Roger Federer begins his Australian Open campaign on Monday against a man he is yet to drop a set against.

The Swiss 20-time grand slam champion decided against playing a lead-up tournament ahead of the year's first major, where he faces Steve Johnson.

Despite the lack of competitive matches, it would still take a monumental upset to send Federer packing in the opening round.

We take a closer look at where the six-time champion in Melbourne is at ahead of the first round.

 

Form and results

Federer has been out of competitive action since the ATP Finals in November, when he suffered a semi-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 38-year-old did edge Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (8-6) in an exhibition set at the 'Rally for Relief' event on Wednesday.

First up

In contrast, his first-round opponent, Johnson, is coming off a Challenger Tour title win in Bendigo. A former world number 21, the American almost dropped out of the top 100 last year, but already has seven wins at Challenger level in 2020. Federer holds a 2-0 head-to-head record over Johnson, but was pushed to two tie-break sets in their last meeting at Indian Wells in 2017. Federer's last first-round loss at a major was at the 2003 French Open, while he is 20-0 in the Australian Open first round.

Draw

Federer is in the bottom half of the draw and will face either Filip Krajinovic or qualifier Quentin Halys if he gets past Johnson. If results go by ranking, Hubert Hurkacz will await in the third round.

What he said

"I'm excited to play Steve. He's a good guy. I think with his old-school playing – big forehand, slice backhand, good serve – I think it's going to be a nice match for me, as well."

Denis Shapovalov would not play in the Australian Open if he felt conditions were unsafe amid continued concern over the air quality in Melbourne.

Bushfires that have ravaged Australia in recent weeks led to a smoky haze drifting over Victoria, having a significant impact on qualifying for the first grand slam of 2020.

Dalila Jakupovic had to retire from her qualifying match in distressing scenes after suffering a coughing fit during the second set against Stefanie Voegele.

Tennis Australia has since published its air quality policy, which states play will be suspended if the concentration of P2.5 particles, which can impair lung function, exceeds 200 micrograms per cubic metre.

The policy indicates there will be a discussion between medical staff and officials about whether it is advisable to play when the score is between 97 and 200.

Speaking ahead of the tournament, where he will face Marton Fucsovics in the first round on Monday, Shapovalov was asked what he would do if he believed conditions to be unsafe.

"I wouldn't play," he replied. "Obviously it's a grand slam, it's a big opportunity, but I'm 20 years old.

"I don't want to risk my life, risk my health being out there in these conditions when I can play for the next 10, 15 years.

"For my own health, if it gets bad, I just don't see what the point is. I think everyone's kind of on the same page. I don't think I've seen anyone happy with the way things are being dealt with."

On the air quality policy, he added: "They send some email and say they have professionals looking at it and they use the term 'playable'.

"For me it's just like, it's not great. You get warnings from the news telling people to stay inside, that it's not good to be outside, breathing this stuff in.

"And then you get an email from the tournament saying it's playable and you guys have to go out there and put your life in jeopardy, put your health in jeopardy.

"You see the effects on players it has right now, the last couple of days, but also you don't know what it's going to do later in our lives and how it could affect us if we're breathing this air in for two weeks."

 

Andrey Rublev became the first man since 2004 to start an ATP season with successive titles thanks to a routine victory over Lloyd Harris in the Adelaide International final.

Having won the Qatar Open last week, Rublev maintained his stunning start to 2020 in South Australia and Harris, playing in his first Tour-level final, was no match for the Russian. 

Rublev had come through three-setters with Dan Evans and Felix Auger Aliassime en route to the final, the latter contest lasting just shy of three hours.

No such epic was needed for Rublev in the tournament showpiece, however, as he moved to 8-0 for the season with a 6-3 6-0 win.

He is now unbeaten in 12 matches and will rise to a career-high ranking of 16 ahead of the Australian Open.

The statistics tell the story for Rublev, who has proved almost impossible for his opponents to break down this week.

