Pablo Carreno Busta headlined the casualties at the Winston-Salem Open, where the top seed was shocked in straight sets by Ilya Ivashka.

The 2016 champion, Carreno Busta had his sights set on the semi-finals of the ATP 250 tournament but he suffered a surprise 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 loss on Thursday.

"Of course it's a great feeling. I had a great match today. These conditions suit me," Ivashka said. "I think he had more pressure because he's the top seed so for me it was a good challenge to see what my level is and to compete with these guys, so for me it was a great match."

Carreno Busta – who trumped world number one and 20-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic to win bronze at the Olympic Games – was not the only seed to fall.

Richard Gasquet and Frances Tiafoe also crashed out in the quarter-finals following defeats to Emil Ruusuvuori and Mikael Ymer.

The only seed to advance to the semis was 15th seed Carlos Alcaraz, who saw off Marcos Giron.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray has bemoaned his inconsistency within matches after bowing out of the Winston-Salem Open in the second round to Frances Tiafoe on Tuesday.

The 13th seeded American triumphed in one hour and 49 minutes over the Scot, who entered the event as a wildcard and had beaten lucky loser Noah Rubin in the first round.

Tiafoe won 7-6 (7-4) 6-3, saving three set points in the first set, before winning the tiebreak and taking command in the second.

Murray sent down 10 aces across the match but struggled on his second serve and on return.

"The positive thing is that I moved well and served well but my level is up and down with no real consistency," Murray said after the match in North Carolina.

"There are moments in matches where I play well and then I make mistakes or miss returns. I wish I wasn't doing that.

"My level is around 50 or 60 in the world. It's frustrating because if wasn't moving great and not feeling good physically then I would be a bit easier on myself. But when I'm winning a low percentage of second-serve points, that's got nothing to do with the physical side of things."

Sixth seed Marin Cilic also bowed out, losing 4-6 7-5 6-4 to Belarussian Ilya Ivashka, who sent down 16-13 aces.

Fifth seed Alexander Bublik was also bundled out, going down 6-2 7-6 (7-5) to Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori.

Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta dropped a set but edged past Kwon Soon-Woo 6-3 3-6 6-4.

British third seed Dan Evans came from behind to beat Lucas Pouille, while fourth seed Marton Fucsovics won in straight sets over Yosuke Watanuki.

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas survived three-set scares at the National Bank Open on Tuesday, but five-time tournament champion Rafael Nadal departed Toronto without even taking the court. 

Top seed Medvedev, who won just three games against Nadal in the final in 2019, the last time the tournament was played, prevailed 4-6 6-3 6-4 in his opener against Alexander Bublik.

The man Nadal beat to win the title the previous year, Tsitsipas, failed to convert on five match points in an epic second-set tiebreak but recovered to down Ugo Humbert 6-3 6-7 (13-15) 6-1.

Nadal pulled out ahead of a scheduled match against Lloyd Harris, who beat him last week in Washington as the 20-time grand slam winner struggled with a foot injury. 

Countryman Feliciano Lopez replaces Nadal in the draw and will face Harris on Wednesday. 

Elsewhere Tuesday, sixth seed Casper Ruud needed more than two hours to put away Marin Cilic 6-3 3-6 6-3, while 14th seed Grigor Dimitrov suffered a quick 6-3 6-4 exit against big-serving American Reilly Opelka.

A pair of unseeded veterans advanced, with 2016 finalist Kei Nishikori a 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 winner over Miomir Kecmanovic and John Isner defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokini 6-4 6-1 in just over an hour.

Two days after appearing in his first ATP Tour final at the Citi Open, Mackenzie McDonald fell 6-3 6-4 to Benoit Paire in his Toronto opener. 

In other first-round matches, Karen Khachanov beat Cameron Norrie 6-4 5-7 6-4, Frances Tiafoe downed Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4 6-3, Dusan Lajovic handled Emil Ruusuvuori 3-6 6-3 6-3 and Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Jenson Brooksby 2-6 6-0 6-4.

Kei Nishikori was as surprised as anybody by Naomi Osaka going out of the Tokyo Olympics, but stressed it did not add to pressure on his shoulders.

Japan's two standard-setters in tennis are at opposite ends of their careers, with Nishikori seemingly in a slow decline and Osaka expected to add significantly to her four grand slams.

But the focus on the Japanese public looks set to switch to Nishikori for the rest of the tennis, after he reached the last-16 stage with a 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-1 win over American Marcos Giron on Tuesday.

