Defending champion Gael Monfils continued his hot-streak with a convincing 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 victory over Dan Evans in the Rotterdam Open quarter-finals.

The Frenchman, winner of the Open sud de France last week, made it seven wins in a row by overcoming Evans in one hour and 52 minutes.

Next up in the last four is Filip Krajinovic, who upset the form book to overcome Andrey Rublev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4. 

Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Aljaz Bedene and will face Pablo Carreno Busta, who needed three sets to see off Jannik Sinner, in the other semi-final.

Stefanos Tsitsipas became the latest seed to crash out of the Rotterdam Open as Jannik Sinner claimed his first top-10 win on Thursday.

After top seed Daniil Medvedev departed the competition a day earlier, Tsitsipas and David Goffin - seeded second and fourth respectively - each suffered upsets to blow the bottom half of the draw wide open.

Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene recorded the biggest win of his career as he cut down Tsitsipas in straight sets, his second triumph over a top-10 player clinched by a 7-5 6-4 scoreline.

"I tried to stay focused, and I delivered," Bedene said shortly after a stunning winner down the line saw him successfully serve out for the match.

"I actually served really well when it was important and kept my cool really, because I was feeling that he [Tsitsipas] was pressuring sometimes.

"I had to stay focused and cool and play my shots, and I delivered. I'm happy with that."

The world number 52 saved five break points in the opener before claiming his first opportunity, and he conceded: "I think he [Tsitsipas] was probably the better player for most of the first set.

"He was serving really well, and I didn't play my game - especially on his service points. I stayed tough, which I had to do, otherwise it would go the other way. I guess the break gave me a boost of confidence."

Bedene will play Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals, with the winner potentially meeting NextGen champion Sinner - matched with Pablo Carreno Busta - in the last four.

Sinner, still just 18, came up with 27 winners to see off 10th-ranked Goffin 7-6 (9-7) 7-5.

"I feel great, especially now in this moment," the Italian said, according to quotes on the ATP Tour website. "It was not easy playing against him. He is very solid, so you sometimes go for a winner or change the rhythm.

"It feels like a normal victory, but sometimes you play better than others. It's all about improving and testing where you are."

Reigning champion Gael Monfils prolonged his title defence, beating countryman Gilles Simon 6-4 6-1.

Seventh seed Andrey Rublev also advanced, while Vasek Pospisil could not build on his shock defeat of Medvedev, going down 6-4 7-6 (9-7) to Filip Krajinovic.

Stefanos Tsitsipas fought back impressively to progress at the Rotterdam Open, but fellow seed Fabio Fognini tumbled out of the tournament on Tuesday.

Tsitsipas lost the opening set to Hubert Hurkacz and also slipped 2-0 behind in the second, yet he dropped only two further games as he progressed 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-1.

The world number six, who had failed to register a victory in his previous appearances at the tournament, moves on to face Aljaz Bedene, a 6-2 6-4 winner against Benoit Paire.

Andrey Rublev, the seventh seed aiming to win a third title already in 2020, wasted little time in reaching the last 16, dismissing Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2 6-3 in under an hour. 

Next up for Rublev will be Alexander Bublik, who came through a tense three-set battle against French qualifier Gregoire Barrere.

Fognini, meanwhile, lost in straight sets to Karen Khachanov, the Russian converting four of the seven break-point opportunities that came his way against the fifth-seeded Italian.

Felix Auger-Aliassime lost five straight games in the second set against Jan-Lennard Struff but eventually prevailed in a decider, his 6-3 1-6 6-3 victory booking a clash with 2018 runner-up Grigor Dimitrov. 

In the final match of the day, Filip Krajinovic defeated home wildcard Tallon Griekspoor 6-4 6-1.

Nick Kyrgios emerged triumphant in a dramatic five-set clash with Karen Khachanov despite struggling with a hamstring injury, booking a highly anticipated meeting with Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

After passing up match points in the third and fourth sets, home favourite Kyrgios came out on top in the longest match of his career by beating Khachanov 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) at a raucous Melbourne Arena in four hours, 26 minutes.

