Daniil Medvedev's triumph at the ATP Finals has earned public acclaim from Russia president Vladimir Putin, who said he "demonstrated great preparation, mastery and truly fighting spirit".

World number four Medvedev won a barnstorming final against Dominic Thiem in the last showpiece to be held at London's O2 Arena before the season-ending tournament moves to Turin in 2021.

Medvedev came from a set down to defeat the US Open champion - who had beaten him en route to glory at Flushing Meadows - to secure the biggest title of his career.

In doing so, Medvedev became the second Russian to win the event after Nikolay Davydenko in 2009.

Putin posted a telegram on the Kremlin's official website on Tuesday, part of which was quoted by Russian news agency TASS, to congratulate Medvedev.

"You went through the whole ATP Finals tournament brilliantly and, in one breath, you demonstrated great preparation, mastery and truly fighting spirit in beautiful and tense matches," the telegram read. 

"Your victory continues great traditions of the Russian tennis school."

Medvedev and Thiem each scored wins over both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to reach Sunday's showpiece.

Speaking on Monday, Medvedev said it will be difficult for any of the chasing pack to become world number one while ever those two greats are still playing.

"It's still a long way to get to the top of the line [in the ATP rankings]," Medvedev told TASS.

"You have to complete the season better than all the rest to become the world's number one. Sometimes 8,000 points can be sufficient but on other occasions 12,000 points are not enough. 

"It all depends on me; the more tournaments that I’ll have like in Paris and London, the more chances I’ll get to top of the ATP rankings."

Daniil Medvedev expressed his desire for more matches against Dominic Thiem on the biggest stages after revelling in one of his "best victories" to become ATP Finals champion.

The Russian won a thriller at London's O2 Arena, coming from behind to win 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to overcome an opponent who had defeated him in the semi-finals of the US Open.

Medvedev and Thiem had beaten Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic respectively to reach Sunday's showpiece, which marked the last in the English capital before Turin becomes host to the Finals in 2021.

The world number four had nothing but praise for Thiem, who went on to win the title at Flushing Meadows, when addressing his win after the match.

"First of all, what a match. Maybe one of my best victories," the champion said.

"I mean, two hours 42, three sets against an amazing player, Dominic congrats for what you achieved in your career, I think your name is already in the history books of tennis.

"So, it's amazing, you won a grand slam this year. I mean, you're playing unbelievable. I hope we're going to have many more matches to come on the big occasions like this - semi-final of the US Open and final here - so congrats to you and your team. You're doing an amazing job."

The respect was returned by Thiem, who was typically classy in defeat and reflected on a season that saw him make his major breakthrough.

"Of course, I'm disappointed, but at the same time I'm also proud of the performance, of all the week," he said.

"Daniil really deserves it. Amazing match, congrats for, in general, another great year as well.

"Amazing month, November, with the Bercy [Paris Masters], title here and I hope we have many great matches to come. It was a pleasure today even though I lost.

"And thanks also to my team for all the support - without the crowd it's even more important.

"Thanks a lot, we had an unbelievable year as well. Thanks for taking care of me in all the bubbles and I can't wait for other great years with all of you."

Daniil Medvedev roared back from a set down to defeat Dominic Thiem and become the ATP Finals champion after a titanic tussle at the O2 Arena in London.

Medvedev earned the biggest prize of his career in a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 triumph in the last final held in London before the tournament moves to Turin next year.

It was a fitting end to the English capital's run as Medvedev produced a valiant fight back on the back of 37 winners to become the second Russian ATP Finals victor, becoming the first to defeat the world's top three players to do so in the process on Sunday.

Medvedev, who defeated Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, gains a measure of revenge for his last-four defeat to eventual champion Thiem at the US Open, with his Austrian opponent – a winner over Novak Djokovic on Saturday – losing the showpiece match for the second year running.

Thiem staved off a break point with a huge ace in his mammoth first service game but there was little to separate two players in great form in a slog of a first set.

In the end it was a costly lapse in concentration where Medvedev dropped five straight points on serve – one a glorious reverse forehand drop-shot from Thiem that preceded an ugly double fault for the break.

Thiem, who matched his opponent with 12 winners in the first set, clinched the opener with a fortuitous net chord that brought a wry smile from Medvedev.

Medvedev was more grimacing than smiling as he had to dig deep on serve in games five and seven, though, as the quality on display from both players increased.

