Rafael Nadal's bid to win a 12th Monte Carlo Masters title got off to an emphatic start as the Spaniard swept Federico Delbonis aside after Novak Djokovic had also booked his passage to the third round.

Nadal, 34, has won the competition more times than anyone else in its history and looked in good shape as he returned to the court for the first time since losing to Stefano Tsitsipas in the Australian Open quarter-finals on February 17.

He needed just 81 minutes to get past the Argentinian qualifier 6-1 6-2 as he improved his record in the tournament to 72-5, breaking Delbonis' serve five times and only dropping his own once.

He is not getting carried away, however, with Grigor Dimitrov likely to provide a sterner test in the next round after beating Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

"It was solid match, I think. Of course, a very positive result. He's a good player on clay. [It was a] positive start for me," Nadal said in his post-match interview.

"I think I just really played a solid match. Nothing unbelievable, but nothing wrong. Just a solid match, a positive start. I think I did what I had to do."

On Dimitrov, Nadal added: "We've had some great matches. In Melbourne, of course... we played another great match in Beijing, another one in Shanghai. He's a good friend, a good guy, and a great player. It's going to be a tough test in my second round.

"It's going to be his third. I need to be ready for it. I hope to be ready for it. I am just excited to play a tough match very early in the tournament."

A little earlier in the day, world number one Djokovic was in a similarly unforgiving mood as he overcame the potentially tricky obstacle of Jannik Sinner, the Serbian and two-time Monte Carlo champion winning 6-4 6-2.

Like Nadal, Djokovic was back in action for the first time since the Australian Open – which he won – and appeared fresh as he gave the promising young Italian something of a lesson in game management, reaching 10 matches unbeaten at the start of a season for the sixth time.

"It feels great [to be back and] also playing in Monaco, where I reside," Djokovic said. "I have used this club as a training base for almost 15 years, so it feels like playing at home."

Despite the rather commanding nature of his win, Djokovic was keen to pay tribute to the 19-year-old Sinner, adding: "It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match [and] a big challenge for me. Jannik is in form. He played the final [in] Miami and has been playing well. I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time.

"He has got a lot of talent and he has proven that he is the future of our sport. Actually, he is already the present of our sport. He played a final [in an] ATP Masters 1000 [tournament] already. He is making big strides in professional tennis."

Dan Evans awaits Djokovic after an impressive 6-4 6-1 win over Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz, while Alexander Zverez and Andrey Rublev – the fifth and sixth seeds – moved into the next round with respective straight-set victories over Lorenzo Sonego and Salvatore Caruso.

There were mixed fortunes for the other two top-10 seeds in action on Wednesday, as Pablo Carreno-Busta defeated Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-3, but Diego Schwartzman was sent packing by Casper Ruud, the Norwegian winning 6-3 6-3.

Top seed Daniil Medvedev powered his way into the Miami Open quarter-finals, along with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev on Tuesday.

Medvedev won in straight sets against unseeded American Frances Tiafoe, hitting 24 winners.

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas won in straight sets against 24th seed Lorenzo Sonego, although the second went to a tie-break which the Greek dominated.

World number eight Andrey Rublev got past Marin Cilic in straight sets to book his last-eight spot.

Fifth seed Diego Schwartzman was the major casualty on Tuesday, losing to unseeded American Sebastian Korda in three sets. Seeds Josh Isner, Milos Raonic and Taylor Fritz also exited.

 

TOP SEED EASES INTO LAST EIGHT

World number two Medvedev was too good for Tiafoe in a 6-4 6-3 victory.

Medvedev improved his 2021 record to 17-2, sending down 11 aces with a dominant first-serve display while taking three of his four break points.

The 2021 Australian Open runner-up will meet seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut in his maiden Miami Open quarter-finals appearance.

"It was definitely a tough match," the Russian said in his post-match on-court interview. "I am just looking forward to tomorrow. Roberto is a hell of a player.

"I feel like sometimes, when I have practised with him and played against him, that his ranking should be higher. There are reasons why it is not and I am going to try to do something with it tomorrow."

STEFANOS SIZZLES PAST SONEGO

Tsitsipas kept up his good form after making last month's Australian Open semi-finals, by booking his first Miami Open quarter-final appearance.

The Greek world number five defeated Sonego 6-2 7-6 (7-2) with a clinical performance to keep alive his dream of a maiden ATP Masters title.