Former world number four Nishikori and Ben McLachlan are through to the doubles quarter-finals too, which may be a likelier route to a medal.

Nishikori already has a bronze to his name from the 2016 Games, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the third-place match.

When asked whether he felt expectations shifting from Osaka on to his shoulders, after she lost to Marketa Vondrousova, Nishikori said: "Not really. I just need to focus on what I have to do on the court.

"It's very sad, of course, that Naomi lost and a surprise. But I knew she had a lot of pressure, this is her first time in the Olympics and I know it's not easy.

"I didn't see her match today, so I cannot say much."

Should Nishikori, now down at 69th in the rankings, beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus on Wednesday, that could set up a quarter-final against hot favourite Novak Djokovic.


REVENGE FOR VILLAGE FAN TSITSIPAS

It was a weary Stefanos Tsitsipas who was pummelled in the first round of Wimbledon by Frances Tiafoe last month. On Tuesday, a more predictable outcome manifested as Greece's great hope scored a 6-3 6-4 victory over his American opponent.

That loss in London came barely a fortnight after Tsitsipas suffered a heartbreaking loss to Djokovic in the French Open final, from two sets up, and he was succinct with his verdict about what was different this time.

"Concentration and attention levels," was the Tsitsipas assessment.

Next for him is a testing third-round tussle with French shot-maker Ugo Humbert, and Tsitsipas will want to hang around, having been charmed by the Olympic Village experience after so long in the tennis bubble.

"It's a different contrast, it's a different approach completely," Tsitsipas said. "I've made friendships, connected with some other athletes. It's nice to be able to experience something like this. I find the Olympics are really a nice sports event.

"I met a big tennis enthusiast from India. He's doing shooting and we became good friends. I met some of the other Greek athletes, table tennis players, and rowers from different countries."


BRILLIANT BROADY

Liam Broady was a late addition to the Olympics draw and is making the most of the opportunity, with the unheralded British left-hander scoring a terrific 7-5 3-6 6-3 second-round win over Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz.

Frenchman Jeremy Chardy awaits Broady after beating Russian Olympic Committee's Aslan Karatsev in three sets.

There were also wins on Tuesday for Karatsev's countryman Karen Khachanov and Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, while Wednesday's programme features the entire third-round line-up, including Djokovic's clash with Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Frances Tiafoe is confident he can cause further shocks at Wimbledon after he claimed the impressive scalp of third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening round on Monday.

Unseeded American Tiafoe ousted Tsitsipas in straight sets, winning 6-4 6-4 6-3 to make the Greek the first major casualty of the men's draw.

Tsitsipas was in action for the first time since losing the French Open final to Novak Djokovic on June 13 and struggled to cope with Tiafoe's aggressive style, suffering a break of serve in the very first game.

While that was the only break of the first set, it gave Tsitsipas a deficit he never recovered from, and he was broken again at 4-4 in the second as Tiafoe made his lead even more commanding.

Tiafoe then saw things out impressively, his 17 winners to his opponent's 10 in the third set reflecting the American's greater confidence as he made Tsitsipas the first third seed to lose in the opening round of the grass-court tournament since Andre Agassi in 1996.

 

And Tiafoe reckons there is more where that came from.

"Definitely one of my best [performances], from start to finish it was pretty clean," the 23-year-old told the BBC.

"This is what you train for this is what it's all about. I live for these kind of moments.

"I'm not even close to where I want to be. I've had a lot of great achievements but I haven't even scratched the surface I feel personally.

"Today was big, I definitely needed that, a guy at his level, that guy's special, he's going to do a lot of great things, win a ton of grand slams but not today."

Tiafoe will face Vasek Pospisil or Roberto Carballes Baena in the next round.

Matteo Berrettini continued his impressive charge at the Queen's Club Championships as he booked a place in the final against Cameron Norrie.

Top seed Berrettini, ranked nine in the world, has not dropped a set all week.

His impressive run has seen him defeat home hopes Andy Murray and Dan Evans, with one more Briton in the shape of Norrie left to see off in his bid for glory.

Berrettini ensured he will be in the final by claiming a 6-4 6-4 triumph over fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the semi-final on Saturday.

The Italian dropped just four of his 36 points on first-serve and sent down eight aces, with De Minaur only able to force one break point in the entire contest, which he did not take.

"[Making the final] was the goal of the week and now I have one more step," said Berrettini.

"It is a great achievement, especially for the history of this tournament. I am really happy because to beat Alex, I had to play my best tennis."

Berrettini has four tour titles to his name, though this would be his first at ATP 500 level or above.

