Novak Djokovic may have sounded croaky but the four-time Paris Masters champion stayed in the hunt for another triumph in the French capital.

A 7-6 (9-7) 6-1 victory over Great Britain's Kyle Edmund carried the Serbian through to a tough-looking quarter-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Greek youngster Tsitsipas was a 6-3 6-4 winner against Australian Alex de Minaur, while Rafael Nadal dug deep for a gritty 6-4 6-4 win over Stan Wawrinka.

Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev were significant casualties, as the fifth and sixth seeds suffered respective defeats to Grigor Dimitrov and Denis Shapovalov.

And there was plenty of French joy, as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils thrilled the home crowds with dramatic three-set victories.

Djokovic eyes revenge

Djokovic lost to Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters in October but will fancy his chances of avenging that loss on Friday.

Despite his voice sounding far from healthy, Djokovic is feeling better after battling illness this week, and he is positive about the state of his game.

"The second set was the best set I've played so far in the tournament," Djokovic said, according to the ATP website. "Finished off with a winner, finished off with amazing return game. So, of course, the sensation is very positive. And I'm convinced that I'm headed in the right direction so that tomorrow will be even better."

The 32-year-old hopes to end the year at number one in the world rankings for the sixth time, even though Nadal is certain to be in pole position heading into the ATP Finals in London.

 

Tsonga next for Nadal

Nadal was not at his best against Wawrinka, yet he still extended his dominance over the Swiss three-time grand slam winner with a 19th win in their 22nd meeting.

He took two of the three break points he engineered to stay in the hunt for a first Paris Masters title. Given his immense success elsewhere - his 35 Masters 1000 titles is a record and he has landed 12 French Open titles - Nadal's limited success in Paris is a shortcoming he will be eager to address.

He should have enough for Tsonga on Friday, but the veteran Frenchman has come out punching this week and is beginning to look like the player who was a top-10 fixture for so long.

Tsonga landed a 2-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) victory over Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff and said: "When you play the best, it's always beneficial and it's not important whether you win or lose.

"When you play Rafa in the first round, it's a problem. If you play Rafa in the quarter-finals, it's normal. Of course, it's better for me to meet Rafa in quarter-finals after having played a few matches rather than during the first round."

Monfils keeps ATP Finals hopes alive

There is one place to fill at the season-ending ATP Finals, and Monfils is desperate to sustain his run this week to stay in contention.

After a 4-6 6-4 6-1 win against Romanian Radu Albot, the 33-year-old Parisian is on the brink but still not quite there and must see off Shapovalov to earn his ticket to London ahead of Matteo Berrettini.

Given Shapovalov's 6-2 5-7 6-2 win against Alexander Zverev, that could be a tall order for Monfils, whose French compatriot Jeremy Chardy could not boost the home contingent in the final eight, going down 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in a nail-biting thriller against Chilean Cristian Garin.

Despite the defeat, Zverev is certain to be involved in the English capital after sealing his spot on Wednesday.

Rafael Nadal edged past Stan Wawrinka at the Paris Masters as he extended his dominance in their career rivalry and moved a step closer to the title that has always eluded him.

There was little between the players, both multiple grand slam winners, but Nadal seized on two of the three break chances he created to snatch a 6-4 6-4 victory.

A 19th win in 22 matches against the Swiss took Nadal nearer a 36th Masters 1000 title and the end-of-year number one ranking.

Curiously, though, the Spaniard has never won the indoor event in Paris, despite being a 12-time French Open champion.

The gritty win over Wawrinka sets up a quarter-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who came into this tournament as a wildcard but has been inspired at his home tournament.

French veteran Tsonga has a better record against Nadal than Wawrinka can point to, winning four of their 13 previous meetings.

Nadal said of his win over Wawrinka: "I've been in a match with not many rallies. I played with some mistakes but at the same time I played well with my serve. I was able to be comfortable with my serve.