But the Russian held his nerve to force the breaker and, after losing the first two points, reeled off seven in a row to force the decider against Thiem.

With the momentum shifting, Thiem survived from 0-40 in game three but – after saving a couple more break points – finally slipped behind at his next service game when an audacious backhand was followed by a clinical volley by Medvedev. 

Thiem refused to yield and made his opponent fight for every point but a huge serve from Medvedev was unreturnable to leave the 2019 US Open runner-up celebrating.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev – 37/30
Thiem – 29/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev – 12/3
Thiem – 6/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev – 1/9
Thiem – 1/4

Dominic Thiem booked his place in a second successive ATP Finals showdown as he overcame four-time champion Novak Djokovic in a magnificent clash on Saturday.

Thiem defeated Djokovic in three sets en route to the 2019 final, which he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas, but the US Open champion let four match points slip in the second set in London this time.

His chance was not gone, though, as a contest lasting two hours and 54 minutes was settled after Thiem had reeled off six straight points to recover from 4-0 down in the second of two tie-breakers.

Djokovic looped a forehand beyond the baseline for the decisive point to go down 7-5 6-7 (10-12) 7-6 (7-5), having failed to convert a single break point across the contest.

For Thiem, a 300th career win secured a return to the final against either Daniil Medvedev or Rafael Nadal.

Thiem had to serve to stay in the opening set at 5-4 down, landing a sensational lob just inside the baseline to prompt applause from Djokovic.

He built momentum from there and took his first break point when he got the ball down at his opponent's toes, then clinching the set with some blistering serves.

Djokovic looked to retaliate swiftly, but Thiem soon had another break point in the fifth game of the second set, although a sloppy forehand gave the Serbian a reprieve.

Thiem was briefly on the back foot and came up with a supreme backhand down the line for one hold before fending off Djokovic twice more to reach a breaker.

A back-and-forth affair saw Thiem race into a two-point lead and then fight back from 4-2 down, before a pair of brilliant serves teed up a first match point which Djokovic saved.

A second went begging thanks to a double-fault as each man struggled on serve, with another two opportunities slipping away before the world's best player clinched the set at the fourth attempt.

Chances were few and far between in the decider, although a superb return from Djokovic garnered Thiem's appreciation at 4-4 as the pair headed for another breaker.

Thiem's chances looked slim when Djokovic moved into a 4-0 lead, yet six consecutive points put victory in his grasp and the world number three made the most of his sixth match point.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Thiem - 47/35
Djokovic - 19/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Thiem - 12/5
Djokovic - 5/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Thiem - 1/2
Djokovic - 0/3

Novak Djokovic acknowledged he will have to be at his best to beat Dominic Thiem in their ATP Finals semi-final match on Saturday.

World number one Djokovic clinched a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victory over Alexander Zverev in the final group match of the tournament to secure a last-four meeting with Thiem.

Djokovic, who is seeking to equal Roger Federer's record of six titles at the end-of-season tournament, has four career victories over Thiem but has also suffered three defeats.

Speaking in an on-court interview after his win over Zverev on Friday, Djokovic predicted a tough but an exciting match with Thiem at London's O2 Arena.

He said: "Obviously earlier in his career Dominic played his best on clay, but of course being one of the hardest workers on the ATP Tour and most dedicated players, Dominic found his A game on all other surfaces.

“His first [Grand] Slam came on hard courts earlier this year in New York. I played him last year here and lost 7-6 in the third set. It was really a thrilling match.

"Hopefully we can have another great match, but hopefully this time with another outcome."

Djokovic's victory over Zverev was his 41st victory of the year which equalled Andrey Rublev’s Tour-leading mark of 41 wins this season.

The 33-year-old Serbian was able to capitalise on an early break in the first set against Zverev before he held his nerve in a second-set tie-break to secure victory.

And despite suffering a defeat to Daniil Medvedev earlier in the tournament Djokovic said he had confidence in his abilities to come through the decisive match with Zverev.

"I felt great. Early in the first set he had a couple of break point chances. I managed to serve well in the important moments and contrary to the last match against Daniil, I just managed to find the right shots at the right time,” he added.

“I have tremendous respect for Alexander. He’s a great player, huge serve. Obviously not easy to return the 140 miles per hour first serves.

"Sometimes just have to pick your side, block, hope you can be in the exchanges in the rallies from the back of the court.

