Nikoloz Basilashvili emerged victorious after a three-set battle with Andrey Rublev to successfully defend his title at the German Tennis Championships.

The reigning champion claimed his 12th straight win in Hamburg 7-5 4-6 6-3, having also needed to come through a decider to beat Leonardo Mayer in the 2018 final.

Basilashvili, who is the first player to win the event in successive years since Roger Federer in 2004-2005, had survived a scare on Saturday, saving two match points in his semi-final against Alexander Zverev. 

The Georgian suffered a sluggish start 24 hours later against Rublev, though he rallied after losing his serve in the third game to take the opening set.

Rublev did not make the same mistake in the second when a break put him 4-3 up, holding on to his advantage this time before sealing the set when his opponent committed successive forehand errors.

Basilashvili would not be denied, however, crucially breaking in the fourth game of set three as he clinched a hard-fought victory after two hours and seven minutes on court.

Alexander Zverev stormed back to beat Filip Krajinovic and reach the German Tennis Championships semi-finals after splitting with coach Ivan Lendl, while Andrey Rublev claimed the scalp of Dominic Thiem.

Zverev and Lendl have parted ways less than a year after starting their collaboration ahead of the US Open.

The German could start the post-Lendl era with a second ATP Tour singles title of the season, having come from a set and a break down to beat Krajinovic 2-6 7-5 6-2 in his homeland on Friday.

Krajinovic served for the match at 5-3 up in the second set, but Zverev showed great resistance to pull himself off the ropes, winning four games in a row to level the match before largely dominating the decider.

Second seed Zverev will take on defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili in the last four after the fourth seed beat Jeremy Chardy 6-2 6-3 in Hamburg.

Former World No. 1 Ivan Lendl and Alexander Zverev have parted company after a partnership that included a run to the 2018 #NittoATPFinals. #ATP

— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) July 26, 2019

Top seed Thiem's titles hopes were ended with a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) loss to 21-year-old Russian Rublev, who will face Pablo Carreno Busta - a 3-6 6-2 7-6 (7-4) conqueror of Fabio Fognini.

Carreno Busta's fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut was knocked out of the Swiss Open Gstaad by Joao Sousa, a 4-6 6-3 7-5 quarter-final winner.

Pablo Andujar and Albert Ramos Vinolas continue to fly the flag for Spain in Switzerland, though, and will meet at the semi-final stage following defeats of Dusan Lajovic and Roberto Carballes Baena respectively.

Alexander Zverev will face Nicolas Jarry in his second final of the season after seeing off Federico Delbonis in the Geneva Open.

Zverev has endured a disappointing year, but the world number five could start the French Open next week on the back of his first title in 2019.

The top seed rolled up his sleeves to beat Delbonis 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 on Friday, blasting down 15 aces and winning 81 per cent of points on his first serve.

Zverev said: "I am very happy with the win. I am very happy to be in the final and [to] give myself an opportunity to win a tournament here.

"I made 15 aces so my serve was doing alright ... [Delbonis] beat great players on this surface already, he has done well on this surface and I think winning against him is a good win."

The unseeded Jarry reached only his second ATP Tour final with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Radu Albot. 

Jarry has not dropped a set this week and the world number 75 stands on the brink of a maiden ATP Tour title.

Felix Auger-Aliassime will also contest his second ATP Tour championship match following a 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 success against top seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in the Lyon Open.

The 18-year-old Canadian rising star will come up against Benoit Paire, who was a 6-4 6-2 winner in his semi-final with Taylor Fritz on home soil.

Denis Shapovalov will face Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Internazionali d’Italia after beating Pablo Carreno Busta, while Gael Monfils crashed out in Rome on Monday.

Shapovalov arrived in the Eternal City on a dismal run of four consecutive losses, but he got up and running on clay with a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) defeat of Carreno Busta.

The 20-year-old faces a huge test in round two at the Foro Italico, with world number one Djokovic eyeing back-to-back titles following his Madrid Open triumph.

Monfils has enjoyed an impressive season - giving Roger Federer a major test in Madrid last week - but the 15th seed went down 6-3 6-1 to Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Fernando Verdasco will come up against Dominic Thiem after fighting back to see off Kyle Edmund 4-6 6-4 6-2, while Borna Coric also came from a set down to eliminate Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Fabio Fognini toppled Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to join the likes of Karen Khachanov, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Marco Cecchinato in round two.

French duo Richard Gasquet and Jeremy Chardy were locked at a set apiece when play was suspended for the day due to rain as they battle for the right to play defending champion Rafael Nadal.

 

SHAP SNAPS LOSING STREAK

Shapovalov has been out of sorts since losing to Federer in the Miami Open, but the Canadian prodigy showed what he is capable of in the Italian capital.

Carreno Busta did not force a single break point and although Shapovalov converted only one of 12, he got through in straight sets.

Shapovalov will face Djokovic for the second time in his fledgling career, having been beaten in a four-setter at the Australian Open earlier this year.

 

MISERY FOR MONFILS 

Monfils dropped below the high standards he has set for much of this year and Ramos-Vinolas capitalised.