"On the return, it was difficult today to find opportunities, but the important thing is when I had opportunities I played with the right determination, so I'm very happy. It's an important victory against a very tough opponent."

Assessing the threat posed by Tsonga, who at 34 is a year his senior, US Open champion Nadal told Amazon Prime: "He's a tough one. He's a great player and let's see. I know I'll have to play my best."

Nadal will take over at number one in the rankings next week, whatever happens in Paris, but he will also be assured of top spot come the season's end if he carries off the title.

Rafael Nadal will face Stan Wawrinka in the third round of the Paris Masters after grinding out a straight-sets victory over Adrian Mannarino in his first match as a married man.

The 19-time grand slam champion showed signs of rustiness seven weeks after his last main-draw contest - a US Open final victory over Daniil Medvedev.

Wildcard Mannarino put up a good fight in his homeland but was beaten 7-5 6-4 by the second seed.

Nadal did not face a break point and made only 11 unforced errors as he fended off world number 43 Mannarino, hitting 23 winners.

The match came 11 days after Nadal and long-time girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello married in Mallorca.

The Spaniard will end the year at the top of the rankings if he takes the title in the French capital for the first time this weekend and will be well fancied to get past Wawrinka, who has beaten him only three times in 21 meetings.

Nadal had to bide his time in a tight first set against Mannarino, with the first break point not coming until the eighth game and his fellow southpaw fended that off before levelling at 4-4.

The world number two's persistence paid off when Mannarino was broken when serving to stay in a first set that lasted just shy of an hour.

It was a similar story in the second set of a serve-dominated contest, as Nadal had only the only break-point opportunity before Mannarino fired a forehand wide on the first match point to bow out.

Stan Wawrinka has been forced to pull out of a dream home quarter-final against Roger Federer at the Swiss Indoors Basel due to a back injury.

The seventh seed Wawrinka displayed plenty of grit to dispatch of Frances Tiafoe 6-3 3-6 7-5 on Thursday and was set to meet Swiss great Federer in the last eight.

However, Wawrinka – a losing finalist to Andy Murray at last week's European Open – will not be able to take to the court to face Federer for a 27th time.

"The bad news is that I will have to retire," he said.

"I had some trouble with my back in the last game. I'm sure I cannot make it for tomorrow [Friday]. I will pull out."

Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had to fight back to avoid an upset against Ricardas Berankis, the Greek recovering to seal a 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 triumph. 

Filip Krajinovic is up next after he upset fifth seed Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-4, while Roberto Bautista Agut needed three sets to defeat Richard Gasquet.

Reilly Opelka will take on the Spanish fourth seed after he recovered from a set down to defeat David Goffin 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.

 

Roger Federer acknowledged his struggles against Radu Albot in Miami provided him with motivation for his demolition of the Romanian at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Federer, seeking his 10th title at his hometown tournament, cruised to a 6-0 6-3 win in his second-round match, needing just 62 minutes to do so on Wednesday.

It was a stark contrast to the 20-time grand slam champion's meeting with Albot in Miami, where he had to come from a set down to win 4-6 7-5 6-3.

"I'm extremely happy because I really struggled against him in Miami and he definitely got my attention there. I was basically a point away from losing," Federer said.

"It was important for me to show a reaction to that match and come out with a proper game plan. I think I learned a lot from that match."

Federer will next face either compatriot Stan Wawrinka or Frances Tiafoe in the quarter-finals. Wawrinka beat Pablo Cuevas 6-3 6-4 while Tiafoe saw off Daniel Evans 6-4 6-2.

Taylor Fritz pulled off a shock in the first round by defeating Alexander Zverev, but he could not back that up in the second as Alex de Minaur claimed a 6-3 6-3 victory over the American. Wednesday's other second-round clash saw Jan-Lennard Struff overcome Henri Laaksonen 6-3 6-4.

Marin Cilic failed to build on his run to the Kremlin Cup semi-finals, the former US Open champion suffering a 6-4 6-4 loss to sixth seed David Goffin.

