Andrey Rublev has the chance to win his fifth ATP Tour title of the season on Sunday after Kevin Anderson retired hurt in their Vienna Open semi-final clash.  

Rublev was leading 6-4 6-1 when Anderson pulled out with a leg injury, which he had earlier led to a medical timeout for treatment. 

The Russian, who has won 18 of his past 19 matches, will take on Lorenzo Sonego in Sunday's final, the Italian following up his stunning quarter-final victory over Novak Djokovic with a 6-3 6-4 win over Dan Evans.  

Rublev is on the brink of qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month, but the 23-year-old insists he is not setting any expectations and simply wants to continue with the relaxed approach that has served him so well in 2020.  

"I don't know why it's going so well," he said. "I have such an amazing team and such amazing friends around me that always support me. That's probably why I'm playing so well. 

"I came here thinking that I have nothing to lose. I have already played a really great season, so I came here to enjoy it, do my best, fight for every point and now here I am in the final.

"I want to keep thinking the same way and we'll see what's going to happen tomorrow."

Sonego, meanwhile, admits he can scarcely believe he made the final after initially losing in the final round of qualifying against Aljaz Bedene, only to get into the main draw once Diego Schwartzman. 

He becomes the first lucky loser to reach the Vienna Open final since Andreas Haider-Maurer in 2010.  

"It's amazing," Sonego said. "I started this tournament [by losing] in the qualifiers. It's not easy after losing my [qualifying] match to win four matches and now I got to the final. 

"I don't have any expectations. I go with confidence and I [will] try to do my best tomorrow."

Novak Djokovic battled to a straight-sets win over compatriot Filip Krajinovic in the opening round of the Vienna Open. 

The world number one, competing in the Austrian event for the first time since winning it in 2007, saved a set point in a tie-break during the opener on his way to a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 triumph. 

He had to work hard as Krajinovic, who lost to Djokovic in last month's Italian Open at the last-16 stage, twice broke serve in a tight opener, helping establish a 5-3 lead at one point. 

Djokovic hit back in the 10th game to break his opponent for a second time as the opener went to a tie-break, which he edged 8-6 after Krajinovic failed to convert an opportunity when 6-5 up. 

The second set was far more straightforward for the 33-year-old, however, as he held serve throughout and broke Krajinovic once to progress through.

"We practiced a few times [together] before coming to Vienna," Djokovic revealed in his on-court interview. 

"The draw was tough for us to face each other, but there is always extra pressure and importance to a match when you play someone that you know very well."

Borna Coric is up next for Djokovic after the world number 26 beat Taylor Fritz on the opening day of action. 

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Grigor Dimitrov held off fellow top-20 player Karen Khachanov 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in a competitive match, while Hubert Hurkacz beat Attila Balazs in straight sets. 

Dan Evans also advanced to the last 16, where Jurij Rodionov awaits, after Aljaz Bedene withdrew with a thigh complaint when a set down.

Alexander Zverev defeated Jannik Sinner in straight sets in Saturday's Cologne Championships semi-final to remain on course for a second ATP title in the space of a week.

The 23-year-old lost to Sinner at the last-16 stage of the French Open earlier this month but was too strong for the wildcard entrant in this latest match, prevailing 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Zverev, who carried a hip injury into the contest, lost serve in the fourth game but responded well and converted his first match point with a blistering serve.

He held throughout the second set and will now face Diego Schwartzman, who beat last week's beaten Cologne Indoors finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime in the other semi.

Second seed Schwartzman came out on top 6-4 5-7 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes to reach his third final of 2020, converting four of five break points.

Ugo Humbert saved four match points against Dan Evans on the way to reaching the European Open final in Antwerp, meanwhile, battling to a 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 victory.

The opportunities for Evans all came the Briton's way in a second-set tie-break, with Humbert coming back from 6-3 behind and then 7-6 in the breaker to keep his hopes alive.

He found a way to level the match before edging the decider, with the 22-year-old French left-hander sealing his place in a second final of 2020 after winning in Auckland back in January.

It took him three hours and 14 minutes to complete the task, but at least Humbert had the evening off as Alex de Minaur and Grigor Dimitrov battled it out to join him in the final.