Rublev saved 20 of the 23 break points he faced in Adelaide, including all four Harris brought up in the final.

The South African failed to convert a break point in the fifth game and was immediately punished as Rublev capitalised on a poor service game from Harris.

Harris then had three break-back points in the subsequent game but still allowed Rublev to hold and from there it was a procession. 

A hold for Harris at least forced Rublev to serve out the first, but he did so with little difficulty as he rattled off seven successive games to replicate Dominik Hrbaty's achievement of 16 years ago by clinching back-to-back titles.

The Australian Open should be delayed or postponed if air quality deteriorates and smoke blankets Melbourne, according to Dr Matthew Conron. 

Australia has been ravaged by bushfires in recent months, triggering poor air conditions and concerns among players for their welfare ahead of the year's first grand slam.

Australian Open organisers have come under fire after allowing qualifiers to take place on Tuesday, despite a thick haze of smoke, forcing Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic to retire, while Eugenie Bouchard, Bernard Tomic and Maria Sharapova also struggled.

The main draw gets underway on Monday and all eyes are on the Victorian capital with conditions continuing to fluctuate.

Asked if the slam should go ahead, Conron - Associate Professor and Director of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne - told Omnisport: "From a respiratory physician's point of view, if you had air quality of the type we have seen previously, I'd think the recommendation would be to delay or postpone the tournament until the weather cleared.

"I wouldn't think there'd be risk of long-term damage to your lungs. However, there's certainly a risk of precipitating an asthma attack. For those who have known asthma in particular, they'd be at a significant disadvantage to whose who haven't."

Conron, who helped prepare athletes for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing amid concerns over poor air quality in China, added: "Everyone would be at increased risk of developing respiratory symptoms.

"A lot would get sore throats, a bad and irritating cough and a smaller number would probably get asthma-type symptoms, particularly if they're not adequately controlled.

"If I was to provide advice to players and those wanting to do exercise in those conditions, if possible don't."

Tuesday's conditions were in the "very poor" range. For such weather, the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) recommends avoiding being outside and reducing prolonged or heavy physical activity. In some areas of Melbourne and Victoria, conditions were "hazardous". In those conditions, people are urged to close their windows and doors, while keeping physical activity levels as low as possible.

Conron added: "There's athletes who don't know they have asthma or might only have mild asthma and they're not on treatment. For that group of people, there's also the risk of increased symptoms associated with exposure to poor air quality. They might perform worse than they normally perform.

"The other thing is, tennis players are under the WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] code. So you can't just treat them with steroids or high doses of inhalers without an adequate diagnosis, because they run the risk of being tested and face a ban.

"At the Australian Open, they would've had to notify WADA they are on medication. For example, if there's someone who doesn't know they have asthma and have an attack - you're allowed to take 16 puffs of Ventolin a day, which doesn't get you over the threshold. Not all inhalers are approved."

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki - who has degrees in physics and maths, biomedical engineering, medicine and surgery - also provided an insight into the conditions that have left tennis players concerned.

"I'd tell them not to do it [play]. The right thing to do would be to cancel the tournament," Kruszelnicki told Omnisport. 

"Sitting at rest, we breathe in maybe five litres of air every minute. But if we're exercising hard, we can get up to 50-70L. So you have these athletes on the court and they're shifting huge amounts of air in their lungs and they're getting acute affects from it. The air is not safe to breathe.

"Our immune system is made stronger by the moderate amount of exercise we do. But when you get to the top-grade athletes, their immune systems go to lunch and they're really fragile.

"These athletes at the tennis and Olympic Games, they're scared of people coming in with influenza. They are pushing their bodies way beyond what's actually healthy, but they want to win a tournament. In terms of the effect of the air pollution on them, they're more at risk than a less highly trained person, because their immune system has been knocked out of whack. 