Ricardas Berankis and Filip Krajinovic were the day's other winners.

Meanwhile, at the Erste Bank Open, Matteo Berrettini bolstered his hopes of securing an ATP Finals spot with a second-round triumph against Grigor Dimitrov.

The Italian, eighth in the Race to London rankings, prevailed in a battle of this year's US Open semi-finalists 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1), hitting 36 winners to add 45 points to his tally.

Gael Monfils kept his hopes of a spot in London alive by coming from behind to avoid an upset against Dennis Novak. The Frenchman recovered to come through 2-6 7-5 6-3 in his first-round clash.

The other second-round match in Vienna saw Karen Khachanov progress as Marton Fucsovics retired in the third set

Denis Shapovalov fell back down to earth after winning his first ATP title in Stockholm last week, losing 6-3 7-5 to Pablo Carreno Busta. Elsewhere in the draw, there were wins for Mikhail Kukushkin, Andrey Rublev and Sam Querrey.

Andy Murray's tears of despair in Melbourne were swapped for tears of joy in Antwerp after a heart-warming triumph at the European Open.

The three-time grand slam winner overcame Stan Wawrinka in three topsy-turvy sets to win a first ATP Tour title since 2017.

It marks an incredible turnaround for Murray, who at a news conference previewing the Australian Open in January spoke of his fears that his career was coming to an end due to a long-term hip injury, for which he underwent resurfacing surgery after the opening slam of 2019.

Just nine months later and Murray is a singles champion again on the ATP Tour. Here, we look back at an emotional 2019 for the popular Briton.

 

TEARS IN MELBOURNE

Murray broke down in tears when briefing the press ahead of the Australian Open in January after struggling to recover from hip surgery.

"I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months. I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I'm not certain I can do that," Murray said ahead of a valiant five-set first-round loss to Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Later that month, Murray underwent hip resurfacing surgery.

PAIN FREE AND ARISE SIR ANDY

Six weeks later, Murray sat down with BBC Sport for an interview in which he said he was "pain free" following the procedure, though admitted his chances of playing at Wimbledon were slim.

In May, Murray received the honour of a knighthood at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, saying: "It's a nice day to spend with my family – my wife and parents are here."

HOWDY, PARTNERS! QUEEN'S GLORY 'DELICIANO'

Murray fans were delighted in June when it was announced he would play doubles with Feliciano Lopez – a player once dubbed 'Deliciano' by his mother Judy Murray.

Incredibly, the duo defeated Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram to clinch the title.

SERENA DREAM TEAM AT WIMBLEDON

Murray made headlines without even striking a ball when it was announced he would pair up with Serena Williams for a star-studded mixed-doubles pairing at Wimbledon.

It was a partnership that ended in round three, while Murray and Pierre-Hugues Herbert were knocked out in round two of the men's doubles.

Murray later teamed up with brother Jamie and again with Lopez to build up his match fitness, before another huge announcement followed.

GOING SOLO IN CINCINNATI

It was a moment he feared might not happen, but in August Murray was back playing singles at the Cincinnati Masters.

A first-round defeat to Richard Gasquet followed but Murray continued to add match minutes and claimed a notable victory over Matteo Berrettini at the China Open, before losing an ill-tempered second-round clash to Fabio Fognini at the Shanghai Masters.

ANDY AWESOME IN ANTWERP

After defeating Kimmer Coppejans and Pablo Cuevas in straight sets at the European Open, Murray needed to dip deep to go the distance in victories over Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert.

The fact Murray had made the final of an ATP Tour tournament was a huge achievement in itself and, after dropping the first set to Wawrinka, it looked a tall order to go a step further.

But in a back-and-forth encounter, Murray triumphed 3-6 6-4 6-4 before breaking down in tears courtside.

"It's amazing to be back playing against him in a final like that. I think it was a great match. I didn't expect to be in this position at all, so I'm very happy," he said.

Andy Murray surpassed his own expectations after claiming a memorable come-from-behind victory over Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open.

