Daniil Medvedev won the Paris Masters title after fighting back from a set down to defeat Alexander Zverev in Sunday's final.

The Russian's last appearance in a Tour-level championship match was 13 months ago, when he beat Zverev in straight sets at the Shanghai Masters.

This was a more competitive affair, at least in the opening hour, but it was Medvedev who triumphed 5-7 6-4 6-1 to lift his eighth career title.

He is the fourth Russian to win the tournament, after Marat Safin, Nikolay Davydenko and Karen Khachanov.

Medvedev had lost five times in eight matches in the build-up to this event but has found form on the hard courts of the French capital, dropping just one set en route to the final.

Zverev, who dispatched Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the semi-finals, continued that form in the first set on Sunday as he missed his mark just five times on his first serve.

Medvedev kept pace until game 12, when he saved two break points but not the third, Zverev letting out a roar as he took a step towards a third Tour title in a row.

Each man was backing up their serve with authority, although Zverev saved four break points in the third game of the second set as Medvedev began to find more rhythm from the baseline.

The world number five got his breakthrough at the next time of asking before holding to love to level the match, as Zverev's form began to falter.

The German seemed suddenly bereft of confidence as he surrendered his opening service game to love, and a double break soon put Medvedev in control.

A double fault from the German on the second match point gifted an impressive win to Medvedev, who will feel full of confidence ahead of the ATP Finals in London.

Rafael Nadal succumbed to the in-form Alexander Zverev, who booked his place in the Paris Masters final with an impressive  6-4 7-5 last-four triumph on Saturday.

Zverev became the first German in 25 years to reach the final of the tournament in the French capital to make it 21 wins from 23 matches since the start of the US Open.

The world number seven, who reached his first slam final at Flushing Meadows, has won 12 straight contests and the manner of his latest victory against the legendary Nadal will be particularly pleasing.

Nadal was aiming to match Novak Djokovic's record of 36 Masters 1000 titles this week but struggled to make a dent on his opponent, who won his opening eight service games.

Not for nothing is the Spaniard a 20-time grand slam winner, though, and a shift in return position initially left Zverev flummoxed as the second set was tied up at 4-4.

But Zverev – who served 13 aces throughout the match – kept his composure and broke in the final game of the second set to defeat Nadal for just the second time and reach a seventh final at this level.

Awaiting in a Sunday showdown is Daniil Medvedev, a man Zverev has beaten five times in six career ATP meetings against the Russian.

Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect record against Pablo Carreno Busta to reach the Paris Masters semi-finals and send Diego Schwartzman to the ATP Finals.

World number two Nadal is bidding to win the ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time and fought from a set down to triumph 4-6 7-5 6-1 and improve his record against his fellow Spaniard to 7-0.

With Schwartzman having lost his quarter-final against Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-1 earlier on Friday, Carreno Busta needed to win back-to-back titles in Paris and Sofia to stop the Argentinian taking the last remaining qualifying spot for the season-ending tournament.

He appeared to have a significant chance of keeping his hopes alive when he engineered three break points at the start of the second set, but 20-time grand slam champion Nadal held firm and forced his way into a final-four meeting with Alexander Zverev or Stan Wawrinka.

Nadal came under early pressure on his serve and Carreno Busta took his second chance to break, his impressive groundstrokes proving difficult for his opponent to cope with.

Back-to-back brilliant backhands put him on the brink of going a set and a break up in the first game of the second, but Nadal dug in to hold and began to step through the gears.

Carreno Busta showed impressive resilience to keep the contest on serve in games two and eight, before a wicked forehand down the line forced the match to a decider.

The ninth seed was broken to love in game four of the decider and won just two more points as Nadal surged to victory.

In the other semi-final Medvedev will take on Milos Raonic after the Russian took just 63 minutes to dispatch of Schwartzman.

Things were not as easy for Raonic, who staved off two match points and sent down 25 aces as he overcame Ugo Humbert 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9-7).

The Canadian saved all three of the break points he faced in the third set – and five out of six overall – and closed out the victory with a final ace.

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.

Rafael Nadal will face Pablo Carreno Busta in an all-Spanish Paris Masters quarter-final after beating Jordan Thompson in straight sets.