Tsitsipas won in just over an hour and a half, proving too good on serve, having not offered up one break point and winning 89 per cent of first-serve points.

He was also too good with his return for the Italian, winning 35 per cent of the points on Sonego's serve.

The Greek will take on Polish 26th seed Hubert Hurkacz in the last eight, after he knocked out 12th seed Raonic 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

 

FIFTH SEED TOPPLED BY KORDA

World number nine Schwartzman was knocked out in three sets by Korda 6-3 4-6 7-5 as he continues his super run.

Florida resident Korda, 20, reached his maiden ATP 1000 quarter-final, showing fight after the Argentinian raised his game in the second set, winning after an early break in the last.

Rublev made light work of former US Open champion Marin Cilic, triumphing 6-4 6-4.

Bautista Agut got past 18th seed Isner 6-3 4-6 7-6 (9-7), while Jannik Sinner defeated Alexander Zverev's conqueror Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3 6-2.

Alexander Bublik, seeded 32nd, sent down 23 aces as he beat Taylor Fritz 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4.

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas battled through to the Miami Open round of 16 and he was joined by Andrey Rublev on Monday.

Greek star and second seed Tsitsipas got the better of 2014 US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori in Miami.

Rublev continued his fine 2021 with a straight-sets demolition of Marton Fucsovics at the ATP 1000 tournament.

In-form Aslan Karatsev, however, bowed out following a surprise loss to Sebastian Korda.

 

TSITSIPAS HALTS NISHIKORI

Despite a mid-match wobble, Tsitsipas overcame Nishikori 6-3 3-6 6-1 to reach the fourth round.

Former world number four Nishikori forced a deciding set but Tsitsipas withstood the Japanese's comeback.

Tsitsipas, who hit 32 winners, will meet Lorenzo Sonego for a place in the quarter-finals after the 24th seed defeated Daniel Elahi Galan 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

 

RUBLEV STAYS HOT

Russian fourth seed Rublev made light work of Fucsovics 6-2 6-1 in just 52 minutes.

Rublev leads the ATP Tour with 18 victories this season after eliminating the in-form Hungarian, ahead of top seed Daniil Medvedev (16-2).

The result secured a third win for Rublev over 29th seed Fucsovics this month.

"I was laughing, because of [the] situation and plus Marton also told me, 'I don't want to see you. I don't want to see you'," Rublev said, cracking a laugh. "[It was] just a situation that [was] fun, and I feel sorry."

Awaiting Rublev is 2014 US Open champion and former world number three Marin Cilic, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-4.

 

KARATSEV CONQUERED

For only the third time this year, Australian Open semi-finalist and Dubai Tennis Championships winner Karatsev tasted defeat following a 6-3 6-0 loss at the hands of Korda.

American sensation Korda became the first player outside the top five to beat Karatsev this year, with the latter's previous two losses coming against world number one Novak Djokovic and world number four Dominic Thiem.

"It is super special [to reach the Round of 16], especially playing a guy who was as hot as he was," said Korda. "I just took the tactics that I used [against him] at Roland Garros and it worked out really well today."

Diego Schwartzman stands in the way of Korda and the quarters after the fifth seed accounted for Adrian Mannarino 6-1 6-4.

Elsewhere, Denis Shapovalov – the sixth seed – was upstaged by Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 7-6 (8-6).

Another Canadian awaits Hurkacz after 12th seed Milos Raonic was a 6-4 7-5 winner against Ugo Humbert.

Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his strong run of form en route to the Miami Open third round, while Aslan Karatsev's maintained his fairytale run in 2021.

Greek star Tsitsipas flexed his muscles in a straight-sets win over Damir Dzumhur on Saturday.

Australian Open semi-finalist and Dubai Tennis Championships winner Karatsev enjoyed a victorious Miami debut.

Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman, Denis Shapovalov, Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic also progressed at the ATP 1000 tournament.

 

TSITSIPAS STAYS HOT

World number five Tsitsipas eased past Dzumhur 6-1 6-4 in his first appearance since losing in last week's Mexican Open final.

Tsitsipas (15-4) became the third player to reach 15 wins this season, the second seed following in the footsteps of Russian duo Rublev (17-3) and Daniil Medvedev (15-2).

"It was a great match, especially against a guy that I probably don't have a good record playing against in the past," said Tsitsipas. "I started the match very strong, breaking him twice and taking a big lead in the score, and I think the things worked out by themselves after that."