Victory would also represent the biggest win of Norrie's career – he has lost each of his three previous finals, all at ATP 250 level.

Norrie impressively eliminated Denis Shapovalov to reach the showpiece, beating the Canadian 7-5 6-3.

Shapovalov had earlier finished off a 6-3 6-4 quarter-final win over Frances Tiafoe, a match that could not be completed on Friday due to fading light.

But the second seed could not muster up another victory against a fresher Norrie.

At the Halle Open, Andrey Rublev reached his eighth final since the start of 2020, though his first on a grass court.

Rublev dropped his first set of the week but ultimately prevailed with a 6-1 3-6 6-3 semi-final victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The Russian has won his last four finals at ATP 500 level and will seek a fifth on Sunday.

"It's my first final on grass and in Halle," he said. "I think I can play on every surface and I will try my best again.

"I had good opportunities to break Basilashvili in the second set, some quite easy forehands and I stressed a little showing my emotions. 

"I then came back and stayed calm, until the last game. But I won."

Rublev will take on unseeded Ugo Humbert, who held his nerve to edge a thriller against Felix Auger-Aliassime, winning 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5).

Humbert beat Alexander Zverev earlier in the week and has had to win a deciding set in all four rounds, while the beaten Auger-Aliassime had previously seen off Roger Federer as part of a dramatic event.

Frenchman Humbert won each of his first two career finals, which both took place last year in ATP 250 events.

Top seed Matteo Berrettini has his sights set on the Queen's Club Championships title after beating Dan Evans in the quarter-finals.

After a delay of more than four hours because of rain in London, Berrettini overcame Evans 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to reach his third ATP grass-court semi-final.

The Italian hit 13 aces and won 81 per cent of his first-serve points against Evans to set up a last-four clash with Alex de Minaur. 

Berrettini improved his win-loss record to 24-6 for the season and laid out his ambition to walk away from the tournament with the trophy.

"I didn't serve that well, but I was returning well and I just played better in the last few points of the tie-break," he said.

"After that, I felt more confident. The conditions were really tough, windy and cold, so I took time to adapt a little bit. I am pretty happy with my performance.

"The court condition was really good. I expected slippery conditions, but it was like yesterday.

"I came here to win the tournament, that is my goal. Now I am two steps away. I am happy with the way I am playing, and my mental attitude is really good."

Up next for Berrettini is Australian De Minaur, who came from behind to defeat Marin Cilic 3-6 6-3 6-4.

The 22-year-old won 73 per cent (22/30) of his second-serve points and saved six of the seven break points he faced as he moved to 16-12 for the season.

In the battle of the British players, Cameron Norrie beat Jack Draper 6-3 6-3, while Denis Shapovalov was leading Frances Tiafoe 6-3 when their match was suspended due to fading light. They will resume on Saturday.

At the Halle Open, Andrey Rublev reached his sixth ATP Tour semi-final of the year thanks to a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win over 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber.

"I am happy with my performance to reach the semi-finals for the first time," Rublev said. "The first set was really tough. He was 3-0 up in the tie-break and I came back, which was the key.

"After the first set, I think he mentally went down and I was pumped up. I hit a couple of good returns in the first game of the second set."

Russian Rublev will face Nikoloz Basilashvili in the last four after the Georgian defeated Lloyd Harris 6-4 7-6 (7-5). 

In the day's other quarter-finals, Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Marcos Giron 6-3 6-2 and Ugo Humbert overcame Sebastian Korda 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-4.

Russian star Daniil Medvedev overcame painful cramps and Alexei Popyrin to battle his way into the Miami Open round of 16.

Medvedev looked in all sorts of trouble against the Australian, but the world number two and top seed survived at the ATP 1000 tournament on Sunday.

Canadian sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime was sent packing by former champion John Isner in Miami.

 

MEDVEDEV ADVANCES… SOMEHOW

Australian Open and US Open runner-up Medvedev could barely walk during his gruelling three-set win against Popyrin.

Medvedev let three match points slip away in the second set, having led 5-2, before cramp set in.

In humid conditions, Medvedev was forced to rely on his serve as he limped around the court.

"Winning a Grand Slam final in straight sets doesn't feel the way I felt after the match point today," he said. "A match to remember for sure."

"I felt like my legs were not following me anymore," Medvedev said. "The only thing I was thinking about is not to fall down, because if you fall down, I don't think I would be able to get up. There were a few moments I just wanted to lay down and say, 'OK, it's over.' That's the thing I couldn't accept myself to do."