Nadal needed three sets to secure the 1,000th ATP Tour-level victory of his career at the expense of Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday.

The top seed followed that up with a 6-1 7-6 (7-3) defeat of world number 61 Thompson in Bercy, reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament for an eighth time out of eight.

Nadal lost just 12 points behind his serve as Thompson failed to break the 20-time grand slam champion in the first meeting between the two on Thursday.

Ninth seed Carreno Busta stands in the way of Nadal and a place in the last four, as one of the all-time greats attempts to win the tournament for the first time.

Nadal was up against it in a battle with veteran Lopez before sealing a landmark win, but there was no slow start from the legendary left-hander in his third-round contest.

He held to love in the first game and in the fifth, then took a 5-1 lead with a deft volley at the net after drilling a rasping return and an inside-out forehand to Thompson's left.

The world number two wrapped up the set in only 32 minutes by winning a fifth consecutive game, but it was a different story in the second as Australian Thompson warmed to the task.

Thompson threw down his racket and was shaking his head after failing to win a set point before Nadal took it to a tie-break, which he won with a combination of thunderous winners and errors from his opponent.

Rafael Nadal joked that the only negative of bringing up his 1,000th career win was that it means he is now "very old".

Nadal landed the landmark singles win of his career as he came from a set down to defeat Feliciano Lopez 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 at the Paris Masters.

Wednesday's clash was the first time Nadal has played since he claimed his 13th French Open title last month.

The 34-year-old now sits fourth on the list of players with the most wins in the Open Era, behind Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl.

Though proud of his long career, Nadal did point out one negative to reaching the milestone.

"Of course [I am proud] but there is one negative thing and that is that you are very old to get to 1000, you are very old," Nadal told reporters.

"Because to win 1000 matches you have to have a long career, but I am super happy. To arrive at that number means I did a lot of things well over a long time.

"Thanks to everybody – the ATP, to the French Federation, to everybody, my uncle, it's not the same without the crowd.

"I am proud of a lot of things honestly, but I faced some challenges in my career, ball injuries and I always have the passion to keep going and the dedication and humility to accept the challenges when things don't go the way you expect.

"Of course it's a big achievement to be playing at the age of 34 and at the same time still being competitive is still something very important for me and makes me feel proud and happy and proud about all the things that, not just me, the whole team have achieved."

Nadal, who has never won the Paris Masters, was imperious at Roland Garros, but looked far less assured at the Bercy Arena.

Lopez made a strong start, with a break of serve in the opening game resulting in him taking the first set, but Nadal hit back by edging a tie-break and then breaking his compatriot – who he has a 14-10 winning record against – at the start of the decider.

"It was very tough match, I started in the worst way possible with the break against him," Nadal added.

"It's difficult as you are under pressure the whole match. I am very happy to finally find a way to win because you don't want to be in a tie-break for the whole match against a big server like Feliciano and a very good player from the baseline, especially on this surface."

Rafael Nadal landed the 1,000th singles win of his career as he survived an early scare at the Paris Masters.

Nadal's fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez went close to a major upset as the veteran pushed him all the way, but Nadal came through 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

After sweeping to French Open glory last month without dropping a set, Wednesday's match marked Nadal's return to action and it took him two hours and 30 minutes to get the job done.

He sits fourth on the list of players with the most wins in the Open Era, behind Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl.

There were also victories for Alexander Zverev, Diego Schwartzman, Milos Raonic and Alex de Minaur. while Daniil Medvedev went through after opponent Kevin Anderson retired due to injury during a first-set tie-break.

Away from clay, Nadal looks vulnerable in Paris

Nadal was imperious at Roland Garros, roaring through the draw on the way to his 13th French Open title.

Across town, at the Bercy Arena, it has been a different story throughout Nadal's career.

The indoor hard-court event is one he has never won and has often skipped, with this just his eighth appearances in the main draw, and this was almost a brief visit as Lopez made a storming start.

Lopez managed what nobody could at Roland Garros by swiping that first set after a break of serve in the opening game of the match, but 20-time grand slam winner Nadal stepped up his game to reach the last-16 stage and chalk up a landmark win.

The 39-year-old Lopez saved five break points in the second set to earn a tie-break, only for Nadal to edge it and then break serve for the first time at the outset of the decider.