Top seed Nadal beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4 in one hour, 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, while US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-3 6-2 and will face Stan Wawrinka in the last 16.

The Swiss advanced after John Isner retired while 6-4 4-1 down, with Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Gael Monfils joining him in round round four.

 

CROCKED KYRGIOS CLINGS ON

Kyrgios started confidently against Khachanov and, despite taking a medical time-out at 5-2 up in the first set, managed to edge a second-set tie-break while continuing to grip at the back of his leg.

However, he was unable to repeat the trick at the second time of asking and became increasingly frustrated as the Russian wrested control of the match away from him.

Kyrgios appeared to be struggling for motivation at points and became increasingly vocal, but he hung in to take the victory to the delight of his fervent supporters.

The Australian has a strained relationship with Nadal, who he described as "salty" after their meeting at last year's Mexican Open and impersonated after being called for a time violation while serving against Gilles Simon in round two.

Asked about going up against the 19-time major champion in his on-court interview, Kyrgios said: "Whatever happened between us he's an amazing player. I'm not even thinking about that right now, I'm thinking about my legs and getting them in an ice bath and getting some food."

 

NO STOPPING NADAL

Nadal was at his imperious best against Carreno Busta, winning 87 per cent and 78 per cent of points behind his first and second serve respectively, while also smashing 41 winners – twice as many as his opponent.

"It was my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt. Big difference between today and the previous days. I have been serving well, starting to create damage with the forehand," said Nadal.

"Every day is a different story. But, of course, it's important to make steps forward. It's clear that today I made an important one."

Asked if he likes Kyrgios, Nadal said: "I don't know. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion."

 

RUBLEV ROLLS ON

Rublev started 2020 with titles at the Qatar Open and Brisbane International and has continued his fine form at Melbourne Park.

The world number 16's 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) triumph over David Goffin was his 15th match win in succession, four of which came in the Davis Cup Finals.

Rublev had wobbles after taking big leads in both tie-breaks, but Goffin made 27 unforced errors in the last two sets to help the Russian progress to a meeting with Zverev.

Seventh seed Zverev is yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park after overcoming Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-2 6-4.

 

"IT'S A DISGRACE"

After beating qualifier Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 to set up a fourth-round meeting with Dominic Thiem – who overcame 29th seed Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 – Monfils refuted a report claiming excessively playing video games led to him suffering a hand injury.

"You know, as I say, it's misunderstanding with people. I say this in a funny way, to be honest, but it's a disgrace, to be honest with you, because I'm fine," Monfils told reporters in a news conference.

"I'm in the second week, playing great tennis. I think it's just someone who, I don't know, try to — you know, I played ATP Cup, was fine. I practiced here for one month. I was really fine.

"I never said I was hurt. Somehow, you know, playing PlayStation, this? Come on. And it's easy, because I think I'm a good name to make up good story like that. Now you know."

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.

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."

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.

Andrey Rublev claimed the first ATP Tour title of 2020 by defeating Corentin Moutet 6-2 7-6 (7-3) in the final of the Qatar Open.

Moutet, 20, beat Milos Raonic in the second round and on Friday overcame Fernando Verdasco and top seed Stan Wawrinka in three sets to reach his first final at this level.

However, getting the better of Rublev - the runner-up in 2018 - proved too much of a challenge, with the promising 22-year-old kicking off his season by claiming a third ATP Tour title of his career that will send him into the top 20 for the first time.

Rublev did not drop a single set throughout the tournament and after taking a 6-1 lead in the second-set tie-break against Moutet he did not look like missing out on the trophy.

"It's amazing. For the moment I have no words. I'm always really happy to play here and to win a title here is something special for me. It's an amazing start to the season and I can hope to continue the same level," Rublev said in his on-court interview.

"There's still much to work on, but I'm happy to become a top-20 player. I still have huge room to improve and I want to try to my maximum and see what happens."