"It was really anybody’s game, I think, for most of the match. In the tie-break I just read his approach from 4-3, served well when I needed to close out the match."

Andrey Rublev signed off from the ATP Finals with a surprise victory over Dominic Thiem in London. 

The Russian took advantage of an off day for his opponent to score a 6-2 7-5 victory, a fine way to end a year in which he has won a tour-leading five titles. 

Thiem was already assured of a semi-final place before Thursday's clash at the O2, while Rublev was certain to go home, having already lost to Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

Rather than Thiem completing a clean sweep of his three round-robin matches, however, it was Rublev who began on the front foot and coasted through the opening set. 

Rublev had squandered a match point with a double fault against Tsitsipas, and he clearly had a point to prove. Had he taken that opportunity on Tuesday, there would have been considerably more on the line in this contest. 

Thiem, one short of 300 career wins, hauled his way back from 4-2 behind to lead 5-4 on serve in the second set, but this was not a match when the US Open winner was at his best.

Rublev had a sniff on the Thiem serve at 5-5, forcing three break points and taking the third of those when the Austrian floated a backhand volley wide. 

He sealed victory with an ace, and later said on BBC Two: "I started well from the first return. I don't think Domi started well and I took advantage from the beginning. 

"In the end it was not easy for Domi but I think he is now focused on the semis and I wish him the best of luck. 

"He deserves to be where he is and he deserves to win the title, so we'll see what will happen." 

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Rublev - 26/9
Thiem - 16/15

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Rublev - 11/0
Thiem - 10/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Rublev - 4/10
Thiem - 1/1

Stefanos Tsitsipas stayed in the hunt for more ATP Finals glory by fending off Andrey Rublev in a gripping match at London's O2 Arena, with Rafael Nadal keeping a close eye.

Defending champion Tsitsipas landed a 6-1 4-6 7-6 (8-6) victory, and that was good news for Dominic Thiem whose place in the semi-finals was guaranteed by the outcome on Tuesday.

Rublev can no longer reach the final four, and it will come down to a clash on Thursday evening between Tsitsipas and Nadal to determine who joins Thiem in advancing from the London 2020 group.

Nadal was at courtside to check out his next opponent, and Tsitsipas looked in deep trouble when he faced match point in the deciding tie-break - only for Rublev to double-fault.

Both men came into this match on the back of defeats on Sunday, Tsitsipas edged out in a decider by Thiem while Rublev was beaten in straight sets by Nadal, who then lost to Thiem in a stunning contest on Tuesday afternoon.

This season has seen Rublev win five ATP titles, more than anyone else on tour, but his breakthrough at grand slam and Masters 1000 level has yet to come.

The same can be said for Tsitsipas; however, the Greek triumphed at this tournament last season to take a significant career step.

After Tsitsipas swept through the opening set with little resistance, Rublev stepped it up for the second and nine consecutive games went with serve.

It was a surprise when Rublev broke to level the match, a string of unforeseen errors from Tsitsipas giving up three set points. Rublev required just one, yelling "Come on!" as his opponent sent a forehand long.

Rublev then saved five break points in winning a dramatic third game of the decider, before the tie-break threw up plenty of drama. Tsitsipas had the match in his hands with two serves at 5-4 in the tie-break, but he lost both points and Rublev then blundered when serving at match point.

When Tsitsipas carved out his own match point, a forehand into the net from Rublev settled the outcome.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Tsitsipas: 24/16
Rublev:  26/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Tsitsipas: 10/0
Rublev:  6/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Tsitsipas: 2/9
Rublev: 1/1

An all-time classic at the ATP Finals saw Dominic Thiem beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to close in on a place in the semi-finals. 

The Austrian needed three tie-breaks to take a four-set victory over Nadal at the Australian Open in January and Tuesday's clash in London was similarly played on a knife-edge. 

In the end, Thiem made it three wins in his previous four meetings with the French Open champion, prevailing 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4) after nearly two and a half hours of the highest quality tennis at the O2 Arena. 

Nadal enjoyed a one-sided victory over Andrey Rublev in his first match in the group, but this was more in keeping with the three-set battle Thiem had with Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

The level of serving – only 15 points were dropped behind a first serve during the opening 12 games – and the supremacy of the groundstrokes meant there were no break points prior to the first tie-break, Thiem clinching it with an inside-out forehand winner after roaring back from 2-5 down. 

