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."

Naomi Osaka's impressive run to the China Open has come despite the Japanese star struggling for sleep.

The two-time grand slam champion made her second consecutive WTA Tour final on Saturday by knocking out defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-2 in Beijing.

Osaka also saw off US Open winner Bianca Andreescu in the quarter-finals and produced another fine display in her semi-final win over Wozniacki despite a short turnaround of under 24 hours between the two matches.

"I haven't slept since before I played Bianca so I did not emotionally prepare," Osaka, 21, said after her 65-minute Wozniacki triumph.

"I just tried to sleep as much as I could and then before I knew it, I had to come back here.

"Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but it's definitely been a bit crazy time-wise.

"I went to sleep at 4:00am, I woke up at 6:00am, so solid two hours, I can't really sleep after my matches. I just feel like my adrenaline's up more during the tougher matches so it makes it harder to sleep."

Osaka won on home soil at the Pan Pacific Open at her last event and has ended two impressive streaks at this premier mandatory tournament.

Wozniacki had won 20 consecutive sets at the China Open dating back to last year's event before losing emphatically, while Andreescu had tasted victory in 17 straight matches before Osaka accounted for her.

In Sunday's final, the Japanese star will meet Ashleigh Barty, the player who took the number one ranking from her after the US Open.

Osaka said: "I just can't make too many unforced errors [against Barty]. For me, she's a consistent power player. She also has a lot of change-up shots.

"I feel like half of what I have to do is not be too crazy on the change-up shots and also try to be the more aggressive player out there.

"This year has definitely been very up and down. Of course Australia was great, everyone knows Europe was terrible for me. 

"The US Open was pretty bad and after that I didn't do anything, took a break, told everyone that I was going to do well here [on the Asian swing]. I kind of promised everyone so I'm trying to pull through on that."

Barty saved a match point before defeating Kiki Bertens in a thrilling final-set tie-break in the first semi-final.

Dominic Thiem will face a resurgent Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the China Open after coming from a set down to beat Karen Khachanov and qualify for the ATP Finals.

Thiem joined Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev in qualifying for the season-ending tournament in London with a 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 victory in Beijing on Saturday.

Top seed Thiem overcame an early barrage from Khachanov to keep himself in contention for a fourth title of the season

The Austrian had been broken just once in the tournament before the semi-final stage but lost the first set after failing to hold on three occasions.

Thiem showed his fighting spirit to turn it around, though, coming from 5-3 down in the second set to force a decider and recovering from an early break in the third to progress.

Alexander Zverev lost his cool as he was consigned to a 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 defeat to Tsitsipas in the second semi-final.

The German smashed his racket after failing to serve out the opening set with a 5-3 lead and saw three set points come and go in the tie-break, with Tsitsipas winning five points in a row to go a set up.

A composed Tsitsipas powered into a 5-1 lead with two breaks in the second set and although Zverev won three games on the spin and saved five match points, he was unable to deny the Greek a straight-sets victory.

Tsitsipas has endured a torrid run of form but will play in his first final since May on Sunday.

Naomi Osaka dumped out defending champion Caroline Wozniacki to book a huge China Open final against Ashleigh Barty.

Following up on her win at the Pan Pacific Open, Australian Open champion Osaka reached another final by impressively defeating Wozniacki, a two-time winner of this tournament, 6-4 6-2.

She will now do battle with Barty, the player who regained the world number one ranking from her after the US Open, in Beijing on Sunday, bidding for her second career premier mandatory title.

Barty had earlier saved a match point to earn a thrilling 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9-7) victory over Kiki Bertens in a battle lasting two hours and 20 minutes, the Australian reaching her fifth final of 2019.
 

IN-FORM OSAKA ENDS WOZNIACKI STREAK

Osaka fired 30 winners to Wozniacki's 13 and converted three of her five break points as her assertive style proved decisive in a 65-minute victory.

Wozniacki had incredibly won 20 consecutive sets at the China Open dating back to her 2018 victory at the event, but failed to take any of her seven break points as that spectacular run came to an emphatic end.

Osaka saved one of those break opportunities to level a close first set at 4-4 before building on that momentum.

She made the decisive break with a forehand winner down the line in the next game and then held to claim the first set, sealing the opener with a powerful volley.

The second set was more comfortable, as Osaka's momentum continued with a break in the opening game.

Wozniacki had chances, though, with two missed opportunities to break straight back and another going begging that could have prevented her Japanese opponent moving into a 3-1 lead.