In January, an emotional Murray stated during a press briefing at the Australian Open that he thought his career might be over due to a long-term hip injury.

The Briton underwent resurfacing surgery but made a return to court in doubles competition at Queen's in June before making a singles comeback in Cincinnati in August.

Just two months on, the tears of despair in Melbourne were replaced by tears of joy as Murray earned a first ATP title win since 2017 after defeating Wawrinka 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Antwerp.

"It means a lot. The past few years have been extremely difficult. Both me and Stan have had a lot of injury problems in the past couple of years," Murray said on court. 

"It's amazing to be back playing against him in a final like that. I think it was a great match. I didn't expect to be in this position at all, so I'm very happy."

Wawrinka himself was searching for a first Tour title since two surgeries on his left knee in August 2017 and Murray paid tribute to his defeated opponent.

"Stan is a brilliant player. He's won many, many big tournaments. He always plays extremely well in the big matches," Murray said. 

"We know each other's games well. We played many tough matches in the past. I expected another one and that was what I got."

Andy Murray claimed a fairy-tale victory as he rallied to beat Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open.

He sealed his first ATP Tour crown since March 2017 by coming from behind to win a battle lasting two hours and 27 minutes 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Antwerp.

Murray's victory on Sunday capped a remarkable week as he claimed a title in the same year his career had been thrown into major doubt when he underwent hip resurfacing surgery after the Australian Open.

It had looked like he would fall to convincing loss when he dropped serve in the second set and Wawrinka – whose wait for a first title since May 2017 goes on – had two chances to go a double break in front.

But Murray showed his trademark grit to record a tournament win which, while being at ATP 250 level, will undoubtedly go down as one of the sweetest in his storied career.

Murray put his hands to his head in disbelief after sealing victory and broke down in tears as he acknowledged the crowd and took his seat before getting his hands on the trophy.

 

Andy Murray is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Stan Wawrinka at the European Open in his first singles final since 2017.

Murray is playing his final tournament of the year, aside from the Davis Cup, in Antwerp as he continues a remarkable comeback from hip resurfacing surgery that was expected to end his career.

The three-time grand slam champion progressed to his first final since March 2017 with a 3-6 7-5 6-2 win over Ugo Humbert.

He will face Wawrinka, who himself tumbled out of the top 250 in 2018 after continued injury issues but is now back in the top 20, in the showpiece on Sunday.

"I am obviously happy to be in the final," said Murray. "I did very well to turn that match around today. It was tough. He was playing huge from the back of the court… it was tricky but I am obviously happy to be back in a final.

"I think it will be a nice match to play. Me and Stan have played a lot against each other… it is nice that we are both able to be back playing against each other in a final.

"It was obviously big for me to get that [6-5] game in the second set, but the game that won me the match was the first game of the third set.

"When I was 0-40 down, I think I played a couple of good points. It was a huge game to get out of. I felt like the momentum was with me once I won that game, I felt like that was what set me on my way."

Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov is into his first career ATP final at the Stockholm Open, the 20-year-old overcoming Yuichi Sugita 7-5 6-2 to set up a meeting with Filip Krajinovic, who got the better of Pablo Carreno Busta over three sets.

At the Kremlin Cup, Andrey Rublev is a win away from his second ATP title after beating former US Open champion Marin Cilic 7-5 6-4.

He will face Adrian Mannarino, a 6-3 6-4 victor over Andreas Seppi.

Andy Murray will face Stan Wawrinka in his first ATP Tour singles final since March 2017 after coming from a set down to beat Ugo Humbert at the European Open.

Murray's career was in doubt after he underwent hip resurfacing surgery in January, but the former world number one could add to his title haul on Sunday after a 3-6 7-5 6-2 defeat of Humbert.

The three-time grand slam champion has not featured in a singles championship match since overcoming Fernando Verdasco in Dubai two and a half years ago.

Murray passed another stamina test and showed his strength of character to get past Humbert on Saturday, setting up a mouthwatering decider against fellow multiple major winner Wawrinka.