"They have pushed themselves so hard but they have compromised their immune systems. So they're taking more pollutants in, but their bodies are more fragile. You think they have big muscles and can run around. In that regard they can, but almost certainly, they'd be more fragile. The technical term is an insult - an infection or pollution."

Daniil Medvedev accepts the 'Big Three' will be hard to stop at the Australian Open, but said he was gaining confidence from facing the all-time greats.

After a superb 2019 that included a run to the US Open final, Medvedev is considered one of the contenders in Melbourne, where the year's first grand slam starts on Monday.

But 14 of the past 16 Australian Opens have been won by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, and the trio are again the favourites.

Medvedev, the fourth seed who will face Frances Tiafoe in a tricky opener, said regularly facing the greats gave him confidence.

"I think playing against them from time to time, especially the further you go in the big tournaments, the more chances you have to play them," he told a news conference on Saturday.

"The more times you play them, the more you know where you are comparing to them. For example, match in ATP Cup, Novak was kind of all over me. I managed to get back, almost win the match. I mean, he still won it. They won the whole ATP Cup. But I felt I was really close.

"Matches like this give you confidence to see that you're able to do it, but it's really tough."

Medvedev's run to the final at Flushing Meadows was the first time he had been beyond the fourth round of a grand slam.

The Russian, 23, said he was eyeing at least the quarter-finals in Melbourne this year.

"It's always tough to answer. Good Australian Open is to win it, but if you ask me what I'm going to be happy about, it always depends of course who you play, who you lose to," Medvedev said.

"But I would say I will be happy with quarters. As I always say, for me the first goal is to win it step by step.

"If I'm in quarters, I'm not going to be there and say, 'Okay, I've done my goal, it's enough for this tournament.'

"Any tournament I play, I want to win it. But quarters will be satisfying, I would say."

Andrey Rublev outlasted fellow young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime in a gruelling clash on Friday to reach the Adelaide International final.

The Russian won 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 in a three-hour test, putting him one step away from a second title in 2020.

After triumphing at the Qatar Open last weekend, Rublev, 22, has brought his best form to Australia and had a marginal edge over his 19-year-old Canadian opponent.

At one point Rublev looked like getting the job done in straight sets, but teenager Auger-Aliassime dug deep to force a decider as he sensed the opportunity to grab a first ATP Tour title this weekend.

It went Rublev's way eventually as he advanced to a title match against South African Lloyd Harris, who had earlier beaten American Tommy Paul 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 in a battle between two qualifiers.

Harris and Paul, both aged 22 and ranked respectively 91st and 90th in the world, were unlikely semi-finalists, and Harris will go into the final as the obvious underdog.

The Auckland Open will crown its first French champion after Benoit Paire and Ugo Humbert won through to its final.

Dating back to the 1950s, the tournament crowned a host of the world's elite players in its early years, including Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Bjorn Borg, and its list of winners reflects the cosmopolitan nature of the tour.

Yet French success has been in short supply, until now.

Humbert was a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 winner against American John Isner, sending the 21-year-old left-hander through to his first tour final.

Paire fended off Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 and will target his fourth ATP title.

"I am very happy to play against a compatriot tomorrow," said 30-year-old Paire, quoted on the ATP website. "He is a very nice guy and we will see, but I am very happy to be in the final. It was the first time for me in the [Auckland] semi-finals and now the first time for me in the final."

"By the end of that match, Rafa's mind was scrambled eggs."

Craig O'Shannessy was part of Dustin Brown's coaching team when the German qualifier sensationally eliminated two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal at the All England Club in 2015.

Through numbers, patterns and data, Australian pioneer O'Shannessy orchestrated the gameplan to send Nadal packing in the second round almost five years ago.

"After the match, I described that as organised chaos," O'Shannessy told Omnisport. "A lot of times with Dustin it's pure chaos. Sometimes he wins with it, sometimes he loses. What gelled was we organised his chaos so that people didn't know him, would've looked at that thinking all hell is breaking loose. Whereas I'm watching the match going 'he is running the patterns that we talked about perfectly'.