Osaka then broke again to move into complete control and an unreturned serve on her first match point soon after finished the job.
 

BARTY 'NEVER BEEN HAPPIER' AFTER EPIC WIN 

Barty had needed three sets to move through her previous two matches and was pushed to the limit again in her semi-final.

Asked about winning the crucial points, Barty said: "That's gone hand-in-hand with adding some new people to my team, trying to work with them behind the scenes.

"Not just for my tennis, it's for my life, my health and wellbeing as well, which has been the best thing. I have never been happier off the court, never been happier on the court. It's been a brilliant time in my life.

"I enjoy those moments. I enjoy when it's tight, when your back's against the wall. That really brings out the fun for me."

The world number one – who had won all four of the previous meetings between the pair - claimed 12 of the first 14 points, breaking in the second game.

That strike was all she needed in order to claim the opening set, as Bertens threatened to recover at 5-3 down only for Barty to eventually convert her sixth set point.

It was Bertens' turn to make a fast start in the second set, though, racing into a 3-0 lead and not conceding a break point en route to levelling the match.

That led to a dramatic final set where both players broke twice, Bertens failing to serve out the match at 5-4 as Barty forced an epic tie-break. 

Barty lost the first three points but recovered to lead 6-5 before being unable to convert a match point on her own serve. Her Dutch rival then missed her chance at victory having moved 7-6 ahead.

The Australian won three straight points from there, sealing victory with her second match point after Bertens sent a backhand return long. 

Novak Djokovic defeated David Goffin in straight sets on Saturday to reach his 110th career final at the Japan Open.

The world number one needed one hour and 29 minutes to record a 6-3 6-4 triumph over the third seed, meaning he is still yet to drop a set in his first appearance at the tournament in Tokyo.

John Millman is the last man standing in Djokovic's way of a 76th title on the ATP Tour, the Australian having progressed from the first semi-final with victory over Reilly Opelka.

Djokovic has dropped his own serve just twice in four matches so far, albeit he was forced to save four break points against Goffin, who was crowned champion at the event two years ago.

However, the top seed recorded early breaks in each set and won 87 per cent of points on his first serve. Even when there was an occasional glimmer of hope for Goffin, sublime defence helped Djokovic get out of trouble.

Millman, meanwhile, continued his remarkable run at the tournament by beating Opelka 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

The world number 80 had to save three match points in qualifying just to make the main draw, while he also fell a set down in his last-32 meeting with Adrian Mannarino.

However, he has now won eight consecutive sets to reach his second ATP Tour final.

Andy Murray has been handed a favourable draw at the Shanghai Masters, while Roger Federer could face a test in the second round.

Murray, continuing his comeback after hip surgery, accepted a wildcard into the ATP 1000 tournament, and the Brit will meet a qualifier in his opener.

The three-time grand slam champion will take on either Italian 10th seed Fabio Fognini or American Sam Querrey if he progresses.

Murray showed his form is improving by reaching the quarter-finals at the China Open, where he lost to top seed Dominic Thiem.

Federer, meanwhile, has a bye into the second round as the second seed, but the Swiss great could face Marin Cilic in his opening match.

Cilic, who has fallen to 30th in the rankings after a difficult year, takes on Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round.

World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic will face either Frances Tiafoe or Denis Shapovalov in the second round, while Stefanos Tsitsipas is in the Serbian's quarter.

Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament on Friday due to a wrist injury.

Naomi Osaka was keen to remind the tennis world of the threat she poses as she ended Bianca Andreescu's stunning winning run in the China Open quarter-finals.

Osaka won the 2018 US Open and started the new year by claiming the Australian Open, moving to world number one, but her season then unravelled with a series of unconvincing performances.

Meanwhile, Andreescu emerged as one of the outstanding talents on the WTA Tour, stringing together 17 consecutive victories that included taking the Flushing Meadows title for her own breakthrough major success.

But Osaka spoiled the party in Beijing on Friday, rallying from a set down to stun her 19-year-old opponent 5-7 6-3 6-4, continuing an impressive Asian swing.

The Japanese won the Pan Pacific Open and is now into the last four of the final Premier Mandatory tournament of the year, with defending champion Caroline Wozniacki up next.

Wozniacki, who has endured a tough year, defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to maintain her hopes of becoming the first woman to win this competition three times.

 

'I'M STILL HERE!'