Humbert secured the first break of the second semi-final to lead 4-2 after fending off two break points in the previous game and served out the opening set to love.

Murray took the upper hand in the second by breaking to lead 3-1 and although he was unable to consolidate as the 21-year-old hit straight back, the Brit broke again to level the match.

Southpaw Humbert saw three break-point opportunities pass him by in the opening game of the final set and was soon up against it at 3-0 down, with Murray going on to put away a simple volley at the net to break again and move into the final.

Fourth seed Wawrinka also came through a battle between youth and experience, seeing off Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-2.

The Swiss, also eyeing a first ATP Tour title since 2017, broke four times to end the 18-year-old's impressive run.

Andy Murray reached his first ATP Tour singles semi-final for over two years by rolling up his sleeves to overcome Marius Copil in the European Open on Friday.

The three-time grand slam champion's persistence paid off as he battled past Copil with a 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 victory in Antwerp.

Murray squandered a 4-1 lead in a second set he lost after holding the same advantage in a tie-break, with Copil saving a match point. 

The Brit was not to be denied a place in the last four, winning what was his second quarter-final since returning from hip resurfacing surgery after claiming the only break of the final set.

Ugo Humbert stands in the way of Murray and a place in the final after coming from a set down to beat Guido Pella 5-7 6-4 6-4.

Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka outlasted Gilles Simon 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 and will face Jannik Sinner, who became the youngest ATP semi-finalist since 2014 when he got past Frances Tiafoe 6-4 3-6 6-3.

There will be no back-to-back Kremlin Cup triumphs for Karen Khachanov in his homeland after Andreas Seppi beat the defending champion 3-6 6-3 6-3.

Seppi has reached at least the quarter-finals in his past six appearances in Moscow and will face Adrian Mannarino - a straight-sets winner against Dusan Lajovic - for a place in the final after claiming the scalp of the second seed.

Marin Cilic took out Jeremy Chardy 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2) and will go up against Andrey Rublev, who saw the back of Nikola Milojevic 6-2 6-3.

There will be no dream swansong for Janko Tipsarevic at the Stockholm Open after Yuichi Sugita ended the Serbian's career with a 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-4) triumph, booking a semi-final showdown with Denis Shapovalov.

Shapovalov eased to a 6-0 6-3 defeat of Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, while Pablo Carreno Busta beat Sam Querrey and will face Filip Krajinovic - conqueror of Yoshihito Nishioka.

Karen Khachanov thrilled the Moscow crowd as he saved five match points before overcoming veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Kremlin Cup.

The world number eight, top seed and defending champion at the ATP 250 event, found himself 5-3 down in the decider but refused to buckle as Kohlschreiber eyed a notable scalp on his 36th birthday.

Khachanov – now the focus of home hopes after Daniil Medvedev's withdrawal due to fatigue - repelled three match points to force a tie-break and his calmness from the baseline saw him through more trouble to prevail 3-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

Andreas Seppi is up next for Khachanov after the experienced Italian similarly came from a set down to beat Roberto Carballes Baena 5-7 6-1 6-3.

Serbian fourth seed Dusan Lajovic also went the distance against Lukas Rosol, coming through 6-4 6-7 (8-6) 6-3 to beat his Czech opponent and set up a quarter-final clash against last year's runner-up Adrian Mannarino – a straight-sets winner over Mikhail Kukushkin.

Stan Wawrinka returned to action at the European Open, competing for the first time since his US Open quarter-final loss, and his troublesome knee was given a thorough workout by Feliciano Lopez.

The two seasoned campaigners provided plenty of entertainment - a sumptuous backhand half-volley at the net in the first set serving as a particular highlight from Wawrinka, who came through 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

The 34-year-old Swiss will take on Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals after the world number 47 came through his all-French clash against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 7-5.

Andy Murray will face Pablo Cuevas in round two after the eighth-seeded Uruguayan beat Hugo Dellien 6-4 6-3, while Guido Pella ensured further South American success by beating Kwon Soon-woo 7-5 7-5 to earn a quarter-final place.