"It's about taking away what Rafa wanted to do. It's about attacking him early on the point, it's about attacking him wide of the forehand, going after returns simply because you know where the serve is going, about drop shots and bringing him in. It's just about messing with his mind and making it very unclear."

O'Shannessy – recognised as a world leader in teaching and analysis – has continued to transform the sport. He teamed up with Novak Djokovic as his chief strategist in 2017 and helped the Serb rise back to the top with four grand slams in three years.

Now working with 2019 US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini, Jan-Lennard Struff, Alexei Popyrin and Tennis Canada, O'Shannessy crunches the numbers for his players.

"Every single match the player receives a pre-match report that has text, specific details about what the players like to do, I'll put in a bunch of numbers, tables and graphs particularly on serve patterns and rally length, then video," he said. "You just keep hammering away and supporting the winning strategy in as many different ways as you can."

At the forefront of analytics in tennis, how further can data go?

"Still a long away. We're only scratching the surface," O'Shannessy said. "There's a lot of numbers and data that we see but still don't know exactly what it means. The next five years will be incredibly important and we'll know way more than we do now. We're just at the start of the journey."

On data and patterns, O'Shannessy added: "For example, when you're returning, you can't cover everything. Players that try to cover everything, basically end up covering nothing. You look at it by the point score, if a player is at 30-30, they really need the point. If they're at 40-15, they don't necessarily need the point.

"So the players will have the tendency to gravitate to certain locations when they need that point and if you're sitting there waiting for it, all of a sudden the advantage of that point gets completely turned around. Instead of the returner being unbalanced, the server is off balance because the return is coming back harder and faster. They're on defence instead of offence.

"Early in my coaching career, I naturally put a big emphasis on the opponent, the idea being you're going to play 50 matches in a year and you may only play two or three where you think you've played incredible. The other 47 it's going to be your B or C game that triumphs, so the more you can understand it's not about you playing phenomenal tennis, it's about making them play bad. That mentality takes the pressure off and delivers it to the other side of the court."

Then there is artificial intelligence. Stats Perform, of which Omnisport is a part of, harnesses the true power of sports data by leveraging advancements in AI to generate the industry's richest insights, though it is relatively untapped in tennis.

"AI is able to crunch some very big data and make sense of it," O'Shannessy added. "The ability to do forecasting through there about percentages and situations. I'm already looking at the best way to incorporate AI and the end result to basically help players win more matches."

Venus Williams' clash with Coco Gauff headlines the Australian Open first round, but former champion Stan Wawrinka also faces an early test in Melbourne.

Williams and Gauff will meet for the second time in what is a blockbuster opening-round encounter.

But there are several intriguing clashes in the first round at the year's first grand slam and we take a look at six of the best.

 

Damir Dzumhur v Stan Wawrinka [15]

Wawrinka would have preferred a friendlier draw than a man he has lost to in two of their three meetings. The Swiss 2014 champion was resurgent last year, while Dzumhur has been unable to replicate the form of his breakout season in 2017. Still, the Bosnian beat Wawrinka in three sets on clay in Geneva last year so the three-time grand slam champion will have to be near his best.

Daniil Medvedev [4] v Frances Tiafoe

Tiafoe thrilled during a run to the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year, but that would prove to be the high point of his 2019. The American has made a slow start to 2020 with first-round losses in Doha and Auckland, but was competitive against Medvedev in a 6-2 7-5 loss in Washington last year. After a spectacular 2019 that included reaching the US Open final, Medvedev shapes as the most likely to stop the 'Big Three', although he will need to get through a somewhat tricky opener first.

Sam Querrey v Borna Coric [25]

While he has dropped off since 2017, Querrey will fancy his chances against Coric after the Croatian's difficult finish to last year. Coric finished 2019 with six straight losses and suffered two more at the ATP Cup, to go with a win over Dominic Thiem. After four consecutive first-round exits in Melbourne, Coric reached the fourth round last year, while Querrey has never been beyond the third round in Melbourne. Coric won their only previous meeting at the French Open in 2015.