It appears Osaka was hurt by the public and media response to her tough middle section of the year, now determined to prove her worth again in the final weeks of the season.

"It meant a lot because I feel like people counted me out after the Europe thing," she said, having failed to reach a final on clay or grass. "I still won a slam this year, I won [the Pan Pacific Open].

"I'm still here. But there's a sort of beauty to be underrated."

As well as reaching the semi-finals in Beijing, Osaka also booked her place at the WTA Finals with victory, joining Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep and opponent Andreescu.

 

'LOSING SUCKS!'

Andreescu had not been beaten in a completed match since March and so, quite understandably, was not used to the feeling of coming up short on Friday.

"I forgot how it feels [to lose]," she said. "Honestly, it sucks. I didn't miss it at all. But at least I didn't get whooped one and one. I put up a fight.

"Honestly, it could have went either way. It was just some points here and there. At the same time, I am pissed, but at the same time, I'm proud of myself with how I played today.

"I really fought, especially in that last game. Holy crap, that was crazy."

 

BARTY THROUGH

While many eyes were distracted by the Osaka-Andreescu tussle, world number one Barty advanced in the other half of the draw, beating Petra Kvitova 4-6 6-4 6-3.

This was another superb contest, leading the French Open champion to claim: "From my opinion, that was one of the highest quality matches I played all year.

"Petra always has a way of bringing out the best in me, she really does."

The Australian faces Kiki Bertens next after the Dutch star upset third seed Elina Svitolina in straight sets. "I think I stepped up my game today," Bertens said.

Andy Murray's hopes of making the China Open his first singles title since career-saving hip surgery are over after the Brit was swept aside 6-2 7-6 (7-3) in the quarter-finals by top seed Dominic Thiem.

Murray was featuring in his first last-eight match on the singles circuit this year and held his own for periods, but early breaks in both sets proved vital for Thiem.

The 26-year-old world number five broke Murray's serve in the very first game and generally looked untroubled when claiming the first set 6-2.

Thiem struck on his opponent's serve in the first game of the second set as well, but Murray showed spirit to fight back, breaking Thiem to level at 5-5.

But Murray's lack of consistency cost him in the tie-break, with Thiem completing victory to set up a semi-final against Karen Khachanov, who came through 3-6 6-3 6-1 against Fabio Fognini.

The other semi will be contested between Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas after they overcame American duo Sam Querrey and John Isner, respectively.

Second seed Zverev hammered Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday and, although Querrey put up a bit more of a fight, the German still progressed in straight sets, winning 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

Tsitsipas was similarly commanding against the big-serving Isner, who had won the previous two contests including at Wimbledon 2018.

Neither broke serve in the first set, forcing a tie-break in which Tsitsipas prevailed, but the 21-year-old took charge in the second and ran out 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victor.

Novak Djokovic said a "flawless" straight-sets demolition of Lucas Pouille was one of his best performances of the year after coasting into the semi-finals of the Japan Open.

Djokovic took just 50 minutes to beat fifth seed Pouille for the third time this season, easing to a 6-1 6-2 victory on Friday.

The world number one crushed the Frenchman in the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January and it was an all-too-familiar story for Pouille in Tokyo.

Djokovic, eyeing a fourth title of the season after recovering from a shoulder injury which forced him to retire from the US Open, produced a masterclass of returning and served superbly to set up an encounter with David Goffin.

The top seed said: "It was definitely one of the best matches I've played this year. Best one of this week and came at the right time.

"I thought Lucas was playing really well the first couple of matches in this tournament. I took the time away from him."

Serbian Djokovic added on the ATP website: "I served well, served many aces, returned a lot of his serves back and just used every opportunity to come in. Just overall, a really flawless performance."

Goffin also made light work of reaching the last four, the Belgian not facing a break point as he brushed aside Hyeon Chung 6-2 6-2.

Australian qualifier John Millman moved into his first ATP 500 semi-final with a 6-4 6-0 defeat of Japan's Taro Daniel, and he will face American Reilly Opelka, a 6-3 6-3 winner over Yasutaka Uchiyama.

Novak Djokovic dominated Lucas Pouille in a one-sided quarter-final at the Japan Open Tennis Championships on Friday.

The world number one crushed Pouille 6-1 6-2 in just 50 minutes in a superb display at the ATP 500 tournament in Tokyo.

Djokovic had won his previous two meetings with the Frenchman in straight sets – including in the Australian Open semi-finals this year – and was in complete control from the outset in windy conditions.