There was no let-up in the standard and intensity of play early in the second either, as summed up by consecutive points in which first Nadal and then Thiem produced astonishing running forehand winners.

Thiem at last got the first break of the match to go 4-3 ahead but the US Open champion promptly surrendered that lead as Nadal refused to give in. 

An uncharacteristically loose game from the Spaniard gifted Thiem three match points, but the 20-time grand slam champion, still waiting for his first ATP Finals trophy, dug deep to keep the contest alive. 

In the second tie-break, a spectacular backhand down the line helped Thiem edge ahead 4-3 and, although Nadal saved two further match points, his sixth defeat of the year was sealed when he pushed a backhand into the tramlines. 

"I think it was a great match from the first to the last point," Thiem, who hit 37 winners to 22 unforced errors, said to Amazon Prime Sport. "I was pretty lucky to get the first set, 2-5 down in the tie-break, and against Rafa, obviously it's nice to win the first set but still I had to stay super focused. 

"I had the feeling the whole match was very high-level but I'm very happy with the way I served. Most of the time I get the first serve in, I'm into the offence. When I was in difficult situations, the serve helped me out a lot." 

Thiem will be the first player to qualify for the semi-finals if Tsitsipas defeats Rublev in the late session.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal: 25/16
Thiem: 37/22

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal: 2/1
Thiem: 6/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal: 1/2
Thiem: 1/5

Dominic Thiem beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening match of the 2020 ATP Finals, clinching revenge for his defeat in the competition's final last year. 

Tsitsipas emerged victorious in three sets in the 2019 meeting and while this was a similarly well-contested match, it was Thiem who came out on top 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 this time. 

Thiem took the first set in a tiebreaker having generally looked the more threatening of the two, and although Tsitsipas fought back well in the second, the Austrian got the job done impressively to give the world number three a satisfying start that he feels could be vital. 

Speaking on court afterwards, Thiem said: "I experienced in the past four years how important it is to have a good start in this tournament, to ideally win the first match. I am very happy that I did it."

Tsitsipas was put under pressure on several occasions in the first set, forced to save three break points as he held firm to take Thiem into a tiebreak. 

He then looked in with a great chance of taking control of the match when going 4-1 up, but he lost his serve to see his lead quickly cut to 5-4, the first of four successive points rattled off by Thiem that sealed the set. 

Tsitsipas came out fighting in the second, however, taking Thiem to deuce in the latter's opening service game before then breaking at the second time of asking. That game proved decisive too, as he took the set 6-4. 

Yet any momentum from that soon vanished, Thiem quickly finding himself 3-0 up in the decider having dropped just three points as Tsitsipas' sole opportunity to break back went begging as he trailed 4-1. 

The rest of the contest went with serve, Thiem getting his campaign in Group London 2020 off to a winning start, with Rafael Nadal and Andrey Rublev the other two in the pool. 

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS  
Thiem: 37/30
Tsitsipas: 30/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS  
Thiem: 9/2
Tsitsipas: 8/1

BREAK POINTS WON  
Thiem: 1/4
Tsitsipas: 1/3

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.

Grigor Dimitrov ended third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas' Vienna Open hopes with a battling last-16 win on Thursday.

Tsitsipas, who took Novak Djokovic to five sets in the French Open semi-finals this month, had come from behind to beat Jan-Lennard Struff in his opener in Austria but was this time on the wrong end of a fightback.

The Greek edged the first set after a tie-break but failed to convert either of his break points in a 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3 reverse.

It was Dimitrov who prevailed after two hours and 14 minutes for his first top-10 win of the season, securing a quarter-final against Dan Evans.

"It's never easy to come out of a situation like that," Dimitrov said. "I was focused, but he went for it.

"In the tie-break a few close calls here and there went his way. [There was] not much else I could have done, I felt. But I kept on believing and kept on doing the right things.

"I stayed in the match, which I think was the most important thing. He's such a great competitor. You always have to be ready. I was just focusing on the most simple things of the game."

The other seeds found life a little easier on Thursday, with Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev each through to face one another.

Reigning champion Thiem brushed aside Cristian Garin in straight sets, while Rublev was granted a walkover as Jannik Sinner succumbed to a foot injury early in their meeting.

Daniil Medvedev also advanced but needed three sets after dropping the first to Vasek Pospisil.

Djokovic was not in action, meanwhile, but learned the identity of his Friday quarter-final opponent as Lorenzo Sonego reached the last eight.