And it was eighth-seeded Australian De Minaur who claimed the victory in a tight match that lasted two hours and 48 minutes.

De Minaur held his nerve to triumph 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 to reach his first tour-level final in 12 months, losing to Roger Federer on the previous occasion at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

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.

Sam Querrey has withdrawn from the St Petersburg Open after the ATP confirmed a player tested positive for COVID-19.

The ATP released a statement on Monday saying an unnamed player is now isolating after testing positive for the virus and a contact-tracing process is underway to notify people who may have come into contact with him.

While they did not confirm Querrey was the player in question, the American no longer features on the draw and his first-round opponent, Denis Shapovalov, is now scheduled to play lucky loser Viktor Troicki.

On court, meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka saved three match points to overcome Dan Evans 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-5, wildcard Aslan Karatsev saw off Tennys Sandgren 7-5 3-6 7-5 and Cameron Norrie edged past eighth seed Taylor Fritz 6-4 4-6 6-3.

In Cologne, Oscar Otte beat Jan-Lennard Struff in an all-German clash, while Steve Johnson saw off Filip Krajinovic – the fifth seed – in a deciding set.

At the Forte Village Sardegna Open in Italy, teenager Lorenzo Musetti boosted his burgeoning reputation by beating Pablo Cuevas in straight sets, while Jiri Vesely overcame Kamil Majchrzak.

Andy Murray tasted defeat in his first match at the French Open in three years, going down in straight sets to Stan Wawrinka on the opening day of action at Roland Garros.

Competing in just his third grand slam singles match since the 2019 Australian Open due to hip surgery and the coronavirus pandemic, Murray could not live with the 2015 winner.

Wawrinka held serve throughout to prevail 6-1 6-3 6-2 in a time of one hour and 37 minutes as he set up a meeting with Dominik Koepfer in the second round.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Italian teenager Jannik Sinner eliminated 11th seed David Goffin and British number one Dan Evans lost to Kei Nishikori in five sets.


Lethargic Murray falls at first hurdle

Grand slam winners Murray and Wawrinka served up a treat when they met in the semi-finals here in 2017, but there was far less drama involved in this latest clash.

Wildcard entrant Murray lacked any sort of spark and looked subdued for the duration of the one-sided match as he failed to break his opponent's service game.

Wawrinka, who has himself slipped down the rankings, broke Murray in the third, fifth and seventh games as he eased into a one-set lead.

It was a similar case in the second set, with the Swiss continuing to dominate and earning an all-important break in the sixth game to leave Murray on the ropes.

And any hope of a fightback from Murray, as was the case in last month's five-set victory over Yoshihito Nishioka in the US Open first round, were soon ended for good.

Murray squandered three break points in the second game of the final set and Wawrinka did not look back, seeing out the game with an ace in an easier victory that expected.


Sinner stuns Goffin 

Sinner caught the eye when becoming the first Italian to win the Next Gen ATP Finals 10 months ago and he is now making his mark in majors.

The 19-year-old won 11 games in a row en route to a convincing 7-5 6-0 6-3 victory and will now take on French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi in the next round.

"He maybe didn't feel that well on court," Sinner said in his post-match interview. "I felt well. I have just been trying to be focused."

 

Nishikori sees off Evans in five sets 

British number one Evans was seeking his first win at Roland Garros but, dealt a tough hand against former world number four Nishikori, it was a fourth first-round exit in five years.

After a sluggish start that saw him drop the first set, Nishikori soon recovered and took a 2-1 lead in the contest, only for Evans to show good fighting spirit in the fourth set.

Despite battling back from 0-3 in the deciding set, Evans' revival was short-lived as he went down 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-4 in three hours and 49 minutes.

"The end result was that I lost," Evans said. "I lost another first round which is a little disappointing and now I get ready for the indoor hardcourts."

Isner sails through, Coric falls

World number 23 John Isner made light work of Elliot Benchetrit, holding serve throughout in a routine 6-4 6-1 6-3 victory to set up a meeting with Sebastian Korda.

Borna Coric had less success against Norbert Gombos, though, the 24th seed exiting the tournament with a 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4 defeat.

The US Open quarter-finalist lost serve in a gruelling third game and that was a sign of things to come against his stubborn opponent.