Venus Williams v Coco Gauff

Arguably the pick of any first-round match, the 39-year-old Williams meets the 15-year-old Gauff once more. Gauff stunned Williams 6-4 6-4 at Wimbledon last year and her ranking then (313) compared to now (66) tells the story of how she finished 2019 as the teenager followed it up with a title win in Linz. Williams withdrew from Brisbane due to injury, making this a hugely tough task for the seven-time grand slam singles champion.

Kristina Mladenovic v Karolina Pliskova [2]

Pliskova has enjoyed Melbourne in recent years, reaching at least the quarter-finals in each of the past three, but was handed a tough start in 2020. The Czech is coming off a title win in Brisbane and that will give her much-needed confidence ahead of facing former world number 10 Mladenovic. The pair have split their previous four meetings, with Mladenovic winning the last of those in 2017.

Donna Vekic [19] v Maria Sharapova

A wildcard, Sharapova was always going to be the danger in the draw – and she landed alongside 19th seed Vekic. Vekic enjoyed a fine 2019 to rise into the world's top 20, while Sharapova battled injuries and has fallen to 145th in the rankings. Vekic should be the favourite to advance, but if five-time major winner Sharapova can find some form, the Russian is always a threat and last bowed out in the opening round in Melbourne in 2010.

Andy Murray has further delayed his return from a pelvic injury, opting to skip tournaments in Montpellier and Rotterdam next month.

The three-time grand slam champion withdrew from the Australian Open after suffering the injury during last year's Davis Cup Finals.

Murray, 32, was expected to play at the Open Sud de France and Rotterdam Open next month, but announced on Thursday he would not be ready to return.

"The bone bruising is taking longer to heal than first thought," former world number one Murray told UK media.

"So I won't be playing in Montpellier or Rotterdam in February.

"I don't want to rush anything or put a timeline on my recovery, I'm going to listen to my body and step back on the court to compete when the time is right."

After a hip injury threatened to end his career, Murray returned in the second half of last year and won the ATP Tour title in Antwerp in October.

 

Denis Shapovalov was surprisingly beaten in straight sets by 21-year-old Ugo Humbert at the Auckland Open on Friday.

A day after first and third seeds Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov were knocked out, second seed Shapovalov was beaten 7-5 6-4.

Humbert, who broke serve in the final game of each set, described the win as "one of the biggest of my career" as he set up a semi-final against John Isner.

The American was taken to two tie-breaks by Kyle Edmund but prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5), his 25 aces getting him over the line as he seeks a third title in Auckland.

Benoit Paire reached his first semi-final at the event, coming from a set down to beat John Millman 3-6 6-1 6-4.

The fifth seed will face Hubert Hurkacz, who spurned six second-set match points in a mammoth tie-break before eventually seeing off Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-7 (11-13) 6-4.

At the Adelaide International, home favourite Alex Bolt was soundly beaten by Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Canadian needing just 55 minutes to win 6-3 6-0.

He will meet Andrey Rublev in the last four after the Russian battled past Dan Evans 6-4 3-6 6-3 in just over two hours.

Spanish hopes were extinguished in the quarter-finals, where Tommy Paul surprised Albert Ramos-Vinolas to win 6-3 6-4 and Lloyd Harris beat fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-3.

Local hope Alex de Minaur withdrew from the Australian Open due to an abdominal injury.

De Minaur helped Australia into the ATP Cup semi-finals earlier this month, including pushing Rafael Nadal in the last-four loss to Spain.

But the 20-year-old will now miss the year's opening grand slam, where he reached the third round in 2019.

"Unfortunately Australian No.1 @alexdeminaur has withdrawn from #AusOpen 2020 with an abdominal injury," the tournament wrote on Twitter.