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.

Dominic Thiem admitted fatigue had left him "over the limit" of his own endurance as he lost an epic French Open quarter-final to Diego Schwartzman.

The US Open champion was beaten 7-6 (7-1) 5-7 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after five hours and eight minutes of exhausting tennis on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Thiem has struggled with injury concerns and a more general physical weariness in Paris but produced a remarkable level of resistance against the inspired Schwartzman, who has reached his first grand slam semi-final.

However, after the Argentine snatched the fourth set during a fiercely fought tie-break, he assumed control of the decider to record perhaps the biggest win of his career.

Thiem accepted he was physically unable to compete in the fifth set but could not complain about the result or his performance level at Roland Garros.

"To be honest, I was over the limit today," he said. "But if I would have won, I mean, Diego in that case, he has two days off now. Maybe I would have recovered [for the semi-finals]. Even though I'm physically and mentally on the edge, you never know in a slam.

"But, well, at the end I gave everything I had out there. It was an amazing match. I think [it was] the first in my career over five hours. Diego fully deserves it.

"I was doing quite well. Also today, I still could play at quite a high level for more than five hours. But, I mean, he was keeping it up until the end. He was probably a little bit fresher than me in the fifth set, so that's why he won.

"In general, I mean, I'm not sad with my performance here in Roland Garros. I mean, it was pretty short time with the long trip home, jet lag, and everything. Then, of course, the first slam, which is a special thing. Come here, play in pretty brutal conditions, I would say. I cannot say it was a bad tournament, I'm pretty happy about it."

Schwartzman had three set points on serve in the fourth but Thiem was able to force the breaker thanks in part to an astonishing running forehand winner.

Once his opponent and good friend had levelled the contest, however, he felt the match was out of his hands.

"I came back unbelievable in the fourth set," he said. "When he served for it at 5-4, 40-Love, I played this down-the-line winner. The match was basically all the time on the edge for both
of us. Tiebreak at 5-5 he played a great point. With that in the bag, I think he had a little advantage in the fifth set.

"I think if I would have wanted to win that match, I should have done it in four. In the fifth set, he was just a little bit more fresh and better than me.

"I'm super disappointed that I lost, that I didn't make the semis this year. But at the same time I'm happy for him. He really deserves it. It's an amazing achievement by him to break into the top 10 for the first time in the career.

"Maybe to lose against a friend hurts a little bit less, yeah."

Speaking on court after his win, Schwartzman said: "Dominic is one of the best players right now in the world. We are friends. I have a lot of respect for him and that's why this match is very, very important for me.

"This is the third time I've played five sets here and I think at the end of this night I deserve to win.

"In the second set and third set I was out of my mind. I was crazy, screaming, talking to my coach. My coach was saying 'play tennis, nothing else'.

"I was so nervous because I saw a chance today and didn't take it in the second or the third. But I'm very happy."

Diego Schwartzman emerged triumphant from an extraordinary five-set French Open battle with Dominic Thiem to reach the first grand slam semi-final of his career.

After an epic, back-and-forth match lasting five hours and eight minutes, Schwartzman savoured a 7-6 (7-1) 5-7 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win - one of the most memorable victories in his career.

Schwartzman, a finalist in Rome last month, came into the match having not dropped a set in Paris, while US Open champion Thiem had been taken the distance by French youngster Hugo Gaston on Sunday.

The Argentinian drew first blood but Thiem levelled the contest and then saved a set point in the third before moving 2-1 ahead.

An early break in the fourth appeared to have Thiem on course for victory but Schwartzman was able to force a dramatic decider.

The fifth was the most one-sided set of the match, Schwartzman breaking a run of holds with a crucial break of serve in the sixth game, and victory was his when a weary Thiem netted a drop shot.

Schwartzman will face 12-time champion Rafael Nadal or Jannik Sinner, who were scheduled to play later on Tuesday.

A gruelling first set lasting over an hour was a sign of things to come.

An astonishing ninth game in the second set lasted almost 16 minutes as Thiem could not convert six break points, but he was finally able to strike in his next game returning serve and then held to take the set as Schwartzman found the net with a backhand.

The tension was palpable in an unbelievable third set that saw both players broken four times. Thiem led 5-1 and 6-4 in the breaker and could not convert his first two set points, before rallying to win two straight points and move in front, sealing it with a smash.

