Team Europe are on track for their fourth consecutive Laver Cup triumph after earning an early 3-1 lead against Team World.

Opening-day honours went to Bjorn Borg's Team Europe at TD Garden in Boston, where the defending champions moved into the box seat thanks to wins for Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud in the singles on Friday.

John Isner and Denis Shapovalov managed to get Team World on the board in the evening's final doubles match against Alexander Zverev and Berrettini 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 10-1.

Roger Federer and Rod Laver were in the crowd as Team Europe – headlined by newly crowned US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and consisting of six of the world's top 10 – made a strong start courtesy of Norwegian Ruud, who overcame Reilly Opelka 6-3 7-6 (7-4), improving his career record to 3-0 against the towering American, and beating him in straight sets for the first time.

Italian star Berrettini then overcame Team World's Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 10-8 in the competition's longest match at two hours, 52 minutes.

Berrettini escaped with the second set after facing two break points in the penultimate game before prevailing against the Canadian in a thrilling match tie-break.

"One of the best matches bar none that I've ever seen played, absolutely just enthralling," said captain John McEnroe, whose Team World are eyeing their first Laver Cup trophy.

Rublev rallied past Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, who won the opening set and led 6-2 and 8-5 in the match tie-break before losing 4-6 6-3 11-9.

"Today we are a bit more lucky; Matteo won a tough match against Felix in a super tiebreak, now you saw my match," said Russian star Rublev.

"It was so close; Diego was leading all the super tiebreak, but in the end I find a way to win.

"This happens. This is tennis, this is sport. It’s emotions. Someone has to win, someone has to lose."

On day two, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Zverev headline the day session against Team World's Nick Kyrgios and Isner.

In the evening, Medvedev will meet Shapovalov before Rublev and Tsitsipas team up for a doubles battle with Kyrgios and Isner.

The first time Daniil Medvedev made the US Open final, in 2019, he was just happy to be there, having made his deepest run at a grand slam. 

The Russian will enter Sunday's final at Flushing Meadows with a different mindset after breezing past Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 7-5 6-2 in the semi-finals. 

After falling to Rafael Nadal in five sets two years ago in New York and losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final earlier this year, Medvedev is ready for a grand slam title of his own. 

"The more you lose something, the more you want to win it," Medvedev said after his semi-final win Friday. 

"I lost two finals. I want to win the third one. That's tennis, we have two players, only one going to win. You never know what's going to happen, but I'm going to try more than I did the first two times."

Medvedev has rolled through the draw, dropping only one set on the way to the final – the third to Botic van de Zandschulp in the quarter-finals. 

The world number two hopes the fact that he has not faced any marathon matches during his run to the final will help him Sunday. 

"There were some tight moments. There were some tight battles," he said. "Against Botic I won 7-5 in the fourth, which is not that much of a margin.

"It's never easy, but I'm happy that I managed to save a lot of physical abilities, physical power, and mental power.

"For sure, I mean, I don't think anybody is capable of winning a slam after playing, let's say, first three rounds five sets. I doubt this ever happened. So this is important.

"I'm really happy I managed to make it kind of fast."

Friday's match was no different, as Medvedev's only difficulty came when he fell behind 5-2 in the second set. 

But Auger-Aliassime could not finish the job, with Medvedev reeling off five successive games to end the threat before closing out the Canadian with ease in the third. 

"Many times you're going to lose a break against such an opponent as Felix, he had set points on his serve, you're going to lose a set," Medvedev said. "We can never know now how the match would go. Could be completely different story, being one set all, would be the first time for me in the tournament.

"I'm happy I managed to save this game, doing one great point and second one making him play the volley. Then it turned the match around. I think he started doubting.

"For sure it stayed in his mind, this game, so he started missing. I started putting more pressure. The match turned around. That was the key point."

Daniil Medvedev flicked away the threat of Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach his third grand slam final and second US Open title match.

The Russian was briefly in trouble in the second set, when Auger-Aliassime could not serve it out after establishing a 5-2 lead, but he was otherwise in charge as he nailed a 6-4 7-5 6-2 semi-final win.

It means the man who was beaten by Rafael Nadal in a mesmerising 2019 Flushing Meadows final will be back on Sunday to go after a first title at the majors.

World number two Medvedev looked in good shape here, and it was always going to take a major effort for 12th-seeded Canadian Auger-Aliassime to test him.

That test arrived when Auger-Aliassime led by a break in the second set but could not finish the job.