Frenchman Monfils won only 66 per cent of points behind his first serve and Ramos-Vinolas won all four break points he earned.

Monfils' compatriot Tsonga also bowed out, with 10th seed Fognini winning 6-3 6-4.

In-form duo Gael Monfils and Stefanos Tsitsipas will meet in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships while Roger Federer is also through to the last four in the United Arab Emirates.

After winning his eighth ATP Tour title in Rotterdam, Monfils defeated qualifier Ricardas Berankis 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 to make sure he will return to the top 20 in the world rankings for the first time since July 2017.

Monfils breezed through the opener but Berankis hit back in the second, prevailing in a see-saw tie-break that the Lithuanian claimed by taking four points on the spin.

He also recorded an early break of serve in the decider to lead 2-1 yet failed to win another game, Monfils eventually triumphing after one hour and 55 minutes on court.

Tsitsipas, crowned champion at the Open 13 Marseille last Sunday, made it seven wins in a row with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (1-7) 6-1 result against Hubert Hurkacz.

The Greek was a set and 3-1 up but was taken the distance by Hurkacz, appearing in his first quarter-final on the ATP Tour after knocking out Kei Nishikori in the previous round.

However, Tsitsipas won the first five games in the decider on his way to setting up a showdown with Monfils – and he expects a tough encounter against a player who is at the top of his game right now.

"We have similar game style. I guess, I'm a bit more aggressive than him, but he's much faster," the fifth seed said of Monfils.

"I'm going to have to deal with all of that, be patient, play with passion as well, just wait for the opportunities to break him. I think I'm going to have to serve well."

In the other half of the draw, Federer was once again forced to work hard to keep alive his quest to secure a 100th ATP title.

Taken to three sets in his previous two outings, Federer came close to falling behind against Marton Fucsovics – who had two set-point opportunities in a tie-break – but eventually won 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in a match twice delayed by rain.

The Swiss will next face Borna Coric, who rounded out Thursday's action by rallying from a set down to see off Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-1).

Defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut was dumped out of the Dubai Tennis Championships by Nikoloz Basilashvili and Kei Nishikori suffered a surprise defeat, but Roger Federer moved into the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Basilashvili will face Borna Coric - who defeated Tomas Berdych - in the last eight after coming from a set down to beat Spaniard Bautista Agut 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3.

The unseeded Georgian blasted down 19 aces and won 81 per cent of points on his first serve, with four breaks of serve seeing him through.

Nishikori suffered only his third defeat of the season as world number 77 Hubert Hurkacz consigned him to a 7-5 5-7 6-2 loss.

The Polish outsider's victory was his first against a top-10 opponent and he did it the hard way, losing the second set after levelling from 4-0 down before dominating the decider.

Federer stayed in the hunt for his 100th ATP singles title, Fernando Verdasco taking the 20-time grand slam champion to three sets for the second time this week before suffering a 6-3 3-6 6-3 loss.

The legendary second seed - who has won all seven of his matches against Verdasco - will now face Hungary's Marton Fucsovics, a 6-4 6-2 winner against Jan-Lennard Struff, following his 50th victory in Dubai.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Gael Monfils - both eyeing back-to-back titles - advanced at the expense of Egor Gerasimov and Marcos Baghdatis respectively.

Last week's champions Daniil Medvedev and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will meet in the quarter-finals of the Rotterdam Open, while Kei Nishikori also advanced on Thursday.

Medvedev was crowned Sofia Open champion on Sunday and the in-form Russian could claim back-to-back titles this weekend after beating Fernando Verdasco 6-2 7-5.

The fifth seed has now won 13 out of 15 matches in a great start to the season, while Verdasco was left to rue making 42 unforced errors as he bowed out.

Tsonga is on a high following an Open Sud de France triumph in his homeland and was too good for wildcard Tallon Griekspoor, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

Stan Wawrinka got back to winnings ways by defeating Benoit Paire in straight sets in the first round of the Rotterdam Open on Monday.

Former world number three Wawrinka, yet to return to his previous heights after serious knee injuries, staved off three set points before clinching a tie-break and he reeled off six games in succession to complete a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 triumph.

The victory represented the Swiss' first since the opening round of the Australian Open, having suffered back-to-back defeats against Milos Raonic – who he could face in the second round in Netherlands – and Marius Copil.

Paire was unable to convert a break point while leading 5-3 in the first set and he passed up two opportunities to serve it out, and Wawrinka made sure to punish him by claiming the tie-break and racing to victory.

"It was difficult to play against a good friend and we played some good shots. Winning the first set was the key and I played with confidence in the second set," said the 2015 champion Wawrinka.

"I feel good in general. I had a good off-season and took the time to get back in shape. I now need matches to build my confidence, but I have to be patient with that. It was a long year to get back physically, but now I'm playing well."

Hyeon Chung was unable to make the most of winning the first set as he fell to a 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 defeat against Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Andreas Seppi also required three sets to see off qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-2, while Mikhail Kukushkin eliminated home hope Robin Haase 6-2 7-6 (7-4).