Frances Tiafoe's reward for breaking a three-match losing streak, defeating Yannick Maden, will be a meeting with another German opponent in Jan-Lennard Struff.

At the Stockholm Open, US Open semi-finalist and second seed Grigor Dimitrov was dumped out by Sam Querrey, losing 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 7-6 (7-3). Taylor Fritz was another seed to fall – 7-5 6-4 against Yoshihito Nishioka,

Filip Krajinovic is up next for Nishioka after beating Dan Evans 7-5 2-6 6-3.

Daniil Medvedev expected his thigh injury to cost him his US Open quarter-final with Stan Wawrinka but is now confident it will be okay for the last four with a quirk of the schedule allowing him extra rest.

Medvedev called for the trainer in the first set as he battled an issue with his left thigh, yet that did not prevent him from claiming a superb four-set win at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The world number five will face either Roger Federer or Grigor Dimitrov in the semis but will have two days to recover for Friday's clash.

That is a boost Medvedev did not expect to enjoy, having effectively resigned himself to elimination from the tournament in the opening set.

"First two sets, I didn't have any emotions because in my mind, I'm losing the match because of my leg," Medvedev told a media conference.

"I'm either going to retire or come back to the locker room in one hour as the loser of the match.

"Then when it was like 5-3 in the second, I was like, okay, now I'm starting to get stressed because I'm close to being 2-0 up in the sets. I'm definitely not going to retire when it's 2-0 up for me.

"I am still really painful in my leg. I knew I have to play without rhythm. Some games I have to not run to relax my leg. I was hitting full power, then suddenly I was doing drop shots in the middle.

"I knew I should not give him any rhythm. In crucial moments maybe it will make him miss. That's what has worked.

"Of course, I would prefer to win in a normal way with a normal tennis game, but that's how I won. Hopefully physically I will feel better normally, yes."

On his now very valuable time off, Medvedev added: "I'm feeling really lucky about it because I didn't know this before the match or during the match.

"As soon as I went out of the court, somebody told me that, 'Now, you have two days'. I was like, 'Really?'

"I didn't know. I thought it was going to be normal, one day off, you go to play. That's a huge advantage regarding what happened to my leg.

"I think, as I say, I don't want to say anything yet, but I think it should be okay."

Daniil Medvedev battled through a thigh injury to reach the semi-finals of the US Open with an absorbing 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 3-6 6-1 win over Stan Wawrinka.

Russian fifth seed Medvedev has been consistently booed by the crowds at Flushing Meadows after appearing to give a middle-finger gesture to the fans during his third-round victory against Feliciano Lopez.

Medvedev has thrived in his role of tournament villain and was jeered again upon entering Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York on Tuesday.

However, after his exploits against Wawrinka, Medvedev is deserving of more admirers than dissenters and he was treated to a warm ovation as he knocked out Novak Djokovic's conqueror.

His performance while fighting an issue with his left thigh, on which he received considerable strapping in the first set, was one of craft, intelligence and considerable grit.

Medvedev was full value for his victory and will now have three days to nurse his thigh before meeting Roger Federer or Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the final.

He struck for the first break of serve in the opening game of the match and it was not until Wawrinka produced a tremendous forehand to bring up three break-back points that parity was restored.

Both players then held from 0-30 down to set up a captivating tie-break dictated by Medvedev, moving Wawrinka round the court with a combination of drop shots that barely edged over the net and backhand lobs that sent the Swiss scampering back to the baseline.

Wawrinka, however, won four straight points from 5-2 down to bring up set point but he failed to take it and handed Medvedev the opener when a return went long.

The 2016 champion then ballooned a forehand long to give Medvedev a break for a 3-1 lead in the second.

Despite being obviously hindered by his thigh, Medvedev did not face a break point in the second, his ploy of focusing his energy on his own service games rather than Wawrinka's paying dividends. 