The 16-time grand slam champion won eight of the first nine points, breaking when Pouille netted a volley in the second game.

Pouille could win only two of the first 14 points of the match, losing the opening set in just over 20 minutes.

Djokovic – playing his first tournament since retiring in the US Open fourth round due to a shoulder injury – was flawless and Pouille had no answers as the Serbian rolled out to a 4-0 lead in the second set.

After his third straight-sets win of the week, Djokovic will face either David Goffin or Hyeon Chung in the semi-finals.

World number two Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Shanghai Masters due to a wrist injury.

Nadal, 33, played at the Laver Cup last month, but missed his matches on the final day because of the problem.

The Spaniard, who won the US Open in September for his 19th grand slam title, was due to play in Shanghai, but his withdrawal was confirmed on Friday.

"Hi all, I am very sad to announce that I won't be able to play in Shanghai this year. It is the second year in a row and in China I have great fans," Nadal said, via the tournament's website.

"The tournament is amazing and the city one of the most special places around the world.

"But, as you all probably know, I had an inflammation on my left wrist during the Laver Cup and I haven't had the time to recover and practice to be ready for this amazing event.

"I hope to be back in Shanghai for the 2020 tournament."

A two-time runner-up in Shanghai, Nadal missed the event last year due to a knee injury.

Shanghai Masters tournament director Michael Luevano wished Nadal all the best in his recovery.

"We will obviously miss not having Rafa here at the Shanghai Masters. He has been an incredible supporter of the tournament and of tennis in China," he said.

"He gives so much when he is on the court and his toughness knows no bounds like in 2014 when he played the tournament while suffering appendicitis.

"It should go without saying that on behalf of everyone at the Shanghai Masters we hope the left wrist mends fully and he is back on tour very soon, continuing to enthral fans with his tennis.

"Also, on a personal note, as well as speaking for the entire family at the Shanghai Masters, we wish Rafa and his fiance Maria Francisca [Perello] all the very best for their upcoming wedding.

"Rafa's legions of fans in Shanghai and China look forward to welcoming him back in 2020."

Alexander Zverev followed up his thumping win over Frances Tiafoe with another resounding success against a fellow young gun as he roared past Felix Auger-Aliassime at the China Open.

After clinching Team Europe's success at the Laver Cup last month, Zverev has performed strongly in the opening rounds in Beijing, making light work of two of the most promising players in the game.

Zverev, despite a largely underwhelming season, is nudging closer to a top-eight place in the Race to London as he bids to reach the ATP Finals, where last year he stunned Novak Djokovic in the title match.

A 6-3 6-1 win over Canadian 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime is irrefutably a strong result, and for the German second seed it sets up a quarter-final against American Sam Querrey, who needed to dig deep for a 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 win over Argentinian Diego Schwartzman.

Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was taken the distance before getting the better of Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, the world number seven outlasting the 17th-ranked player 4-6 6-3 6-2 in a touch over two hours.

Next for Tsitsipas is a clash with a player he has yet to beat, John Isner, after the American won 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 against Britain's Dan Evans.

Isner fended off Tsitsipas at Wimbledon in 2018 and a year earlier in Shanghai, with four of the five sets across those two matches going to tie-breaks, a familiar pattern when the big-serving Dallas resident is in action.

Bianca Andreescu swatted aside Jennifer Brady to set up a mouth-watering China Open quarter-final with Naomi Osaka.

US Open champion Andreescu took just 67 minutes to defeat qualifier Brady 6-1 6-3 and extend her winning streak on the WTA Tour to 17 matches on Thursday.

The Canadian's next opponent is two-time major champion Osaka, who won 10 straight games to come from a break down and seal a 6-4 6-0 victory over Alison Riske.

Caroline Wozniacki beat Katerina Siniakova 7-5 6-4 to reach her second quarter-final of the season. The 16th seed will face Daria Kasatkina after the Russian beat compatriot Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4 6-3.

 

SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE

Andreescu has not suffered defeat in a completed match since Acapulco in March, while Osaka has won her past seven matches in straight sets.

Ahead of their first meeting on the WTA Tour, Osaka thinks the fifth seed is in better form than she was after claiming her maiden major at the 2018 US Open.

"I was watching her play Toronto when I was there. It's pretty obvious she is an amazing player," the Japanese, who won the Pan Pacific Open last month, said of Andreescu.

"I don't know. I feel like she's doing better than I was last year, so it's all cool. I have to learn from her, too."