Stefanos Tsitsipas will tackle Rafael Nadal in the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship after outlasting Novak Djokovic at the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

ATP Finals champion Tsitsipas lost the first set to former world number one Djokovic but rallied to win 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 and claim another impressive scalp.

Djokovic was 5-1 down in set two but dragged himself back into contention to draw level at 5-5, only for Tsitsipas to win the tie-break.

And having squandered four chances to break in the decider, Djokovic succumbed as Tsitsipas wrapped up the win on his first match point.

Tsitsipas' reward for victory is a final against world number one Nadal, who defeated Karen Khachanov 6-1 6-3 in his semi-final.

In the early match, Andrey Rublev secured fifth place by overcoming Hyeon Chung 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1).

Spain will face Canada in Sunday's Davis Cup final after Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez edged the hosts past Great Britain.

A gripping semi-final saw the singles split and the tie came down to drama in the doubles on Saturday.

The Spanish duo, in front of a partisan crowd in Madrid, survived a major test as Nadal and Lopez needed two tie-breaks to fend off Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski.

With Andy Murray roaring on the British team from courtside, his older brother and Skupski pushed Nadal and Lopez through two intense sets before falling just short, losing 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8).

The British pair had set points to take it to a decider, but Spain, and Nadal in particular with one sublime overhead after a brilliant reach, produced their best when the pressure was at its greatest.

It was always likely Britain would need Kyle Edmund to win his singles rubber and he duly delivered with a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) win against Lopez – a late stand-in for the injured Pablo Carreno Busta.

But Nadal coasted to a 6-4 6-0 beating of Dan Evans, who tailed off after putting up a valiant effort in the first set against his more illustrious opponent.

And after the late-night doubles joy, with the contest finishing well after midnight, Nadal said: "I think we played a great match. 'Feli' served great the whole match and at important moments he did everything well.

"Thank you very much to Feli and the rest of the team."

Lopez said: "There was a lot of drama today on the court. We are very pleased we somehow managed to play those points in a very good way.

"It was a lot of drama but this is what you expect when you play this kind of match. I think we have a very good opportunity tomorrow to lift this cup."

Earlier, Canada reached the Davis Cup final for the first time in their history by winning a similarly thrilling tie against Russia.

Denis Shapovalov kept Canada in with a chance by beating Karen Khachanov 6-4 4-6 6-4 after Andrey Rublev overcame Vasek Pospisil 6-4 6-4.

And the Canadian duo defeated their Russian rivals 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) in a thrilling deciding doubles rubber.

Canada won a thrilling tie against Russia to seal a place in the Davis Cup final for the first time on Saturday.

Russia prevailed in a deciding doubles tie-break in an epic contest with Serbia a day earlier but were unable to repeat the trick as Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil made history for Canada.

The duo secured a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) triumph over Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov in Madrid, despite Pospisil having received treatment on a shoulder injury prior to the final set.

It marked the culmination of a memorable tussle, in which Russia struck first when Rublev earned a fourth singles victory of the week with a 6-4 6-4 win over Pospisil.

That meant Shapovalov had to defeat Khachanov to keep Canada's hopes alive and things were not looking good when the Russian raced into a 4-1 lead.

Shapovalov rallied brilliantly to take the opener, but succumbed when serving to stay in the second at 5-4 down.

A tense decider went the way of Shapovalov, who celebrated a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory in a match featuring 73 unforced errors.

Spain or Great Britain, who contest the other last-four tie, await in the final.

Spain will face Great Britain in the Davis Cup semi-finals but Serbia's hopes of glory in the tournament came to a tearful end in Madrid on Friday.

With world number one Rafael Nadal in sparkling form, host nation Spain fought back after losing the opening singles rubber to defeat 2016 champions Argentina in a late finish in the capital.

Their reward is a last-four clash against a Britain squad that progressed past Germany without the need to play doubles, Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans recording respective wins over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Jan-Lennard Struff.