Gombos, who reached round three in 2017, recovered after losing the second set to get over the line and produce a big upset on an eventful opening day in Paris.

Stefanos Tsitsipas was delighted to be back on clay after he overcame Daniel Evans 6-3 6-1 in the first round of the Hamburg Open.

World number six Tsitsipas has largely failed to find his best form since the ATP Tour season got back underway in August, and he was eliminated in the US Open third round.

However, the 22-year-old defending ATP Finals champion was back at his best in a 59-minute victory over world number 34 Evans on Wednesday.

Tsitsipas struck 24 winners and offered up just one break point – which Evans failed to take – and the Greek was thrilled to return to form ahead of the French Open.

"It's very satisfying to be playing that level of tennis, as I've missed playing on clay," said Tsitsipas, who will face Pablo Cuevas in round two.

"It helps for my confidence. I've watched this tournament on TV since I was very young and I'm delighted to have gotten off to a strong start."

Elsewhere, Benoit Paire was forced to retire hurt against Casper Ruud, while Cristian Garin ended Yannick Hanfmann's run to take a spot in the last eight.

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev also booked a quarter-final berth with a 6-1 3-6 6-2 defeat of Tommy Paul and Felix Auger-Aliassime went down 6-4 6-2 to world number 56 Alexander Bublik.

Bublik pulled off an audacious underarm serve at one point, catching Auger-Aliassime unaware as the Canadian slumped to a shock defeat.

In Wednesday's final match, world number 11 Roberto Bautista-Agut needed just over two hours to see off Dominik Koepfer 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Dan Evans comprehensively defeated Kyle Edmund 6-3 6-2 to win the inaugural Battle of the Brits exhibition event.

The British number one has enjoyed an unbeaten week at the LTA's National Tennis Centre, including beating Andy Murray in Saturday's semi-final, and was in fine form on Sunday.

Edmund was broken three times during a first set in which Evans' power from the baseline and ability to move forward was the difference maker.

It was a great start to the second set for Edmund, who broke at the first time of asking, only to hand that advantage straight back.

The clinical Evans then won four straight games from 2-2 to wrap up the win in one hour and 18 minutes.

"As Kyle said it was like a tour event and I wasn't sure how it would work out," Evans said. 

"Thanks to everyone who has worked on it, all the players have loved it - that's the truth. Everyone has been raving about the tournament.

"It has been a long week and a great week."

Murray was scheduled to play in the third-place match but withdrew due to a shin injury.

His replacement, James Ward, was beaten 6-3 7-5 by Cameron Norrie. 

Andy Murray missed out on a place in the Battle of the Brits title match as he suffered a semi-final defeat to Dan Evans.

The two-time Wimbledon champion made an impressive start but could not keep up the same pace as he was edged out 1-6 6-3 10-8 by the current British number one.

Murray led 4-1 at one stage in the match tie-break but his composure ebbed away, the Scot particularly angry at one point by the movement of a member of his support team, who was in his eyeline off the court.

"Stop moving back there," Murray shouted.

Evans stuck to his task and a wayward Murray forehand gave the Englishman two match points.

Murray saved the first with a big serve but then saw Evans get lucky on his second opportunity, a backhand that looked to be going out striking the net and bouncing in.

Murray was competing for the first time this year after pelvic problems kept him out of the opening weeks of the season, with tennis then suspended from March due to the coronavirus.

This has been a behind-closed-doors indoor tournament, and Murray has at least had good match practice, playing four opponents in a week, winning twice and only losing to Kyle Edmund and Evans on tie-breaks.

Evans said on Amazon Prime: "He did a lot good in the first set and in the end it came down to the big points.

"I was very lucky on match point but I'm just happy to come through.

"I'm surprised by how well he was executing. Not so much the aggression but I was really surprised, he hardly missed a ball for set one.

"You always know with Andy he's going to come out with some top tennis."

Evans, ranked 28th in the world, thought his own efforts in London would be forlorn when Murray sped away in the tie-break.

"You're thinking the worst of course. I hung in there, but that's how it goes at times," he said. "I'm just really happy to come through."

Andy Murray is not expecting to claim the top prize in the Battle of the Brits tournament, but he has issued a warning to his fellow competitors. 