However, he was immediately under pressure in the third, as a pair of double faults handed the chance for Wawrinka to take a 2-0 lead that he snaffled instantly.

Even with his injury, Medvedev showed remarkable character. In a mammoth ninth game, Wawrinka spurned a set point with a dreadful forehand unforced error and saw another go begging as Medvedev forced him to save four break points before a return into the net halved the deficit.

However, Wawrinka's first service game of the fourth was a disappointing one and Medvedev took full advantage, breaking to love as his 34-year-old opponent netted a backhand volley.

From there all the momentum was with Medvedev and he refused to let it slip, wrapping up a hugely impressive display in fitting fashion with a perfectly placed lob.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Daniil Medvedev [5] bt Stan Wawrinka [23] 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 3-6 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev – 36/36
Wawrinka – 38/38

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev – 11/12
Wawrinka – 10/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev – 4/8
Wawrinka – 2/8

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Medvedev – 60
Wawrinka – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Medvedev – 73/58
Wawrinka – 78/38

TOTAL POINTS
Medvedev – 126
Wawrinka – 114

It has been a long road back to the top of men's tennis for Novak Djokovic, which will have made another betrayal by his body sting all the more on Sunday.

What may be even more painful for the world number one, however, is the realisation he could be about to lose ground in the race for his ultimate goal: the all-time record for men's grand slam singles titles.

Djokovic has made no secret of his desire to beat Roger Federer's leading tally, which stands at 20. However, his retirement due to a left shoulder injury after being thoroughly dismantled by Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round of the US Open has made that challenge even harder.

Through his struggles with an elbow problem, Djokovic saw eight slams go by without him lifting any of them, with six shared between Federer and Nadal.

That set him back significantly in his quest to take Federer's crown as the greatest of all time, and he will know his withdrawal makes it highly likely the Swiss star or Nadal will be collecting the US Open trophy come the end of the second week of proceedings at Flushing Meadows.

Federer and Nadal will be the heavy favourites to contest the final, with the former having the chance to move onto 21 and Nadal the opportunity to pull to within one of him on 19.

Djokovic does not believe this latest setback to be a long-term issue - he plans to play in Tokyo in four weeks' time - and was defiant when asked in his post-match media conference about his dream of catching Federer and Nadal.

"It's a long road ahead hopefully for me," Djokovic said. "I hope I can play for many more years. I'm planning to. I mean, I don't see an end behind the corner at all.

"Now it's a matter of keeping my body and mind in shape and trying to still peak at these kind of events that are majors and that are the most significant in our sport."

However, keeping his body in shape has proven easier said than done for Djokovic. This was his sixth retirement at a slam, albeit his first at the US Open, and at 32 it is easy to question just how long he will be able to remain at the highest level given that record of durability problems in majors.

Barring a breakthrough for Daniil Medvedev or perhaps a continuation of the Wawrinka resurgence in New York this week, Djokovic's task of claiming the slam record will be a more difficult one going into the 2020 season.

Having seen the career of Andy Murray – who is just seven days younger than Djokovic – completely derailed by injury, the Serbian should have an understanding that his time as one of the best in the world can be brought to an end at any moment.

By contrast, he will also be encouraged by the manner in which the now 38-year-old Federer has been able to extend his time as a grand slam champion well beyond the expected twilight of his career.

Federer, though, has been able to achieve that by reducing his playing schedule. The 2019 season was the first in which Federer has played the French Open since 2015 and he has only featured in 10 tournaments all year. 

Djokovic's insistence that he plans to play in Tokyo despite saying he has been in "constant pain" for weeks indicates he believes he can continue to have a very busy schedule and compete in grand slams.

His body is telling him otherwise.

The 16-time major winner is not one for giving up, which is what made his retirement against Wawrinka all the more surprising.

However, unless he accepts shifting to a lighter schedule is the best policy as he moves into his mid-30s, Djokovic may have to resign himself to the prospect of his moving to the top of the major pile never coming to pass.

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