Egor Gerasimov followed up his win over Andy Murray in Montpellier by powering past a man who once played second fiddle to the Scot.

The Belarusian saw off Aljaz Bedene, with a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) win carrying him through to the quarter-finals of the Open Sud de France.

Bedene was British number two to Murray heading into Wimbledon in 2016, when the Scot won his third grand slam title, but has since reverted to representing his native Slovenia.

He put up a fight against Gerasimov, who sank Murray in straight sets on Tuesday, but the 28-year-old from Minsk took three of his five break-point opportunities and held his nerve in the tie-break to advance.

The success for Gerasimov sets up a last-eight clash with Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who scored a fine 7-5 6-2 win over Polish fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz.

Top seed and world number 13 Roberto Bautista Agut raced to a 6-0 6-3 victory over French qualifier Gregoire Barrere, but Croatian third seed Dusan Lajovic tumbled out, losing to Dennis Novak in straight sets.

At the Singapore Open, second seed John Millman fell by the wayside, the Australian slumping 6-4 6-1 to compatriot Matthew Ebden.

French top seed Adrian Mannarino encountered no such problems, ending the hopes of Roberto Marcora with a 6-3 7-5 win to join Ebden in the quarter-finals.

Rafael Nadal insists he will never stop trying to improve his game in a stark warning to Paris Masters quarter-final opponent Pablo Carreno Busta. 

A day on from beating Feliciano Lopez for his 1,000th ATP Tour-level victory, Nadal saw off Jordan Thompson in straight sets on Thursday.

The Spaniard lost just 12 points on his serve in his first meeting with world number 61 Thompson, who hauled down his racket after failing to win a set point in the second, which Nadal subsequently won on a tie-break.

Yet despite another impressive showing in Bercy, Nadal believes he still has work to do if he is to overcome compatriot Busta, who beat Norbert Gombos 7-5 6-2.

"I want to improve everything, always," the world number two said after his 6-1 7-6 (7-3) triumph. "But that's the work of every day, no? Try to fix the things that I think I can do it better, and hold the things that I am doing well, no?

"So I think I am not doing a lot of things bad. I just didn't play in indoors for a year almost, and is part of the process of course. I need to keep going. I think these kind of matches helps. Yesterday's match, today's, tomorrow is another opportunity.

"These matches are an important test for me to keep improving, so I really believe and hope that it's going to help me to improve. I think I'm playing well. I just think I need to win more matches on this surface.

"I need to be ready to play my best against an opponent that I know is playing well and with confidence. I hope to be ready to play my game and really read well, because that's what I'm going to need."

WAWRINKA AND ZVEREV BATTLE THROUGH

Nadal is into the Paris Masters quarters for an eighth time but the 34-year-old has only reached the final on one previous occasion, losing to David Nalbandian in 2007.

Should he overcome his compatriot Busta on Friday, one of Alexander Zverev or Stan Wawrinka await in the semi-finals.

Fourth-seeded Zverev needed three hours to overcome unseeded Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (13-11) 6-7 6-4, saving set points in each of the first two sets.

Zverev wasted a set point of his own in a tie-breaker as the German was taken all the way to a decider, which he won by breaking Mannarino in the ninth game.

Chasing a third title of the year, Zverev will now face Wawrinka in the last eight after the Swiss battled from behind to beat Andrey Rublev 1-6 6-4 6-3.

Rublev broke his opponent three times to take the first set inside 32 minutes, but Wawrinka held in the second to level up a match that went on past midnight local time.

World number eight Rublev had won 11 matches in a row but he struggled to cope with Wawrinka in the third set, losing serve in the first and ninth games to bring his participation to an end.

John Millman has the first ATP Tour title of his career after beating Adrian Mannarino 7-5 6-1 at the Astana Open.

This has been a tough season for the Australian, who had not managed to wins at the same Tour-level event since the Australian Open until this week.

But a string of impressive results against Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Paul and then Frances Tiafoe secured a final meeting with Mannarino.

The Frenchman's 2020 struggles have been even more stark, taking a 6-14 record to Kazakhstan, and he proved an accommodating opponent for Millman, failing to take his opportunities.

Five break points came and went for Mannarino in the first set before Millman broke at the first attempt to take the opener.