World number 21 De Minaur enjoyed a stellar 2019 with a 41-20 win-loss record and three titles.

Craig O'Shannessy knows Novak Djokovic better than most. He was the brains behind the 16-time grand slam champion's revival.

When O'Shannessy teamed up with Djokovic as his chief strategist in 2017, there were doubts over the Serbian star and whether he was a spent force on the ATP Tour due to injuries and form.

Djokovic drifted to 22nd in the world rankings during the 2018 season after ending the previous year without a slam crown – Australian Open (second round), French Open (quarter-finals), Wimbledon (quarter-finals) and US Open (absent due to injury).

However, highly regarded Australian strategy analyst and data pioneer O'Shannessy masterminded Djokovic's rise back to the top with three consecutive major championships thanks to a specific gameplan and emphasis on numbers and patterns.

Djokovic won four slams in total with O'Shannessy – the Australian Open (2019), Wimbledon (2018, 2019) and US Open (2018) – before the pair went their separate ways at the end of the 2019 season.

Providing an insight into Djokovic ahead of his quest for a record-extending eighth Australian Open crown in Melbourne, O'Shannessy, who provides players with reports and videos focusing on serving patterns and rally lengths before every match, told Omnisport: "He was really fantastic.

"He was also really receptive, really inquisitive, he is a sponge. There were so many times that I'd give him data and he was locked on to it. He always looked at it as much as possible. He had a real thirst for all the analytics I'd provide him. My job was to make things simple. He is a very smart guy. I think the record and success he had, a big part of that was going onto the court and having the confidence in the gameplan."

O'Shannessy, who now works with 2019 US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini, Jan-Lennard Struff, Alexei Popyrin and Tennis Canada, said: "We met in 2016 and I just showed them the work I could do, which was a lot of video work, analysis of matches, reports that led to video and it was something they weren’t doing at all in their team. We started at the beginning of 2017 and did it for three years, which in tennis years is a substantial amount of time, and it was very successful.

"Early on, I asked him how I could best be an asset for him. I had showed him everything I could do and the big thing was he wanted to see video. He hadn't seen a lot of video from his matches and what he did well. The big thing early on was the confirmation that certain ways and patterns that he gravitates naturally to on the court and didn't know whether they were really the best options.

"A lot of it early on was to show video of his best patterns of play, what worked the most, why he was winning, provide gameplans for every single match over the three years for the opponent, so he never went in blind. We always had a gameplan and knew the tendencies of opponents. Really double down at the big events and against his big rivals, to ensure no stone was left unturned."

At the age of 32, Djokovic – regarded as one of the all-time greats – trails Roger Federer's slam record (20) but can specific training with the use of analytics help prolong his career in pursuit of history?

"Novak is the kind of player that when he's practising, likes to feel the ball, likes to have rhythm, likes to have a large volume of hitting," O'Shannessy added. "But at the same time, there's one element being 'I need to feel good about my game but I also need to spend time working on the patterns that I know will be the most conducive to me winning matches'.

"Being smarter, a lot of the data does direct itself to being smarter on the practice court and not just grinding away, but running patterns of play and serving to a location to receive a ball, then to go to another specific location. For sure that knowing while you win matches and knowing that it's much more in the shorter rallies than the longer rallies, then you go to the practice court and develop those patterns."

Liam Broady hit out at the ATP and Australian Open for sending an email which he described as a "slap in the face" regarding conditions in Melbourne.

Qualifying has been impacted at the year's first grand slam due to poor air quality, with organisers facing criticism for letting play go ahead despite the conditions.

Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic retired during her match due to breathing difficulties, with the air quality in Melbourne in the 'very poor' range on Tuesday as smoke from bushfires in Australia cause havoc.

Broady, who was beaten in qualifying on the same day, hit out at organisers amid concerns over player welfare.

"The more I think about the conditions we played in a few days ago the more it boils my blood. We can't let this slide," the Brit wrote in a message posted on Twitter.