Murray, along with his brother Jamie and six other players, including British number one Dan Evans, will take part in the six-day charity event, which is to be played behind closed doors at the National Tennis Centre, starting on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old will play his first match in seven months when he faces Liam Broady on the opening day, having not featured since the Davis Cup Finals in November due to a pelvic injury.

Though the professional tour is still suspended due to coronavirus, with a restart scheduled for August, Murray is relishing the opportunity to go up against the best Britain has to offer.

And while he is under no illusions as to his chances heading into the event, Murray has warned his rivals they must also step up their games.

"Right now I feel pretty good because I've had more training under my belt, more practice, whereas in March I'd only been practising for four or five weeks since I'd had the issues in November or December," Murray wrote in a column for BBC Sport.

"Going into this week's tournament, I have played one match since October and no matches in the past seven months. Obviously I have a metal hip which has slowed me down a bit, and I'm the second-oldest player in the draw as well.

"The guys in the Whatsapp chat think that I'm just playing my chances down but everything I've been saying is true. All these guys are fit, young and were all competing at the beginning of the year.

"All of them have been beating me in practice too – I've won literally one practice set in the past three weeks since I've been practising with all of them.

"So there is no reason why they shouldn't be beating me when the matches start, but we will see! It is always a bit different when the cameras are on."

Murray also praised youngster Jack Draper, though warned the 18-year-old must now back up some promising displays in practice with impressive performances on the big stage.

"It will be good fun. Everyone has been chatting a lot, Liam Broady in particular. But Dan Evans thinks he is going to win for sure, as does Jack," Murray said.

"As an 18-year-old, he has been practising well, but he's been doing a lot of talking. When the tournament gets closer, it becomes very real and you need to be able to back it up.

"He's playing against guys who have been playing very high-level tennis for a while and it is not easy. It will be really interesting to see how everyone deals with it."

Dan Evans believes Novak Djokovic set "a poor example" with the Adria Tour and hopes it does not lead to plans to hold the US Open being reconsidered.

Djokovic was the driving force behind the event that drew huge crowds in Serbia and Croatia before the Zadar final between the world number one and Andrey Rublev was cancelled after Grigor Dimitrov tested positive for COVID-19.

Borna Coric subsequently revealed he had also contracted coronavirus, while it is reported Dimitrov's coach Christian Groh and Djokovic's fitness trainer Marko Paniki have caught the virus too.

Evans criticised the "total disregard" of social distancing measures, with players pictured dancing together at nightclubs and making contact while playing basketball.

He said: "I just think it is a poor example to set. Even if the guidelines in that country are not two metres, I think we should all… it is not a joke, is it?

"Even if the guidelines were taken away in this country [the United Kingdom] to normal I would still be trying to keep myself out of the way as much as I could from other people. And I just think there has been a total disregard to that.

"It is very unfortunate that Grigor has it, Coric has it but, you know, if you strip it back, is it a surprise? I think that is the question we should all ask.

"I think we could definitely learn from that. And hopefully that event doesn't take away from… now the US Open, I hope there is no second-guessing now on the US Open because of unfortunate events."

Asked whether Djokovic should consider his position as president of the ATP Player Council, Evans said: "I don't know. Honestly, when I sit in those meetings, I don't know how it really works and how they get to those positions.

"But, put it this way, I don't think you should be having a players' party and dancing all over each other and then, two very good tennis players have tested positive, you should feel some responsibility in this event and how it has transpired."

The ATP Tour has been suspended since March but is slated to return with the Citi Open on August 14.

The Western and Southern Open will follow ahead of the start of the US Open on August 31.

Tournaments will be played with either reduced fans in attendance or behind closed doors.

Novak Djokovic sensationally maintained his perfect record against Gael Monfils after surviving three match points in a second-set tie-break to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships final.

World number one Djokovic was 16-0 across all matches in 2020 and in his career against Monfils heading into Friday's meeting.

But the 17-time grand slam winner looked set to see his bid for a fifth Dubai championship end prematurely as Monfils led by a set and a break prior to a dramatic conclusion to the second.

Monfils had collected titles in Montpellier and Rotterdam across his own recent winning streak, yet his Djokovic hoodoo somehow continued.