Medvedev soon levelled the set at 5-5 and Auger-Aliassime coughed up an ugly double fault to give him a look at 0-30 in the next game, before fluffing a volley to present the Russian with three game points.

A forehand into the net moved Medvedev into a 6-5 lead, serving for a two-set cushion, and a fuss-free game moved the Moscow-born 25-year-old one step away from the final.

Auger-Aliassime was looking to follow his fellow Canadian Leylah Fernandez into a US Open final this weekend, yet the failure to seize that one big chance was his undoing.

Playing ahead of the second semi-final between calendar Grand Slam-hunting Novak Djokovic and Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, it was plain sailing in the third set for Medvedev.

He struck a startling forehand winner around the net post late in the contest, demonstrating the sort of class to test the best.

Medvedev described the clash as "a strange match", saying in an on-court interview: "I think everybody thought it was going to be one set all, and you never know where the match is going to go.

"I managed to save the set points: he missed one volley and I won one good point, and the match turned around completely. I don't think I played my best today, but I'm really happy to be in the final."

He quite reasonably described his five-set thriller against Nadal two years ago as "a crazy match".

"If it's going to be a crazy match on Sunday, I just hope I can win this time," he added.


DATA SLAM

Medvedev won a terrific 81 per cent of points when landing his first serve in court, which is match-winning tennis and the sort of form he may need in the final. A three-set drubbing by Djokovic in the Australian Open final at the start of this year was an anti-climax given the match promised so much, and Medvedev won just 69 per cent on first serve in that one-sided match. All the ratios looked good for Medvedev in this match, but he will know the final is a step up. He looks destined to win multiple grand slams, but getting the first one is often the toughest.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Medvedev – 37/25
Auger-Aliassime – 17/39

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Medvedev – 12/4
Auger-Aliassime – 4/10

BREAK POINTS WON

Medvedev – 5/5
Auger-Aliassime – 1/3

Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime feels "ready to attack the biggest stages" of tennis after becoming the first male player born in the 2000s to reach a major semi-final.

Auger-Aliassime advanced to face second seed Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals on Friday after a 6-3 3-1 walkover win over Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz who succumbed to an upper right leg injury after back-to-back five-set wins.

The 21-year-old Canadian, whose previous best performance at a major was reaching this year's Wimbledon quarter-finals, has defeated Alcaraz, Francis Tiafoe and 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut on his way to the last four.

Prior to this year's Wimbledon, Auger-Aliassime had never gone beyond the fourth round at a major.

"There's one part, I'm feeling more and more confident playing in these big stages," he told ESPN. "It doesn’t get much bigger than this. When you get comfortable on this court [Arthur Ashe Stadium], everything else is a bit lower.

"I've tried to switch my mentality over the past year to try to be more consistent with my focus, my confidence and my inner self belief. I feel I've grown a lot as a person and a player and now I feel like I'm ready to attack the biggest stages of our sport."

Auger-Aliassime labelled the career milestone as "amazing", albeit coming with a "weird ending" as Alcaraz retired without any major signs of injury beforehand.

The Canadian will take on 2021 Australian Open runner-up Medvedev, who defeated Auger-Aliassime in their only previous meeting in 2018.

"He's one of the best players, he's the most solid on hard courts probably right now with [Alexander] Zverev and Novak [Djokovic]," Auger-Aliassime said during his on-court post-match interview.

"I'm going to have to play my best tennis, try to mix things up, maybe come in a lot, try to see what I can do to disturb him."

Auger-Aliassime's triumph also means two Canadians have reached the men's and women's semi-finals at the same major for only the second time, following Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon in 2014.

He joins Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez who defeated fifth Elina Svitolina in three sets to continue her dream run at the US Open reaching the last four.

"It's fantastic. She's amazing," Auger-Aliassime said about 19-year-old Fernandez. "I watched her match again today, I really hope the best for her.

"She's a great person, she's got great heart. I'm really happy all her hard work is paying off. I hope we keep going."

Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime has progressed to his first-ever major semi-final after Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz's shock withdrawal in the second set of their US Open quarter-final.

Alcaraz, who had won back-to-back five-setters to reach the last eight, retired 68 minutes into Tuesday's quarter-final trailing 6-3 3-1.

The result means Auger-Aliassime, who has never won an ATP Tour title, will take on second seed Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals on Friday.

The Spanish 18-year-old was attended to by a physiotherapist 2-1 down in the second set and was seen pointing to his upper right leg without receiving any discernible treatment.