Another overhead saw Thiem break first in the fourth set but, just as it looked like the match had taken a decisive turn, Schwartzman struck straight back.

Schwartzman built leads of 4-2 and 5-3 but saw three set points go begging as he tried to serve it out at 5-4, Thiem sending a stunning forehand winner on the run down the line to make it 5-5.

Thiem, apparently desperate to avoid another five-setter, let rip with aggressive groundstrokes, but when the fourth set went the way of Schwartzman, the South American became favourite.

Breaking Thiem to love to lead 4-2 in that decider put Schwartzman in sight of the winning line, which he soon reached, the pair stopping to chat at the net at the end of the contest, each appreciative of the other's efforts in a remarkable battle.

Jannik Sinner became the first French Open debutant to reach the quarter-finals since Rafael Nadal in 2005, as the highly rated Italian beat Alexander Zverev to set up a clash with the 'King of Clay'.

Nadal had earlier made light work of Sebastian Korda to book his passage to the next round, dropping just four games in three sets as he comfortably dispatched his 20-year-old opponent.

The Spaniard is going for a 13th title in the French capital and, while he was clearly a cut above, Korda's 48 unforced errors certainly aided his cause on Sunday.

But the day belonged to 19-year-old Sinner, who looks destined for big things.

SINNER THROUGH BUT ZVEREV IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Sinner was in electrifying form on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, beating Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Sinner converted five of his six chances to break Zverev, who appeared curiously underwhelming on the day. He hit just 20 winners, a little over half of Sinner's 39, highlighting the gulf in decisiveness.

In claiming victory, Sinner became the youngest male player to reach a grand slam quarter-final in 14 years and he felt that, having trained with Zverev on occasion in the past, he was well prepared.

"It has been tough. We have practiced sometimes in Monaco, so we know [each other] quite well," said Sinner on court. "Today was very tough, knowing that it was going to be a long match. At the end, I am very happy about my performance."

But Zverev controversially revealed after the match that he had been suffering with a fever and that he should not have even taken to the court.

The German claimed he had tested negative for coronavirus, though he did not specify when his most recent test was.

NADAL AWARE OF HIS EXCELLENCE

As he prepares for his quarter-final with Sinner, Nadal is well aware he is in imperious form.

Korda offered little resistance on the whole as the second seed ran out a 6-1 6-1 6-2 victor against a player who idolised him growing up – so much so he even named his cat 'Rafa'.

And although the American got his claws into Nadal with a couple of early break chances, the favourite was soon purring and took just 40 minutes to take a one-set lead.

Nadal only struck nine winners over the first two sets, but Korda's error count continued to rise and give his opponent a boost.

The 19-time major champion was left feeling pretty good about his form afterwards as well.

"Well, I'm in the quarter-finals without losing a set and having very positive scores. So, I can't complain at all. So, I'm happy for that," he said.

He then went on to consider the threat posed by Sinner, adding: "He's young, he's improving every single week. So, he's playing better and better and better. It will be a big challenge. It will be the first time playing against him on the tour. I practiced with him a couple of times, he has an amazing potential, he moves the hand very quick and he's able to produce amazing shots."

THIEM FIGHTS BACK

Third seed Dominic Thiem had to dig deep to see off Hugo Gaston in five after throwing away a two-set lead against the world number 239.

Eventually Thiem progressed 6-4 6-4 5-7 3-6 6-3, emerging victorious after just over three and a half hours on court.

French wildcard Gaston received a standing ovation from his home support on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with the fans enamoured with the underdog as he pushed one last year's runner-up all the way.

Thiem acknowledged that he was fortunate to come through the test.

"I think I stayed pretty calm even though it was a tough match mentally, physically. I just read before that he played 58 drop shots. I think only three or four of them went into the net, so I made more than 50 full sprints to the net. So that was really, really tough," he said.

Up next for Thiem is a quarter-final with Diego Schwartzman, one of his closest allies on the ATP Tour, with the Argentinian seeing off Lorenzo Sonego with relative ease 6-1 6-3 6-4.

"I'm happy of course to face one of my best friends from the tour in the quarter-finals," Thiem added.

"From my perspective, it's all about recovery. I'm not running on a full tank anymore. That's for sure.  So, I try to recover as good as I can. If I'm able to do that, if somehow I don't make it until Tuesday, I think he's going to be the heavy favourite."

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