"The email we received yesterday from the ATP and AO was a slap in the face, conditions were 'playable'. Were they 'healthy'? Citizens of Melbourne were warned to keep their animals indoors the day I played qualifying, and yet we were expected to go outside for high intensity physical competition?

"What do we have to do to create a players union? Where is the protection for players, both male and female? When multiple players need asthma spray on court and they don't even have asthma? When a player collapses and has to retire due to respiratory issues?

"On tour we let so many things go that aren't right but at some point we have to make a stand. ALL players need protection not just a select few."

Conditions in Melbourne improved on Wednesday, although 'moderate to poor' air quality was forecast for Thursday.

Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov, the first and third seeds, crashed out of the Auckland Open in their opening matches on Wednesday.

World number 12 Fognini was facing Feliciano Lopez, the oldest player in the draw at 38 who had already won a match earlier in the day as the tournament schedule caught up following weather delays.

Lopez beat Pablo Andujar in three close sets before coming from behind to prevail against Italian Fognini, winning 3-6 6-4 6-3 in just under two hours.

"The first match was tough for me, but I think it was very helpful because it was my first singles match of the season," said Lopez after his day of double duty.

"Without that match, I don't think I would have played the way I did against Fabio."

Australian John Millman recovered from a set down to oust Russian Khachanov 4-6 6-3 6-3.

Denis Shapovalov is the highest seed left in the draw, having defeated fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Defending champion Tennys Sandgren is out after another former winner of the event, John Isner, triumphed 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 in an all-American round-of-16 encounter.

Seeds Benoit Paire and Hubert Hurkacz made it to the quarter-finals, as did Kyle Edmund and Ugo Humbert, who will now play Shapovalov.

At the Adelaide International, Felix Auger-Aliassime won his first match against wildcard James Duckworth, a 6-3 7-6 (7-0) win sending the second seed into the last eight.

Auger-Aliassime said: "Now I'm at a point where I was top 20 in the world. I reached three finals. Now every tournament I play, I play to win. I come, I want to reach the final. I want to give myself a chance to win titles."

Qatar Open champion Andrey Rublev continued his momentum with a 6-3 6-3 win over Sam Querrey and fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta also progressed in straight sets.

There was a shock, though, as seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff was beaten 6-3 6-4 by wildcard Alex Bolt.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas joined Bolt in the quarter-finals, as did qualifiers Lloyd Harris and Tommy Paul.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have made a joint donation of 250,000 Australian dollars to the bushfire relief fund.

World number one Nadal announced the decision while taking part in the star-studded Rally4Relief event, which also included the likes of Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.

"Talking with Roger we decided to give 250,000 Australian dollars to the fire relief together," Nadal said when he was addressing the crowd.

"Hopefully that keeps inspiring the people to support this terrible disaster we are going through and helps to recover all the things that we need."

Players have announced a range of ways to support the bushfire relief efforts ever since Nick Kyrgios declared he would pay $200 for every ace he hits during the Australian summer, as well as calling on Tennis Australia to organise Wednesday's event.

Nadal, Federer and the other players involved took part in a series of matches and challenges while wearing a microphone to entertain the Melbourne crowd.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Coco Gauff and Petra Kvitova all took part.

Williams donated all of her Auckland Open winner's earnings and each of the dresses she had worn during the tournament after her victory in New Zealand last week, while Djokovic has also made a contribution.

The event came after Australian Open organisers imposed a two-hour delay on the start of qualifying matches due to the "very poor" air quality.

Bushfires across Australia have resulted in the deaths of at least 28 people, while an estimated 10 million hectares of land has been burned since July 1.

The Rally4Relief helped the overall fund reach just under $5million

Federer said: "Incredible number, so much needed, hope it keeps going. The Australian Open is only just around the corner now and hopefully much more money will come together. This was definitely an incredible kick off.

"This country all comes together for other people and that is a true inspiration for other countries around the world who are watching this now."

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