With his hard-fought success, Nadal, 34, extended his head-to-head winning record to 10-4 against Lopez, with their rivalry having begun on an indoor carpet court in Basel back in 2003.

Likely challengers come through

German fourth seed Zverev swept to a 6-2 6-2 win against Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, while Schwartzman swatted away Richard Gasquet, landing a 7-5 6-3 win over the Frenchman.

There was more disappointment for French hopes as Pierre-Hugues Herbert lost 6-4 6-4 to Canadian Raonic, and Russian Medvedev was embroiled in a battle with Anderson when the South African pulled out of the contest.

Sonego's early exit

Lorenzo Sonego arrived in Paris off the back of a successful week in Vienna, where he knocked out Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals and went on to finish runner-up to Andrey Rublev.

This week will linger less in the memory for the Italian, who went down 6-3 7-5 to De Minaur.

Feliciano Lopez clinched a 7-6 (13-11) 6-1 victory over Filip Krajinovic at the Paris Masters to set up a second-round meeting with world number two Rafael Nadal.

Lopez came through the match against the Serbian, ranked 30th in the world, at the Bercy Arena in 85 minutes on Monday.

He saved six set points in the first-set tie-break before he ruthlessly closed out the second to secure a first meeting with Nadal in five years.

The 39-year-old has beaten his fellow Spaniard in their past two meetings in Cincinnati in 2015 and Shanghai in 2014, although Nadal boasts a better record overall in their head to head with nine wins to Lopez's four.

Borna Coric, seeded 15th, claimed a 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 win over Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics.

Lucky loser Radu Albot saw off 21 aces to edge past Hubert Hurkacz 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to seal a meeting with world number eight Andrey Rublev, winner of the Vienna Open on Sunday.

Marin Cilic claimed a 6-0 3-6 6-3 win against Felix Auger-Aliassime, while Alex de Minaur beat Stefano Travaglia 6-4 6-4.

Coronavirus continues to have a huge impact on the sporting calendar. 

Further measures to prevent the spread of the virus were taken on Monday, affecting a plethora of sports and leagues.

More events were subject to postponements, while the sight of games taking place in empty arenas will be a common one in the coming weeks.

Here we look at the sporting decisions announced on Monday as the world attempts to tackle the outbreak.

 

Italy - All sporting activity in Italy was suspended until April 3 by the country's Olympic Committee, in a decision pending government ratification. In a statement, the committee conceded it does not have jurisdiction over international competitions such as the Champions League and Europa League.

France - Ligue 1 games are now required to be played behind closed doors or with a limit of 1,000 fans until April 15. Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday will be contested behind closed doors at the Parc des Princes.

France - The Six Nations finale between France and Ireland, due to take place at the Stade de France on Saturday, is postponed. England's game with Italy was already off, meaning it is unclear when the winner of the competition will be determined. Scotland's game with Wales in Cardiff is on, and Gregor Townsend's men can move into first place with a win. England and France are level on 13 points, with Ireland on nine having seen two games postponed.

United States - The ATP's Indian Wells Masters and WTA's Indian Wells Open were both cancelled following a confirmed case of the virus in Riverside County, California.

United States - According to ESPN, the NBA is to hold a conference call with the 30 team owners and governors to discuss the next steps for how it handles the spread of the virus in the USA, where there have been 213 confirmed cases.

Asia - FIFA confirmed the AFC qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, which were scheduled to take place in the international windows of March 23-31 and June 1-9, have been postponed.

Switzerland - Basel announced on Monday that the second leg of their Europa League tie with Eintracht Frankfurt, set to be contested on March 19, cannot be played at their St Jakob Park home due to coronavirus-related restrictions. Switzerland's top-flight, the Super League, is suspended until March 23.

Japan - The postponement of the start of the Nippon Professional Baseball regular season was confirmed at a media conference on Monday.

United States - IndyCar is not expecting any impact on its 2020 schedule as a result of the outbreak.

France - Rugby League side Catalans Dragons are waiting for an official decision from the Perpignan prefecture or government regarding Saturday's Super League game with Leeds Rhinos after the country's ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Former champion Simona Halep and last year's runner-up Angelique Kerber have withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters.

