trophy, a boost ahead of next week's higher-stakes Shanghai Masters.

Speaking of his performance, Djokovic added on Tennis TV: "I think this is definitely a level higher than in the last couple of months in terms of my tennis, and hopefully I can maintain that in Shanghai as well."

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