Mannarino then offered little resistance in the second, waiting until the final game to squander his sixth and last chance as Millman claimed a straight-sets win.

Alexander Zverev started his quest to win back-to-back ATP tournaments in Cologne with a battling victory over John Millman.

Zverev was crowned Cologne Indoors champion last weekend and the US Open runner-up moved into the quarter-finals of the Cologne Championships on Wednesday.

The top seed beat Australian Millman 6-0 3-6 6-3, despite double-faulting 10 times, and has now won 11 of his last 12 matches on hard courts.

Zverev saved six of the seven break points Millman earned and won 79 per cent of points behind his first serve, setting up a last-eight meeting with eighth seed Adrian Mannarino.

Mannarino was a 6-3 6-3 winner against Miomir Kecmanovic, while Alejandro Davidovich Fokina advanced to the quarter-finals following a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory over Steve Johnson.

Felix Auger-Aliassime, beaten by Zverev in the final on Sunday, rallied past qualifier Egor Gerasimov 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4).

Pablo Carreno Busta slumped to a surprise defeat at the European Open in Antwerp, Ugo Humbert beating the second seed 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Frenchman Humbert was joined in the quarter-finals by Grigor Dimitrov, Alex De Minaur and Dan Evans, while Milos Raonic and Taylor Fritz progressed to the round of 16.

Adrian Mannarino revealed health officials told him he should not be allowed to face Alexander Zverev at the US Open before being cleared to play.

Mannarino was one of the players put in a "bubble within a bubble" in New York after being in contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

The Frenchman's third-round clash with Zverev was delayed before he was allowed to play, suffering a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 6-2 loss to the German fifth seed.

Mannarino explained he was ready to go on Friday before officials intervened.

"Well, I was preparing to go on court. Actually, it was like 2.30pm. We knew there was a not before 2.30pm. I was just trying to get ready, warming up with my coach. I was actually ready to go on court. It was 2.30pm or something," he told a news conference.

"The tour manager came to talk to me at this time. He explained me the situation. Obviously, the State Department of Health took over the city actually. The city actually allowed me to play with a new protocol on Sunday. Obviously the state took over this decision to say that I've been exposed to a positive case obviously, so I should be quarantined in my room and not be able to go on the tennis court and play the match.

"They told me they were trying to contact on phone some guys to see if this decision could be changed. Obviously, many efforts have been done. They told me, 'Okay, we decided to put your match not before 5.00pm'. Sascha [Zverev] agreed, which is nice. They told me, 'We're going to have a look at the situation, trying to see if we can get you on court today', which obviously they did.

"Many things might have been happening during this time. I was just trying to get ready. I said myself to be ready to go on court at 5.00pm. I told my coach if anything happens, I give him my phone, I say, 'Just try to see what's going on, I'll let you handle all these things, I'm just going to try to eat something, get ready, focus, just be prepared as if I was going on court at 5.00pm. Let's see if I'm not able to go, then I'm not able to go. But if I'm in a position to be able to play, I just want to be ready'.

"I just want to be thankful to all these people who have been trying to get me on court today. As I say, many efforts have been done. I was able to play my tennis match. I'm pretty happy about that.

"Then I heard actually around 4.30pm or 4.40pm that I've been allowed to go on court today. I needed to be prepared to go at 5.00pm, which I did. Happen what happened. Unfortunately I lost the match. But still, as I said, I'm happy I was on court."

Fernando Verdasco slumped to another first-round loss, while Cristian Garin battled through at the Rio Open on Monday.

Verdasco, the ninth seed at the ATP 500 tournament, was beaten 6-3 6-3 by fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar on the clay in Brazil.

The 36-year-old has fallen to three straight losses, the first of which was a third-round defeat at the Australian Open.

Verdasco – the 2018 runner-up – was one of three seeds tested, but Garin survived a test against Andrej Martin.

Garin, who won the title in Cordoba earlier this month, needed more than three hours to edge Martin 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5).

Albert Ramos-Vinolas departed, the seventh seed falling to 16-year-old Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 7-6 (7-2) after three hours, 36 minutes.

Federico Delbonis advanced, while wildcard Thiago Seyboth Wild needed almost four hours to get past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

There were also upsets at the Delray Beach Open, where John Millman and Adrian Mannarino were beaten in the first round.