"It was truly an escape," Djokovic said. "He [Monfils] was clearly a better player for two sets. I was fortunate to work my way back in the second set."

The Frenchman was on top early on and broke in just the third game of the opener, later extending his lead courtesy of the latest in a series of tame Djokovic drop shots.

Djokovic was then spectacularly broken to love in the second, only for Monfils' consistency to wane with the finish line in sight.

The top seed capitalised on the second of his first three break points and set about applying intense pressure to the Monfils serve, but two mammoth holds prompted a remarkable tie-break.

Monfils squandered three opportunities for victory as 10 of the first 11 points went against the serve, Djokovic eventually seizing his fourth set point of the breaker and ninth of the set with a double fault.

Showing visible signs of fatigue, Monfils was broken to love early in the decider and dropped serve again before calling for the trainer, with brief treatment to his left leg unable to arrest the slump as Djokovic clinched a 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 victory.

Djokovic will next go up against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who cruised through to the Dubai decider for a second year running.

The in-form Greek won the Open 13 Marseille title last week and made it eight straight victories with a comprehensive 6-2 6-3 result against Dan Evans.

Tsitsipas, who lost to Roger Federer in the 2019 final, now believes he can move up another level against Djokovic.

"I'm really impressed by the quality of my game today," he said of the Evans win. "I really hope to bring the same and possibly even better in the next round."

Novak Djokovic made light work of Karen Khachanov as he cruised into the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championship with a 6-2 6-2 victory on Thursday.

World number one Djokovic only needed a cumulative two hours to see off Malek Jaziri and Philipp Kohlschreiber in his opening matches in the United Arab Emirates and seventh seed Khachanov was unable to provide much more resistance.

The 17-time grand slam champion racked up his 16th win of 2020 in one hour, six minutes to move two matches away from a fifth title in Dubai and ensure he will remain at the top of the rankings come Monday.

After saving a set point, Khachanov became the first player to engineer a break point against Djokovic in the tournament and it was converted when the top seed went long with a forehand.

Djokovic wrapped up the first set when Khachanov buried a backhand into the net and he went a break up in the second after a fine lob.

The world number 17 was unable to return a fierce forehand into the corner when facing match point and consequently exited the competition.

Asked in an on-court interview if he is playing some of the best tennis of his career, Djokovic said: "That's too big of a statement, but I'm definitely feeling well and playing well.

"Tough match for Karen, I think he can do much better than he did. It wasn't his day, but on my side I think I played a very solid match."

Stefanos Tsitsipas came from a set down to defeat Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-4 6-4 and advance to the semi-finals.

The second seed, who won his first title of the year in Marseille last weekend, came from 40-0 down at 4-4 in the decider to break before closing out the victory on serve.

Tsitsipas will face Daniel Evans next after the world number 37 overcame Andrey Rublev 6-2 7-6 (11-9) to reach his first semi-final of the season and fourth of his career.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were untroubled, but Grigor Dimitrov was among five seeds to fall at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Federer produced an excellent performance in a straight-sets thrashing of Filip Krajinovic on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great had received good news before even going on court after three seeds fell in his quarter of the draw, with Fabio Fognini only narrowly avoiding that fate.

Earlier, Djokovic dropped just seven games on his way to a thrashing of Tatsuma Ito in Melbourne.

 

FEDERER, DJOKOVIC EASE THROUGH

Having lost a set in the opening-round victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, Djokovic suffered no such setback against Ito, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2.

A record seven-time champion in Melbourne and 16-time grand slam winner, Djokovic brushed past Ito on the back of 31 winners.

Federer was even more impressive later in the day, crushing Djokovic's Serbian compatriot Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1.

The 20-time grand slam champion looked in fabulous form with 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors, reaching the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year.

Federer will next face John Millman, who upset 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 7-5 6-3. The Australian stunned Federer at the US Open in 2018.

 

DIMITROV AMONG SEEDS TO CRASH OUT

Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2017, bowed out in a surprise 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (10-3) loss to Tommy Paul.

The Bulgarian 18th seed went up by a break twice in the final set, but lost seven consecutive points from 3-3 in the match tie-break.

Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed who reached the US Open semi-finals, was edged out by Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 4-6 2-6 7-5.