Alcaraz had not shown any major signs of injury prior to that yet withdrew following the completion of the next game with the Canadian in control.

Beyond the unusual circumstances, the victory marks a major milestone for 21-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who joins countrywoman Leylah Fernandez in reaching this year's US Open semi-finals.

This marks the second time that two Canadians have reached the semis in the same grand slam, joining Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon in 2014.

Auger-Aliassime, whose best previous major result was reaching this year's Wimbledon quarter-finals, was strong on his first serve early, delivering 6-1 aces in the first set.

Leading 3-2, the Canadian broke Alcaraz at the third attempt, before both players held to give Auger-Aliassime the chance to serve for the set at 5-3.

In a dramatic game, Auger-Aliassime offered up three break points trailing 0-40, only to rally and win the game to close out the set in 44 minutes, aided by 12 winners.

The 21-year-old broke Alcaraz in the first game of the second set, before Alcaraz's premature retirement, handing the Canadian victory.

Data Slam: First of a new men's generation

Auger-Aliassime becomes the first male born in the 2000s to reach a Grand Slam semi-final, marking a new generation in men's tennis.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Auger-Aliassime – 15/16

Alcaraz – 9/16

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Auger-Aliassime – 8/4

Alcaraz – 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Auger-Aliassime – 2/7

Alcaraz – 0/3

Carlos Alcaraz's fairytale run to the quarter-finals at the US Open is a dream come true for the Spanish teenager.

Alcaraz became the youngest men's US Open quarter-finalist in the Open Era when he ousted Peter Gojowczyk 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 6-0 on Sunday.

The 18-year-old, who became the youngest man to defeat a top-three player at Flushing Meadows when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas last week, is also the most junior male player at the New York grand slam since Thomaz Koch in 1963.

Similarly, Sunday's triumph made him the youngest men's singles quarter-finalist at any grand slam since Michael Chang (18) made the last eight at the 1990 French Open.

Alcaraz will now face another rising star – Felix Auger-Aliassime – for a place in the semi-finals.

"I'm super excited to be in my first second week in the grand slam, so it's amazing for me. It's a dream come true," an ecstatic Alcaraz told reporters.

"It's really tough to play these kinds of matches, to play fifth sets. I hope to play [in] more second weeks, to play more quarter-finals of grand slams.

"I didn't expect to play in the quarter-finals here, so I think it's a really good performance from me in these matches."

Dubbed as the heir to Rafael Nadal's thrown, Alcaraz has certainly had the crowd on his side during his run.

"In the first sets I thought that I reached my limit, physically and mentally. I think the crowd was really, really important for me in this situation," Alcaraz added.

"I felt the energy of the crowd pushing me up. I think without the crowd, it couldn't be possible to be here."

Alcaraz faces a stern test in the form of world number 15 Auger-Aliassime, who has reached his second straight grand slam quarter-final.

However, the 21-year-old Canadian – who is aiming to secure a maiden appearance in the last four of a major – knows the quality Alcaraz possesses.

"He's a great player. At some point age is just a number. He already feels like a player who's established," Auger-Aliassime said of Alcaraz.

"He's playing some amazing tennis, so I think we’ll see a lot of him, a lot of us, a lot of Frances [Tiafoe] in the future."

Men's tennis would be a safe environment for any gay player ready to announce their sexuality, three of the brightest young talents in the game have said.

Speaking on the US Open's first Pride Day, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Felix Auger-Aliassime said players should not fear coming out.

A number of the best-known women's players of all time have been lesbian, including Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Amelie Mauresmo.

However, there have been few modern-era 'out' gay stars on the men's ATP Tour, with Navratilova having said in the past that those that exist have been "so far in the closet I don't know who they are".

Russian world number two Medvedev said: "From my side, I think everybody would be super open if somebody would come out on the ATP Tour.

"The other question is: are there any gays on the ATP Tour? Again, until somebody comes out, you cannot know unless you're his best friend and you know what he goes through.

"I think it's great from the US Open, this initiative. I think the ATP honestly is doing a good job, also especially internally trying to provide info and to just make sure that if anybody wants to come out, he's gonna feel safe and secure.

"All the players would be happy for the guy if he does it."

 

Canadian rising star Auger-Aliassime, who like Medvedev and Tsitsipas has reached round three at Flushing Meadows, explained it was important for the tour to let players be themselves.