Halep and Kerber will miss the WTA Premier Mandatory tournament in Indian Wells due to injuries, it was announced on Friday.

Indian Wells champion in 2015, world number two Halep cited a foot injury for her withdrawal.

Kerber – a three-time grand slam champion – succumbed to an ongoing left leg problem, replaced in the main draw by Taylor Townsend.

"I'm incredibly disappointed to have to withdraw from the 2020 BNP Paribas Open. Unfortunately the foot injury that I picked up before Dubai is still causing me trouble and I will be unable to recover in time to travel to Indian Wells," Halep, the two-time major champion, said.

"It is without doubt one of the highlights of the tennis calendar for me and I will be really sad to miss it, but I'm already looking forward to being back in 2021!"

Bianca Andreescu won Indian Wells last year and the US Open champion could still defend her title, despite injuries preventing her from playing in 2020.

Novak Djokovic is under no illusions over the size of the task he faces to claim the year-end number one ranking for the sixth time.

The Serbian beat Denis Shapovalov to seal his fifth Paris Masters title on Sunday, lifting his 34th Masters 1000 trophy in the process.

It kept alive his hopes of beating Rafael Nadal to the summit of the rankings at the end of 2019, but the 16-time grand slam winner knows he cannot afford to relent. 

"That puts me in a better position after this week. But, again, I have to keep on winning," he said after moving 640 points behind the Spaniard ahead of the ATP Finals in London.

"There's always a chance that I win all my matches in London, that I play well. I have done it in the past, and I like playing there. But it's [an] extremely difficult task considering who my opponents are going to be. You're playing a top 10 player every single match.

"So that's a big task on my end that I have to focus on. And as a consequence, if I manage to get the year-end number one, that would be, of course, fantastic."

Nadal withdrew in Paris ahead of his semi-final meeting with Shapovalov, citing an abdominal injury which could yet hamper him in London.

Djokovic was disappointed to see his rival pull out and hopes he is primed and ready to go at the season-ending tournament.

"I'm sad to see that he's injured because that's not what you want to see, not for Rafa, not for any other athlete," he said.

"I know how that feels. Obviously I went through major injuries in my life as well.

"I hope he can recover and compete in London. Because with or without him, obviously, also the battle for number one but also the tournament itself is different. He's a great champion and obviously lots of respect for him."

Novak Djokovic claimed his fifth Paris Masters title on Sunday with a straight-sets victory over Denis Shapovalov.

The number one seed triumphed 6-3 6-4 to lift his 34th Masters 1000 trophy - one short of Rafael Nadal's record haul - and keep alive his challenge to end the year at the top of the ATP rankings.

Having reached his first final at this level after Nadal withdrew from their semi-final with injury, Shapovalov, who lives in Nassau, offered plenty of swashbuckling style but gave up too many free points against a watertight Djokovic display.

The 20-year-old, who has taken only one set in three matches against the 16-time grand-slam champion, won only three of 17 points on his second serve as he lost in 68 minutes.

Shapovalov set about trying to force the ascendancy but two tight forehands when the court was at his mercy gave Djokovic an early break.

The Serbian dropped only four points on serve in the first set and Shapovalov smashed his racquet to the floor when he sent another return long in game seven.

Djokovic served out a clinical opening set with a hold to love and put his opponent under immediate pressure in the second, although Shapovalov dug himself out of a hole with a huge ace.

A terrific Shapovalov passing shot had the crowd on their feet, and he moved 2-1 ahead with a rasping forehand up the line, but he still could not make inroads against the Djokovic serve.

Djokovic was seething when he sent a backhand into the net when given a chance to go 30-0 up on Shapovalov's serve at 3-3, but three errors in succession handed the world number one the crucial break.

A long forehand gave Shapovalov his first break point in the next game, but a timely first serve and a missed backhand from the Canadian saw the opportunity pass him by.

Djokovic eased to three match points and promptly took tour-level title number five of 2019 with a crisp forehand, meaning his battle with Nadal for year-end number one will continue to the ATP Finals in London even though the Spaniard will move top of the rankings on Monday.

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Paris Masters, handing Denis Shapovalov a final showdown with Novak Djokovic.

Nadal, who will return to world number one on Monday, had been set to face the Canadian in the semi-final on Saturday.