Tsitsipas will face Kei Nishikori after the Japanese outlasted Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 6-4.

 

NO STOPPING KARATSEV

Karatsev's Miami Open debut ended in a 6-4 6-3 win for the 17th-seeded Russian over Mikhail Kukushkin.

Already in the ATP's top 100 and set to keep climbing, Karatsev broke serve four times en route to the next round, where Sebastian Korda awaits after upstaging 10th seed Fabio Fognini 1-6 6-4 6-2.

"Of course it gives me confidence to win my first title, but you arrive here and it’s a different surface and new tournament," said Karatsev, who ended last season ranked 112th before bursting into the top 30 behind his semi-final run at Melbourne Park. "So you try [to think of it] as a new tournament and new place, but of course it gives me a lot of confidence."

Karatsev owns a 13-2 record this year, with his only two losses coming against world number one Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

 

RUBLEV ROLLS ON

Fourth seed Rublev has proven to be remarkably consistent, highlighted by his crushing 6-1 6-2 rain-interrupted victory against Tennys Sandgren.

Having equalled his previous best run in Miami, Rublev will play 29th seed Marton Fucsovics who took down Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4.

Rublev has won a Tour-leading 17 matches this year.

Elsewhere, fifth seed Schwartzman was a 6-3 6-3 winner against Yasutaka Uchiyama, Shapovalov – the sixth seed – trumped Ilya Ivashka 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 in a marathon, 12th seed Raonic accounted for Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-1, former US Open winner Cilic surprised 13th seed Christian Garin 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5), while 15th seed Alex de Minaur was eliminated.

Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti may be ranked 120th in the world but he claimed his maiden top-10 scalp on Tuesday, beating Diego Schwartzman in the first round of the Mexican Open.

Musetti, the Australian Open boys' singles champion in 2019, secured a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win over ninth-ranked Schwartzman in a stunning success.

"There is a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice and I think some tears left in my eyes," the 19-year-old said during his on-court interview.

"I'm really proud of myself, but now I'm going to work harder and focus on the next days."

Musetti, whose forehand was excellent, defeated both Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori at the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome last year.

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had no such trouble, easing into the second round, where he will face big-serving American John Isner.

The Greek world number five beat France's Benoit Paire 6-3 6-1, aided by a strong display on serve.

"I didn't know what to expect from Benoit today," Tsitsipas said. "I think it's kind of tricky playing a tournament you haven't played before."

On facing 27th-ranked Isner next up, Tsitsipas added: "He's a guy that serves really well so that's going to be the biggest element and the one thing that I'll really have to resolve during that match."

Fourth seed Milos Raonic sent down 13 aces as he defeated American Tommy Paul 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

In the late match, fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov got past Adrian Mannarino, who retired when trailing 6-4 3-0.

Diego Schwartzman claimed his first ATP Tour title on home soil as he defeated qualifier Francisco Cerundolo in the final of the Argentina Open on Sunday.

After losing in his two previous finals in Argentina, Schwartzman finally came good in his home city of Buenos Aires with a 6-1 6-2 victory. 

The world number nine was in complete control from the off, breaking six times and conceding on his serve just once as he took just 81 minutes to wrap up a fourth Tour title.

Cerundolo's run to the final had at least ensured that whoever came out on top in the showdown would result in the first Argentine champion of the competition since 2008, when David Nalbandian triumphed in a clash with compatriot Jose Acasuso.

"I'm very, very happy, it's been an amazing week for me," Schwartzman said in the trophy presentation.

"It's the first time that [I have won at] home. Two years ago, I reached the final here and lost. I was very unhappy, but two years later I have my revenge against Francisco who is a great player."

The war of words between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios continued on day one of the Australian Open, while Gael Monfils was reduced to tears after a first-round exit.

Reigning champion Djokovic cruised past Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-1 6-2 in just over an hour and a half but was unwilling to be drawn on comments made by Kyrgios following the home favourite's 6-4 6-4 6-4 success against Frederico Ferreira Silva.

Djokovic, who has now won 15 straight Australian Open matches, will take on Frances Tiafoe next and Kyrgios has a meeting with Ugo Humbert. A potential crossing of their paths on court could not happen until the semi-finals.

Monfils, seeded 10th at Melbourne Park, could not hide his emotions after succumbing to a 3-6 6-4 7-5 3-6 6-3 defeat in a five-set thriller against Emil Ruusuvuori.