Sandgren reached the quarter-finals in 2018 and will face Sam Querrey in an all-American third-round clash.

British 30th seed Dan Evans also made a second-round exit, losing to Djokovic's next opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-4 6-3 6-4.

 

CILIC, RAONIC ADVANCE AS TSITSIPAS GETS FREE PASS

Marin Cilic, runner-up in 2018, eliminated 21st seed Benoit Paire in a thriller.

The Croatian needed three hours, 33 minutes to overcome Paire 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-3).

Next up for Cilic is a man he has lost to twice at the Australian Open in Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish ninth seed too good for Michael Mmoh 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-1.

Milos Raonic has reached at least the Australian Open quarter-finals four times and the Canadian has shown impressive form early on this year.

The 29-year-old served 19 aces in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Cristian Garin on Wednesday and next faces 2019 semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas advanced without hitting a ball after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to a muscle strain.

 

FOGNINI TAKEN THE DISTANCE BY THOMPSON

It is proving to be an arduous campaign for Fognini, who surrendered a two-set lead before holding his nerve in a decisive tie-break with home hope Jordan Thompson.

The Italian was taken the distance in his first-round meeting with Reilly Opelka after losing the first two sets, and this time it was the 12th seed who almost choked on a healthy lead.

Fognini hurt himself when punching his racket in frustration and was called for a foot-fault in the fifth-set breaker, but he got the job done in a memorable 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 (10-4) triumph that took more than four hours to complete. 

Novak Djokovic vowed to "enjoy every moment" after reaching the second round of the Australian Open on an opening day that saw seeds Denis Shapovalov and Borna Coric crash out.

Djokovic started the defence of his title with a battling 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Losing his serve three times while dropping the third set and having to edge a close tie-break in the opener meant Djokovic spent longer than he would have hoped on court, but he relished the two-hour-and-16-minute encounter.

Asked about winning his 900th Tour-level match, the second seed said: "I'm obviously very proud of all the achievements, but at the same time I try to remind myself how grateful I am to be playing this sport at a high level at this stage of my career. 

"I can't take things for granted, I'm trying to enjoy every moment. It's a New Year resolution, to enjoy more. It's easier said than done when you're on the court.

"Especially in my position, I'm expected to win all my matches, there's a lot of pressure and emotions involved. But I try to really enjoy it, the two and half hours spent on court were a lot of fun."


SHAPOVALOV AND CORIC FALL AT FIRST HURDLE

The biggest shock of the day saw number 13 seed Shapovalov fall to a four-set defeat against Hungarian world number 67 Marton Fucsovics.

Fucsovics won 7-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 7-6 (7-3) in three hours and 13 minutes as the highly-rated Canadian crashed out.

Shapovalov lost his temper with the umpire when he was giving a code violation for racket abuse despite it not being damaged.

"I think that's a terrible call from the [umpire]," Shapovalov said. "The rule [according to] what I know is that if I break my racket, yeah you can code me, but you can't code me for slamming it.

"I'm not doing anything and it didn't impact anyone and the racket was still intact. He gave me a warning because I did it two or three times and I think that's not the way it works."

Number 25 seed Coric was eliminated in straight sets by Sam Querrey. 

The American won 6-3 6-4 6-4 as a dreadful run for Coric, which has seen him win only one of his last 10 matches, went on.
 

FEDERER AND TSITSIPAS COAST THROUGH

Roger Federer progressed in comfortable fashion, the third seed seeing off Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2 in only 81 minutes.

Johnson only forced one break-point opportunity in the match against the 20-time grand slam and did not convert it.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the ATP Finals champion and a semi-finalist in Melbourne last year, got off to a smooth start, defeating Salvatore Caruso 6-0 6-2 6-3.

 

RAIN LEAVES MATCHES UNFINISHED

Inclement weather left a host of Monday's other first-round matches incomplete, with Reilly Opelka closing in on an upset against Fabio Fognini when play was suspended at 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 1-0.

Rising star Jannik Sinner has a 2-0 lead over Max Purcell with the third set level at 4-4, while Roberto Bautista Agut was a set up against Feliciano Lopez.

Milos Raonic is one game away from a first-round win, his match against Lorenzo Giustino all-but over with the Canadian 6-2 6-1 5-2 to the good.

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