On the women's tour, Belgian players Alison van Uytvanck and Greet Minnen are engaged, while there are a number of other players from the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) community.

But the men's tour in recent years has seen no such prominently out players, which world number 15 Auger-Aliassime finds surprising, given the high number of professionals.

"Recently I've started doing a survey inside the ATP about the LGBTQ+ community," Auger-Aliassime said.

"It's important these days to be aware of that and to be open-minded and the ATP needs to do that, in today's time it's needed.

"The reason we don't have openly gay players on the ATP Tour, I'm not sure of the reason, but I feel me, as a player, it would be very open, very welcome. Statistically there should be some, but for now there's not."

Tsitsipas was asked whether the tour would be a "safe space" now, for any player considering coming out.

"I think so. They would be supported, for sure," said the Greek world number three, speaking on Wednesday's Pride Day in New York.

"I don't know how it is in other sports. I see no reason, for example, a tour like the ATP not to accept something like this."

Nick Kyrgios, John Isner and Reilly Opelka have been named by Team World captain John McEnroe as his final three picks for the Laver Cup.

The trio join Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Diego Schwartzman for the team event which runs from September 24-26 at TD Garden in Boston.

Laver Cup newcomer Opelka rose to a career-high world number 23 ranking en route to his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Toronto and defeated world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will play for Bjorn Borg's Team Europe.

Isner, who has featured for Team World since the inaugural event in 2017, reached the semi-finals in Toronto and claimed his 16th ATP Tour title in Atlanta at the start of August.

He described the Laver Cup as "a highlight of my year", adding: "To be on a team with guys we're normally competing against is so different and so much fun. We come together so well as a group, the chemistry is awesome and it's such a great environment to be part of."

Australian firebrand Kyrgios is a striking inclusion in Team World's roster, while Team Europe will be without their big three: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Federer and Dominic Thiem were expected to take part in this year's event, though both were forced to withdraw with injuries.

However, Borg's men still boast six of the world's top 11. World number two Daniil Medvedev leads the line-up, with Tsitsipas and Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Alexander Zverev for company.

Casper Ruud, who collected a 14th win in his last 15 completed matches on tour when he beat Opelka on Wednesday, will feature, while Andrey Rublev and Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini complete the six-man team.

Team Europe have landed the title in each of the three editions of the tournament so far, with Prague, Chicago and Geneva having served as hosts.

Andy Murray looked sharp in his first singles match since Wimbledon, rolling to a straight-sets win over Richard Gasquet at the Western and Southern Open. 

Murray defeated the veteran Frenchman 6-4 6-4 on a rainy opening day in Cincinnati, capitalising on a strong service game to advance. 

Murray had 14 aces to just two double faults and won 81 per cent of points on his first serve while saving four of the five break points he faced. 

A two-time champion at the ATP 1000 event, he will face the winner of Tuesday's match between Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz in the second round. 

Two players who shared a birthday Monday also prevailed on their big day. 

On the day he turned 20, 11th seed Jannik Sinner defeated Federico Delbonis 6-2 7-5, while 10th seed Diego Schwartzman had to work a bit harder on his 28th birthday to down Daneil Evans 6-2 4-6 6-3. 

Elsewhere, 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (7-0) 6-3, while 14th seed Alex de Minaur rallied to down Filip Krajinovic 0-6 6-4 6-4. 

Fifteenth seed David Goffin fell 6-3 6-3 to Guido Pella in the only seeded upset of the day. 

Other winners Monday included Karen Khachanov, Fabio Fognini, Lloyd Harris, Dominik Koepfer, Benoit Paire, Albert Ramos Vinolas and Mackenzie McDonald. 

Among those set to play their opening matches Tuesday are third seed Alexander Zverev, who will face Harris, and sixth seed Denis Shapovalov, who plays Paire. 

Canadian fifth seed Denis Shapovalov was a major casualty in the second round of the National Bank Open in Toronto after a straight-sets defeat to Francis Tiafoe.

Unseeded American Tiafoe swept aside the local 6-1 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes to secure his third-round spot against 11th seed Gael Monfils who beat John Millman 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Tiafoe was only in the Toronto main draw as a lucky loser after being defeated in qualifying by Emil Ruusuvuori but he hit 14 winners in an emphatic display.

World number 10 Shapovalov was unable to generate any break points while Tiafoe reeled off five games in a row, with two breaks, to win the first set.

The Canadian continued to struggle with his serve in windy conditions, as the American world number 52 won 88 per cent (23/26) of points on his first serve.