Benoit Paire was the only other seed to go out on day one, with Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Diego Schwartzman and Stan Wawrinka picking up victories.

 

"HE'S A STRANGE CAT"

On the eve of the first grand slam of the year Djokovic said he had "no respect" for Kyrgios off the court, which the Australian was confused by as he pointed out the charitable work he has done during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kyrgios was previously critical of the Adria Tour organised by Djokovic last year, which ended with multiple players testing positive for COVID-19.

Asked about the Serbian's pre-tournament comment, Kyrgios said: "It actually would make complete sense to me if he was like, 'Look, I don't respect the guy on the court.' Because I understand if he doesn't agree with some of my antics on the court that I have done in the past.

"He's a very strange cat, Novak is. Heck of a tennis player, but unfortunately someone that's partying with his shirt off during a global pandemic, I don't know if I can take any slack from that man. That's as bad as it gets for me."

When a reporter asked if they could read those comments out to Djokovic in his post-match news conference, the 17-time major champion replied: "You can read it, but I'm not gonna answer to anything."

Upon hearing the remarks and being asked if he had a reply, Djokovic simply said: "No."

 

ANOTHER LOSS FOR MONFILS

Having lost his first-round match to Ruusuvuori, who incredibly saved 17 break points, Monfils remained without a win on the ATP Tour since February 2020.

The Frenchman was eliminated in the first round at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2006 and admitted he had lost all his self-belief and was finding it extremely difficult to get himself back on track.

"I don't have any confidence. I would like to get out of this nightmare but I can't," said Monfils.

"I don’t know when it's going to end. It's hard. Every time I get here I feel judged, I've lost again. I can't serve, I'm playing badly. I'm being honest and it's going to take time."

 

BEST OF THE REST

Thiem made light work of Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 6-3 to set up a second-round meeting with Dominik Koepfer, but Zverev had to come from a set down to beat Marcos Giron 6-7 (8-10), 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-2. He will face Maxime Cressy next.

Denis Shapovalov also had to fight back to defeat Jannik Sinner, who reached the French Open quarter-finals last year, in an entertaining five-setter on Margaret Court Arena.

Marin Cilic, the runner-up at Melbourne Park in 2018, went down 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7-5) to Grigor Dimitrov, while Pablo Carreno Busta overcame Kei Nishikori 7-5 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

There were straight-set wins for Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Felix Auger-Aliassime against Paulo Sousa, Federico Coria and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe respectively, and Schwartzman defeated Elias Ymer 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 2-6 6-2.

Daniil Medvedev maintained the last remaining 100 per cent record at the ATP Finals to head into his last-four meeting with Rafael Nadal on a high.

The world number four had not dropped a set against Alexander Zverev or Novak Djokovic and showed the already-eliminated Diego Schwartzman no mercy in a 6-3 6-3 success on Friday.

Medvedev wasted little time in taking command of proceedings, even if Schwartzman battled to an initial hold.

The Russian led at the next opportunity, picking out the right corner of the court with his forehand and then racing through his own service games to preserve his advantage.

A sharp increase in pressure then allowed Medvedev to clinch the opener on Schwartzman's serve, despite seeing an outrageous stretching return to tee up set point go to waste.

Medvedev converted next time, following up a blistering cross-court effort by blasting straight through his opponent at the net.

The breakthrough in the second again came in Schwartzman's second service game, with the third of three break points a sweetly struck backhand.

That was enough to seal victory, Medvedev breezing through this dead rubber - served out to love - before the real business continues against Nadal in Saturday's semi-final.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev - 30/19
Schwartzman - 13/8

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev - 4/1
Schwartzman - 0/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev - 3/9
Schwartzman - 0/2

Alexander Zverev got up and running in the ATP Finals with a hard-fought victory over Diego Schwartzman on Wednesday.

Zverev and Schwartzman lost their opening matches of the season-ending tournament to Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic respectively.

It was 2018 champion Zverev who boosted his chances of advancing from Group Tokyo 1970 despite not being at his best, winning 6-3 4-6 6-3 at the O2 Arena in London.

World number seven Zverev will face Djokovic in his last group match on Friday as he eyes a semi-final spot, while Schwartzman looks unlikely to advance.

Zverev made a tentative start and found himself a break down at 2-1 after drilling a forehand long, but he broke straight back as a more positive approach paid off.