Millman, the fifth seed, went down to Yoshihito Nishioka 3-6 6-4 6-2 and seventh seed Mannarino fell to Kwon Soon-woo 1-6 6-3 6-2.

Frances Tiafoe, the champion in 2018, came through his opener against qualifier Emilio Gomez.

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.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made home advantage count as he defeated Andrey Rublev to progress into round two at the Paris Masters.

World number 35 Tsonga, who entered the final ATP Masters 1000 event of 2019 as a wildcard, proved one of the main attractions for fans on day one of the main draw and overcame Rublev 4-6 7-5 6-4 in a gruelling contest that lasted two hours and 23 minutes.

Tsonga's reward for a first victory in a Masters event in over two years is a meeting with Matteo Berrettini, who broke into the top 10 on Monday and occupies the last of two available ATP Finals spots.

Tsonga's compatriot Benoit Paire defeated Damir Dzumhur in straight sets, while Jeremy Chardy battled past Sam Querrey.

Adrian Mannarino set up a second-round tie with Rafael Nadal, while ATP Finals hopeful Alexander Zverev will go up against Fernando Verdasco, who beat Borna Coric.

There were also wins for Cristian Garin, Milos Raonic, Radu Albot, Jan-Lennard Struff and 2018 Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic.

 

TSONGA TEES UP BERRETTINI BOUT

New world number nine Berrettini sits 130 points clear of Roberto Bautista Agut in the Race for London rankings but will have to be at his best if 2008 Paris champion Tsonga can maintain the form he displayed against Rublev.

The Russian has impressed in 2019, winning in Moscow this month after victories over Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and Roger Federer over the course of the season.

His campaign came to an end with a whimper, though, as Tsonga fought back from behind to claim a first win in a Masters-level match since May 2017.

Rublev only dropped serve three times, but the second such occasion handed Tsonga set two, with an early break in the decider giving the Frenchman the chance to serve out the triumph with a first match point.

 

NADAL NEXT UP FOR MANNARINO

With Roger Federer having withdrawn from the tournament, the path looks clearer for defending champion Novak Djokovic and soon-to-be world number one Nadal to taste success.

Nadal will be taking nothing for granted against Mannarino, though, with the wildcard having made light work of NextGen ATP Finals qualifier Casper Ruud.

Two breaks in each set put Mannarino in command and he duly marched through 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes. 

 

FRANCE'S FAN FAVOURITES PROGRESS

It was a perfect day for the French players on Monday, with all those in action making it through. Joining Tsonga and Mannarino in the second round was Chardy, who edged out fellow qualifier Querrey 5-7 6-3 7-5.

In-form Daniil Medvedev awaits Chardy, with the US Open finalist and Shanghai Masters champion aiming to sharpen up ahead of the ATP Finals.

Paire, meanwhile, will go head-to-head with French number one Gael Monfils after a 7-5 6-4 triumph over Dzumhur.

Andrey Rublev celebrated his 22nd birthday in style, inflicting more Moscow woe on Adrian Mannarino to clinch the Kremlin Cup on home soil.

Home favourite Rublev had failed to win a match at the tournament in six previous visits but was a comprehensive 6-4 6-0 victor over Mannarino, who was beaten by Karen Khachanov in last season's showpiece.

Rublev broke at the first time of asking and that proved enough to clinch an otherwise tight opening set.

But it was one-way traffic in the second with Mannarino – who had not dropped a set in reaching the final – fittingly giving his opponent several gifts to capitulate in a match that lasted a little over an hour.

It marks Rublev's second ATP Tour title and he will break into the world's top 25 for the first time on Monday.

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.

Alex de Minaur claimed a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 win over Adrian Mannarino in the final of the Zhuhai Championships to earn his third ATP Tour title of the year.

Only Rafael Nadal has collected more championships in 2019 than the young Australian, who wore his opponent down on Sunday.

De Minaur had earlier beaten Andy Murray in an impressive, energetic display, before dumping out a pair of higher seeds in Borna Coric and Roberto Bautista Agut.

The 20-year-old, who is set to rise to 25th in the rankings, forged 13 break point opportunities against Mannarino but only took one.

That came from the final point of the match, with De Minaur getting the job done despite a scoreboard that perhaps gave Mannarino more credit than he deserved.

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