 

WOZNIACKI ON FORM

Two-time China Open champion Wozniacki twice battled from a break down to take the opening set against Siniakova, who saved a break point to avoid going 5-1 down in the second.

The Czech rallied to get back into the match but paid the price for making 43 unforced errors.

"I'm happy to have played well so far in the tournament. I've been feeling pretty good. That's always a plus. We'll just see," said Wozniacki.

"Hopefully it's not the end of the tournament for me. Hopefully I have a couple more matches in me. I'm just going to go and see."

 

THE RUSSIAN WALL

Alexandrova charged ahead in an opening set that saw just three holds of serve, but Kasatkina put two of them together to take five straight games and seize the initiative.

Kasatkina displayed immense defence to do so and she kept it up in the second to triumph despite twice dropping serve.

"The Russian wall came back in China," said Kasatkina of her tenacious play. "She was better at the beginning, but together with Carlos [Martinez, her coach] I managed to get my game back and start to play better."

Hyeon Chung will face David Goffin in the quarter-finals of the Japan Open after denying Marin Cilic a milestone victory.

Cilic was expected to claim the 500th tour-level win of his career in Tokyo on Thursday, but Chung beat the sixth seed 6-4 3-6 6-1.

Chung, absent for much of this season due to a back injury, had not won a set in his previous three meetings with Cilic, yet the unseeded South Korean pulled off an upset to move into the last eight.

Cilic had a first-serve percentage of only 57 and double-faulted seven times to bow out of his first tournament since the US Open.

Chung said: "I'm just really happy because this is one of the best wins in my career so far. It was a really tough match against one of the best players in the world. I'm just trying to enjoy every point."

Goffin, winner of this tournament two years ago, got past Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-2).

There were no breaks of serve in a tight contest between the third seed and 20-year-old Shapovalov, but it was the Belgian who had the edge in the tie-breaks.

Qualifier John Millman went through with a 6-3 6-2 win over Lloyd Harris, while Taro Daniel defeated Jordan Thompson 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

US Open champion Bianca Andreescu's incredible unbeaten run continued as she fought past Elise Mertens at the China Open.

In a rematch of their Flushing Meadows quarter-final, Andreescu survived a second-set fightback from the Belgian to progress to the last 16 in Beijing.

World number one Ashleigh Barty went the distance with Zheng Saisai but powered through in the third set to keep her hopes alive.

Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens also progressed along with Elina Svitolina, but Madison Keys was on the wrong end of a stunning turnaround from fellow American Jennifer Brady.

 

ANDREESCU TRIUMPHS IN TOUGH BATTLE

Andreescu trailed 4-1 in the second set with Mertens, who had a set point to force a decider at 5-4.

However, Andreescu saved that before breaking back to force a tie-break, which she edged to complete a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) triumph.

Andreescu is unbeaten in 16 matches and has not lost a completed contest since March.

"Today was more of a battle mentally with myself than anything," the 19-year-old said. "I felt like I was getting very down on myself.

"I expect a lot from myself in general, but I have to realise not everything is going to go the way I want it to."


BRADY TURNS TABLES ON KEYS

Brady trailed by a set and a break against former US Open finalist Keys, but the qualifier produced a remarkable comeback to claim her fourth top-20 win of the season.

She came through 2-6 6-4 6-4 after one hour and 56 minutes, but acknowledged fortune played a significant role in her victory, which sets up a third-round clash with Andreescu.

 "I was just letting her dictate and take control and be the one in charge," said Brady. "I feel like I got a bit lucky with a few points here and there and was able to turn around the match.

"I think it was just mentally, being able to stay in there and fight. Not give in, not look at the score, just stay positive and stay within myself. Look to play my game and be more aggressive, knowing that if I stay in there, things can happen. And they did. I was happy they did."


50 NOT OUT FOR BARTY!

A former cricketer in the Big Bash League, Barty reached her half-century for 2019 as she claimed her 50th win of the year on Wednesday.

She did so with a display of grit that would have been well suited to a long spell at the crease, winning 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 in two hours and 32 minutes.

The Australian becomes the second woman to reach 50 wins on Tour this year, drawing level with Karolina Pliskova.

Barty will next face Kvitova after the two-time Wimbledon champion overcame Belinda Bencic, while Bertens' reward for beating Polona Hercog is a match with Svitolina, whose three-set win over Sofia Kenin finished well after midnight.

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