The unforced errors were mounting for Schwartzman and Zverev made him pay, winning four games in a row and wrapping up the set when the Argentinian sent a forehand beyond the baseline at full stretch on the run.

Zverev forced two break points in the first game of the second and although Schwartzman hung in there to hold, he was unable to prevent the German from taking a 2-1 lead at the next attempt.

Schwartzman showed flashes of brilliance, including a couple of sublime forehand winners, and was back on serve at 3-3 after a fierce Zverev forehand struck the net cord and landed wide.

The Buenos Aires native had the initiative and took it the distance when Zverev blasted a forehand long to lose the set, then earned a code violation for angrily striking a ball high in the air before returning to his chair.

Zverev was in a far better mood after going a break up at 3-2 in the decider by finishing off a well-constructed point with a textbook backhand volley and he had a vital win when Schwartzman crashed a forehand into the net.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Zverev: 30/38
Schwartzman: 21/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Zverev: 10/3
Schwartzman: 0/3

BREAK POINTS WON 
Zverev: 5/12
Schwartzman: 3/9

Novak Djokovic kicked off his quest for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title with a straight-sets victory over Diego Schwartzman on Monday.

The world number one, who last won the season-ending event in 2015, needed one hour and 11 minutes to overcome Schwartzman 6-3 6-2 in London.

Schwartzman is competing in the competition for the first time and he made a good start as he broke Djokovic in the third game, but his opponent instantly hit back to level up.

A perfect forehand winner saw Djokovic break Schwartzman – still seeking a first win against the Serbian – in the eighth game before taking the opening set.

The 33-year-old made plain sailing of the second set as he held throughout and twice broke Schwartzman, getting the job done with a powerful forehand volley winner on his third match point.

"It was a close encounter until I broke his serve at 4-3," said Djokovic, who was awarded the year-end number one trophy prior to the match. "I managed the close out the first set.

"Second set, I started swinging through the ball a little more, bit less hesitation from both corners and I was very pleased with the way I played in the second set.

"I must say that it feels very strange to play in front of the empty stands. For all the tennis fans watching on the TV, we love you guys, we miss you guys."

Daniil Medvedev takes on Alexander Zverev in the other Group Tokyo 1970 fixture later on Monday.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Djokovic: 23/12
Schwartzman: 9/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Djokovic: 7/2
Schwartzman: 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON 
Djokovic: 4/6
Schwartzman: 1/2

Novak Djokovic avoided defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and third seed Dominic Thiem, who were both drawn alongside Rafael Nadal for the ATP Finals.

World number one Djokovic, who will be aiming to win the trophy for a record-equalling sixth time, will take on Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman in Group Tokyo 1970.

The Serbian heads to London on the back of just his third defeat of the season – one of which was his default at the US Open – in the quarter-finals of the Vienna Open to Lorenzo Sonego.

Zverev won the title in 2018, while Medvedev is returning after his ATP Finals debut last year and Schwartzman has reached the event for the first time.

Nadal has qualified for the year-ending competition for a record 16th straight year but faces a tricky task in Group London 2020 alongside Thiem, Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev.

Tsitsipas lost to Nadal in the group stage but beat Thiem in the final to win the competition last year, though the Austrian will hope to go one better after making his major breakthrough by going all the way at the US Open.

Like Schwartzman, Rublev is competing at the tournament for the first time.

The ATP Finals, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, is scheduled to begin on Sunday.

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 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.

Alexander Zverev sealed his second ATP title in the space of a week as the German overcame Diego Schwartzman in the Cologne Championships final.

World number seven Zverev beat Felix Auger-Aliassime to claim the Cologne Indoors title on October 18 and continued his fine form in the city with a 6-2 6-1 triumph on Sunday.

Schwartzman had denied Auger-Aliassime the chance to avenge his previous defeat but was never a match for in-form Zverev, who hit nine aces – to his opponent's zero – and saved the only break point he faced.

After an even start, Zverev nosed himself ahead with a break of Schwartzman's serve in the fifth game of the opener, with another concession from the Argentine following.

Zverev swiftly wrapped things up with his first set point, though Schwartzman rallied to gain a break point in the opening game of the final set.

It was an opportunity the world number nine failed to grasp, however, and Zverev made him pay with some clinical shots, rounding off the victory – and his second title of 2020 – with a supreme forehand down the line.

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