But the ATP Tour confirmed the Spaniard had pulled out with an abdominal injury sustained during the warm-up.

Nadal said: "In one of the last serves of the warm-ups, I felt something in the abdominal.

"For the rest of the week the things have been positive. I enjoyed a lot playing here in Bercy."

It means Shapovalov will contest his first Masters final, while Djokovic will go in search of a fifth Paris title on Sunday. 

Nadal would have secured top spot in the year-end rankings by winning the tournament. 

Novak Djokovic will have a shot at a fifth Paris Masters title on Sunday after edging out Grigor Dimitrov in a keenly contested last-four clash.

Djokovic prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in a 98-minute encounter that neatly encapsulated the players' careers.

Talent-wise there was nothing between them, Dimitrov happy to trade fierce baseline blows with the world number one only to fall short when it really mattered.

That was particularly evident in the first-set tie-break. Dimitrov led 5-4 with two serves to come only to fire a forehand drive-volley wide at the end of an epic rally.

An unforced forehand error gifted Djokovic set point which he clinched after Dimitrov went long following another gruelling point that lasted 35 strokes.

Djokovic's level never dipped and when he broke for a 3-2 lead in the second the crowd sensed the game was up.

Dimitrov continued to fight but he could not find a way back with Djokovic refusing to yield a single break point opportunity.

The Serbian will next take on either Rafael Nadal or Denis Shapovalov.

Rafael Nadal battled past fan favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to take his place in the semi-finals of the Paris Masters.

Tsonga had displayed fine form in Paris heading into Friday's encounter, but Nadal, who is still yet to win the ATP 1000 event, had too much quality after making the breakthrough in a hard-fought first set.

While Nadal laboured at times, Novak Djokovic, who will relinquish his number one status to the Spaniard next week, had no such issues as he confidently dispatched Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Meanwhile, Matteo Berrettini – who was sent out by Tsonga in the last 32 – clinched the last remaining ATP Finals spot thanks to Denis Shapovalov's straight sets victory over Gael Monfils.

NADAL DIGS DEEP

Nadal twice had to serve to stay in the first set, but having forced the tie-break, a wonderful backhand pass paved the way for him to forge ahead.

With the serve dominating throughout set one, it was Tsonga who blinked first in the second – Nadal taking full advantage of two sloppy shots to secure a first break of the match.

Soon-to-be world number one Nadal had finally hit his stride, playing a sublime through-the-legs shot to further drain Tsonga's confidence.

Despite showing resilience to hold, Tsonga was soon a double-break down, with Nadal wrapping up a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 win when his opponent sent a desperate backhand return into the net.

 

DOMINANT DJOKOVIC HITS TOP GEAR

After struggling with illness in his opening matches, Djokovic was at his irresistible, untouchable best against Tsitsipas, who had no response to lose inside an hour.

A double break early in set one set the tone for Djokovic, who had the opener tied up in his favour inside 29 minutes.

Djokovic took just a minute longer to finish off set two, two more breaks ending any slim hopes of a Tsitsipas comeback before an overhit return from the Greek sealed his progression by an emphatic 6-1 6-2 scoreline.

 

BERRETTINI COMPLETES LONDON FIELD

With defending ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev having claimed his spot at the O2 earlier in the week, there was one place up for grabs heading into Friday's play.

The permutations were simple, with Monfils – ranked 10th in the Race for London – needing a win to take the place of Berrettini.

However, the French number one came unstuck in some style against Shapovalov, who cruised to a 6-2 6-2 triumph, and Berrettini now completes the top eight, alongside Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, Tsitsipas and Zverev.

 

DIMITROV SWAPS HALLOWEEN TRICKS FOR SEMI-FINAL TREAT

Having already knocked out Thiem, Dimitrov claimed his spot in the last four with a 6-2 7-5 triumph over Cristian Garin, ending an 18-month wait to make a semi-final at ATP 1000 level.

The Bulgarian may have had to give up his Halloween celebrations, but it was a small price to pay.

"[A fantastic week] so far, I've skipped Halloween but it's a better place to be, here on centre court," Dimitrov told Tennis TV.

Halloween may have passed, yet the world number 27 now faces the scary prospect of going up against Djokovic for a place in the final.

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