Edmund prevailed in straight sets to reward the decision taken by captain Leon Smith to retain the same line-up that secured qualification for the knockout stage by beating Kazakhstan.

That meant Andy Murray once again sat out proceedings, the Scot instead taking up a supportive role from close to the court as he cheered his team-mates on.

Evans had lost his previous two matches but held his nerve in a deciding tie-break against Struff, with the 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 7-6 (7-2) result securing an unassailable 2-0 advantage.

They will have to find a way to cope with Nadal on Saturday, though, after the Spaniard dazzled on home soil, crushing Diego Schwartzman in just over an hour before combining with Marcel Granollers in the decisive doubles.

Nadal and Granollers got past Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer 6-4 4-6 6-3.

In the other half of the draw, Russia came out on top in a tight, tense doubles contest to knock out Serbia.

Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov saved three match points before eventually overcoming Viktor Troicki and Novak Djokovic 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8), sparking wild celebrations.

However, while a jubilant Russia will look forward to facing Canada next, there was nothing but disappointment for a Serbia squad desperate for success to reward the retiring Janko Tipsarevic's service in the competition.

Troicki offered an apology in an emotional news conference, telling the media: "We had chances to finish it. We didn't do it. I messed up in the crucial moments."

Croatia's hopes of defending their Davis Cup title took a huge early blow as they were beaten 3-0 by Russia in Madrid on Monday.

Champions a year ago, Croatia's chances of even progressing from the first stage in the 2019 Finals already look remote – with Rafael Nadal's Spain still to play in Group B.

Croatia took on Russia on centre court following the opening ceremony in a match-up that was hindered by key withdrawals ahead of the tournament.

Marin Cilic, who led Croatia to victory in 2018, missed out with injury, while Russia's Daniil Medvedev ducked out citing fatigue.

Russia dealt with the absence of their number one in far more convincing fashion than Croatia, though, with Borna Gojo comfortably eased out 6-3 6-3 by Andrey Rublev in the first of three contests.

The two remaining star names did battle next, but Russia again came out on top as Karen Khachanov rallied past Borna Coric 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4.

And then Rublev and Khachanov teamed up for a straight-sets doubles success against Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic.

Elsewhere, there was an upset as Italy went down to Canada 2-1, with both Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini beaten in singles play.

Vasek Pospisil, ranked 150th in the world, defeated Khachanov at the US Open and claimed another scalp against Fognini, before Berrettini was turned over by Denis Shapovalov.

Italy sent in their two stars for the doubles, where they gained a measure of revenge over Pospisil and Shapovalov, winning in three.

Belgium survived David Goffin's awful start to his rubber to win 2-1 against Colombia.

Steve Darcis had earlier seen off Santiago Giraldo in straight sets, but Goffin fell four games behind in the opener against Daniel Elahi Galan before staging a fightback.

He won 3-6 6-3 6-3, although Colombia got on the board with a doubles comeback from Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

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.

Matteo Berrettini gave his hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals a huge shot in the arm, while Dominic Thiem benefitted from Pablo Carreno Busta's withdrawal at the Vienna Open.

Italian Berrettini ended Andrey Rublev's seven-match winning streak with a hard-earned 7-5 7-6 (7-4) triumph in Austria to book a semi-final berth.

Berrettini, who will break into the world's top 10 on Monday, is eighth in the race for a place at the end-of-season tournament in London and is 130 points clear of Roberto Bautista Agut – a last-eight loser to Reilly Opelka in Basle.

Austrian home favourite Thiem, aiming to win this tournament for the first time, will be next up for Berrettini in the last four.

World number five Thiem was leading 5-0 against Carreno Busta when the Spaniard was forced to retire.

Diego Schwartzman still has an outside chance of reaching London himself and recovered from falling 3-0 behind in the first set to defeat Karen Khachanov 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

The Argentinian plays Gael Monfils for a spot in the final after the Frenchman earned a convincing 7-5 6-1 triumph over Aljaz Bedene. 

Monfils moves into the top 10 in the race to London, as the battle for places in the English capital heats up.

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