World number one Novak Djokovic was full of praise for Nikoloz Basilashvili having come from a set down to beat the Georgian and earn a Qatar Open semi-final clash with Roberto Bautista Agut.

Djokovic lost two of his first three service games against Basilashvili and dropped the first set, as he had done in his last-16 win over Marton Fucsovics on Wednesday.

However, just as he had done against Fucsovics, Djokovic – the 2016 and 2017 champion – rallied and secured a 4-6 6-3 6-4 success in a little under two hours.

Speaking on court after the match, Djokovic praised fifth-seeded Basilashvili, who he had anticipated would provide him with a stern test.

"I thought Basilashvili was playing terrific from the beginning, I expected him to," Djokovic said. "I knew that he was playing the tennis of his life in the last 10 months.

"He's definitely one of the greatest hitters in the game and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season."

Later on Thursday, Djokovic spent another 65 minutes on court alongside his brother Marko in a doubles match that they lost in a deciding tie-break to David Goffin and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Goffin and Herbert staved off three match points before winning 6-1 3-6 15-13 to advance to the final.

Novak Djokovic can now solely focus on the singles tournament and a semi-final clash with Bautista Agut, who defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4 6-4 and is still yet to drop a set at the tournament.

In the other semi-final Marco Cecchinato will meet Tomas Berdych after the duo's respective wins over Dusan Lajovic and Herbert.

At the Maharashtra Open in Pune, Steve Darcis became the first unranked player to reach a semi-final in the ATP Tour's history.

Darcis, who missed the entire 2018 season through injury, overcame Malek Jaziri to set up a last-four clash with Ivo Karlovic, who at, 39, is bidding to become the oldest finalist since 43-year-old Ken Rosewall went that far in 1977.

The other semi-final will be contested between Kevin Anderson, who overcame Jaume Munar in straight sets, and Gilles Simon after the Frenchman came from a set down to beat Benoit Paire.

Novak Djokovic once again rallied from a set down at the Qatar Open as he defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili to reach the last four.

Djokovic needed a decider to overcome Marton Fucsovics on Wednesday after dropping the opener and he was broken twice early on in the first set as Basilashvili took charge.

However, the Georgian, who won the China Open in October, was unable to maintain that level and Djokovic fought back to secure a 4-6 6-3 6-4 success in just under two hours.

The Serb, who won the competition in 2016 and 2017, will now face Roberto Bautista Agut in the last four after the Spaniard defeated Stan Wawrinka in their quarter-final clash.

Djokovic took some time to get going in the previous round and it was a similar story against Basilashvili.

He broke Djokovic in the very first game and after he came close to going 3-0 up, he did secure the double-break to open up a 4-1 lead.

Djokovic eventually woke up, and was aided by Basilashvili pushing a makeable smash long to ensure he failed to hold, but the Georgian took his chance when serving for the opener to seize the initiative.

Basilashvili had struck 18 winners to his opponent's seven at that point, yet he was up against it from the start of the second set as Djokovic claimed an early break.

There were still opportunities for Basilashvili, though Djokovic staved off both of his break points, coming out on top after a 33-shot rally en route to winning the game that delivered the second set.

As he had in the previous set, Djokovic broke Basilashvili in his first service game only for the world number 21 to muster an immediate response as he reeled off seven points in a row.

At the next changeover, Djokovic left the court, seemingly for a bathroom break, and that may have disrupted Basilashvili's flow as he was broken when the score was 2-2.

And the world number one would seal his success with a game won to love, Basilashvili whipping a forehand wide and long as Djokovic's endurance in a lengthy rally once again proved the difference.

Tomas Berdych made a winning a return against Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Qatar Open following a long absence and there was also a victory for Steve Darcis on his comeback in Pune on Monday.

Berdych had not played a competitive match since June due to a back injury, but the former world number four ended a forgettable 2018 with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) success over Kohlschreiber on New Year's Eve.

The 33-year-old Czech, who will start the 2019 down in 71st in the rankings, broke twice to take the opener after losing the first two games and won the second-set tie-break to reach round two in Doha.

Berdych will now take on Fernando Verdasco after the Spaniard got past Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 6-4.

Roberto Bautista Agut, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Nicolas Jarry also made it through along with Andrey Rublev and Maximilian Marterer.

Darcis missed the whole of last season with an elbow injury, but set about trying to make up for lost time with a 6-3 6-4 win over sixth seed Roberto Carballes Baena at the Maharashtra Open.

The 34-year-old Belgian said: "It feels good [to win], of course. When you don't play for 400 days it is long and to come here and have the first win of the year, I feel great."

Seventh seed Jaume Munar overcame Radu Albot 6-2 7-6 (7-4) to join Ernests Gulbis, Evgeny Donskoy and Michael Mmoh in the last 16.

Richard Gasquet was one of two French players to triumph at the Paris Masters on Monday, as Australian Open semi-finalist Kyle Edmund withdrew. 

Defending champion Roger Federer overcame the in-form Daniil Medvedev while Alexander Zverev took another stride towards the ATP Finals by beating Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round of the Shanghai Masters. 

Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic were dumped out of the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday, but Novak Djokovic's sensational winning run continued.

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