Another local hope, ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, also was eliminated, going down 7-5 6-4 to Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

The Canadian hit six aces to Lajovic's none, but was undone by unforced errors at key times, with a double fault gifting the Serbian a 6-5 lead in the opening set.

Australian 12th seed Alex de Minaur also bowed out after a one-sided 6-1 6-1 defeat to Georgian world number 42 Nicolas Basilashvili.

Basilashvili sent down 6-2 aces and converted five of his six break points generated in an impressive display.

Australian qualifier Jack Duckworth booked a third-round ticket against top seed Daniil Medvedev after upsetting 16th seed Jannik Sinner, who won last week's Citi Open.

Fourth seed Andrey Rublev won through with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory over Fabio Fognini, while seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz progressed with a walkover after Kei Nishikori retired with a shoulder injury.

Eighth seed Diego Schwartzman beat Benoit Paire 7-5 6-1, while 10th seed Roberto Bautista Agut handled Tommy Paul 6-3 6-4.

John Isner knocked out 13th seed Cristian Garin in three sets, while Lloyd Harris beat Feliciano Lopez in two and Karen Khachanov defeated compatriot Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 to secure a third-round meeting with third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas pledged to help those affected by the fires in his homeland in his post-match press conference on Tuesday.

“My heart is with all the people of Greece,” Tsitsipas said. “I come from the south suburbs of Athens. When I was there a few days ago, I could see the fires from the south. Huge, giant clouds, smoke, which you could see from far, far away. It wasn't very nice. Even at the beach that day when I went to swim, you could see all the debris from the smoke and from the fires in the sea.”

This time, Rafael Nadal could not summon the third-set magic he needed.

Coming off an epic three-hour duel Wednesday in his first match since the French Open final, Nadal fell to Lloyd Harris 6-4 1-6 6-4 on Thursday at the Citi Open. 

After a short-lived maiden appearance at the Washington, D.C. tournament, the Spaniard will look ahead to Toronto and Cincinnati as he continues his preparations for the U.S. Open. 

Harris, meanwhile, heads to a quarter-final matchup against veteran Kei Nishikori after recording the biggest win of his career. 

Facing Nadal for the first time, the 24-year-old South African slammed 16 aces Thursday and saved four of six break points. 

The 20-time grand slam winner, who battled a foot injury to outlast Jack Sock in his first match, did not have enough to answer the world number 50 on Thursday.

In addition to the top-seeded Nadal's defeat, second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime also went down Thursday, falling 6-3 6-4 to American wild card Jenson Brooksby. 

With their exits, the tournament is now without its top four seeds. 

That leaves fifth seed Jannik Sinner as the top player remaining after he defeated Sebastian Korda 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3). 

Nishikori advanced by downing seventh seed Cameron Norrie 3-6 6-3 6-3, while John Millman knocked out eighth seed Reilly Opelka 6-3 7-6 (7-4). 

Among unseeded players, Denis Kudla defeated the red-hot Brandon Nakashima 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4, while Steve Johnston eased past Ricardas Berankis 6-2 6-1 and Mackenzie McDonald beat Illya Ivashka 6-4 6-4. 

In addition to Harris-Nishikori, Kudla will face McDonald in the other quarter-final in the top half of the draw, while Sinner meets Johnson and Millman takes on Brooksby in the bottom half. 

Second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime survived after an early scare against Andreas Seppi to progress to the third round at the Citi Open in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

The Canadian world number 15 won 2-6 6-2 6-2 in just under two hours over the 37-year-old Italian.

Seppi had beaten Auger-Aliassime in the opening round at the French Open in June.

Auger-Aliassime this time hit 25 winners, including nine aces, overcoming a slow start where he was broken twice inside the opening six games to win in three sets.

Youngster Jenson Brooksby continued his bright start in Washington D.C. with a 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 win over fellow American Francis Tiafoe.

Australian Nick Kyrgios was bundled out by Mackenzie McDonald 6-4 6-4, while 12th seed Sebastian Korda eased past Vasek Pospisil 7-5 6-4 in the second round.

Seventh seed Cameron Norrie also triumphed in straight sets over Marcos Giron 6-4 6-3, while emerging star Brandon Nakashima celebrated his 20th birthday with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Alexei Popyrin.

Denis Kudla beat Feliciano Lopez to set up a second round date with 10th seed Taylor Fritz, while Tennys Sandgren will meet 14th seed Lloyd Harris after beating James Duckworth in three sets.

Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori beat India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran 2-6 6-1 6-1 and will take on fifth seed Jannik Sinner in the second round.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is taking inspiration from the grandfather he has never met after battling through to round two of the men's singles at Tokyo 2020.

Alexander Zverev had an altogether more comfortable progression at Ariake Tennis Park, while home favourite Kei Nishikori earned an impressive upset win.

Felix Auger-Aliassime was unable to make the most of two-time defending champion Andy Murray's withdrawal, but it was a good day for Hubert Hurkacz. 

Here's the pick of the action from day two of the men's singles.

 

TSITSIPAS OUT TO EMULATE GRANDFATHER

Greek ace Tsitsipas, a French Open finalist this year, had to dig deep for a three-set win over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Should he manage to win gold in the Japanese capital he would be matching the feat of his grandfather, who won the football competition representing the Soviet Union in 1956.

"I've never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it," he said. "He kind of inspires me in a way. I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I'm proud of him. 

"It's something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I'm happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics."

ZVEREV LOVING OLYMPICS EXPERIENCE

Fourth seed Zverev coasted past Lu Yen-hsun 6-1 6-3 and spoke of how much he is enjoying being around other German athletes.

"Normally you don't have those guys around that much, you have your friends, of course you have people that are around you, but you don't sleep in the same room as them," he said.

"Yes it is very different but in a way very enjoyable. The Olympics are once every four years, and it’s five years now, so I think everybody is enjoying it and everyone is having the best time that they can."

Nishikori is playing at a fourth Olympics and upset fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-4. For the 31-year-old the motivation is simple.

"It's [playing in Japan] something I always dreamed of when I was little," he said. 

"Especially now, with the Covid situation, if I can win as many as I can, I think it will bring better news, that's something I'm trying to do this week."

AUGER-ALIASSIME FAILS TO MAKE MOST OF MURRAY ABSENCE

Auger-Aliassime was scheduled to face Murray before the Team GB star pulled out with a quad issue and will instead focus on doubles.

The Canadian was felled by Murray's replacement Max Purcell, though, the Australian winning 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Fellow seed Gael Monfils also crashed out but Hurkacz was a 6-2 6-4 victor over Luke Saville, while Diego Schwartzman also made it through.

Matteo Berrettini kept his momentum going with victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime in four sets to reach the Wimbledon 2021 semi-finals.

Champion at Queen's last month, Berrettini dropped just his second set of the tournament at SW19 but saw off Auger-Aliassime 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-3 in just over three hours.

The seventh seed hit 33 winners against Auger-Aliassime to set up a showdown with Hubert Hurkacz, who ended Roger Federer's quest for a ninth title earlier on Wednesday.

Berrettini promptly moved into a double-break lead but he then squandered four set points at 5-2 and allowed Auger-Aliassime to get back into it.

The Italian put things right in the next game even if he ultimately had to wait until his seventh set point, breaking for the third time in the set to move ahead.

Auger-Aliassime hit back with a break in the third game of the second, Berrettini finding the net after a double fault had given the Canadian an opportunity.

But a double fault of Auger-Aliassime's own allowed Berrettini to level matters at 3-3 and he soon forced three break points that would have allowed him to seize full control.

However, the younger man showed impressive character to save them and later broke again himself at 5-5 before holding to level the match.

The third set went the way of the serve until the 12th game when Berrettini earned a crucial break to move within a set of a showdown with Federer's conqueror Hurkacz.

And the world number nine did not look back as he got off to a flying start to the fourth set by breaking his nervy opponent in the second game.

Auger-Aliassime, who at 20 was bidding to become the youngest male to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since Djokovic in 2007, failed to hit back and big-serving Berrettini saw the job through to advance.

 

 

Data Slam: History-making Berrettini marches on

Berrettini showed more consistency than Auger-Aliassime, who was competing in his first major quarter-final, and with this victory becomes the first Italian to reach a Wimbledon semi-final in the Open Era. 

The Italian has a 23-5 tour-level record on grass and, after winning his first ATP 250-level title at Queen's last month, he will now fancy his chances of overcoming Hurkacz for a place in the final.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Berrettini – 33/45
Auger-Aliassime – 24/41

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Berrettini – 12/3
Auger-Aliassime – 13/6

BREAK POINTS WON
Berrettini – 6/14 
Auger-Aliassime – 3/12

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