Awaiting Medvedev is Frances Tiafoe after he outlasted 16th seed Dusan Lajovic 1-6 7-5 6-3.

 

AUGER-ALIASSIME TOPPLED

A new year, but same result for 11th seed Auger-Aliassime, who was beaten 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) by Isner.

Isner defeated Auger-Aliassime en route to the championship match in Miami two years ago and the big-serving American repeated the feat.

The only former Miami champion in this year's field, Isner remains unbeaten in tie-breaks at Hard Rock Stadium, winning all 11 since the tournament relocated in 2019.

"It was a big test for me. There's probably not many places in the world where I like my chances against Felix," Isner said. "I'm kind of lucky to play him here in Miami, where I like it a lot. If I were to play him on clay somewhere in Europe, it'd probably be a different story."

Next up is seventh seed Roberto Bautista-Agut, who beat Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Elsewhere, Jannik Sinner, Taylor Fritz, Emil Ruusuvuori and Alexander Bublik also advanced.

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and fellow star Alexander Zverev progressed to the Mexican Open quarter-finals on Wednesday, but Milos Raonic bowed out.

Tsitsipas was too good for big-serving American John Isner in a 6-3 6-2 victory in Acapulco midweek.

A two-time Australian Open finalist, having also reached the French Open final four last year, Tsitsipas excelled on serve against Isner.

Greek star Tsitsipas only dropped one point on his first serve – not facing a break point throughout the last-16 contest – while firing down eight aces.

Standing in the way of Tsitsipas and a semi-final spot at the ATP 500 tournament is Canadian sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime.

In a battle of the NextGen, seventh seed Auger-Aliassime saved four of five break points in a 6-3 6-4 win over wild card Sebastian Korda.

Zverev will feature in his third Mexican Open quarter-final in four years after the second seed took down Laslo Djere 6-4 6-3.

Runner-up in 2019, Zverev will next face eighth seed Casper Ruud – who topped Tallon Griekspoor 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in the quarters.

"I think today what showed the most is that I got better with the match," Zverev said. "I started off extremely sloppy, started off with a lot of unforced errors.

"The longer the match went on the better I started playing and this is something that is very important for me. When I get into a rhythm I feel very comfortable on court and that's how I felt today."

Elsewhere, Lorenzo Musetti's giant-slaying run continued following a 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7-1) victory against Frances Tiafoe.

Musetti earned his first ATP 500 quarter-final as the Italian prepares to meet fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov, who eased past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 6-2.

There was an upset after fourth seed Raonic crashed out 6-4 6-2 at the hands of Dominik Koepfer, while sixth seed Fabio Fognini lost 6-4 6-3 against Cameron Norrie.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic survived a stern test after prevailing 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 against Frances Tiafoe en route to the Australian Open third round.

Tiafoe threatened an upset in warm and sunny conditions at Melbourne Park, where world number one Djokovic was pushed to the limit on Wednesday.

But Djokovic dug deep to prevail in a hard-fought battle, keeping his bid alive for a record-extending ninth Australian Open crown and an 18th grand slam title.

Djokovic had only ever lost in the second round of the Australian Open on one previous occasion - in 2017, when he was upstaged by wildcard Denis Istomin in his earliest Melbourne Park exit since the opening round in 2006.

But Djokovic controlled proceedings initially, despite a blip in the first set against Tiafoe, who enjoyed his best run in Melbourne after reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals two years ago.

After racing out to a 4-1 lead, Djokovic was broken to love in the seventh game as Tiafoe reeled off back-to-back games, only to break back immediately - letting out a thunderous roar before closing out the first set in just over half-an-hour.

Not overawed, Tiafoe refused to go away, rallying from love-40 down and saving three break points in a marathon third game lasting almost eight minutes.

It set the tone for a tense second set as Tiafoe - who saw his winner count rise from five in the opening set to 17 - won a tie-breaker.

Djokovic owned a 15-4 record when splitting the opening two sets at the Australian Open, and 68-16 across majors, and he managed to claim an early break that he consolidated for a 3-0 lead to start the third set.

Tiafoe saved two set points when down 5-4 and he continued to frustrate Djokovic en route to another tie-break, but the latter prevailed, albeit unconvincingly.

The fourth set followed a similar theme until Tiafoe came unstuck at 4-3, Djokovic performing when it mattered most as he secured his passage on the back of a double-fault.


Data Slam: Djokovic dazzles from the service line

The Serbian star was always going to be hard to beat behind a strong serving display. Djokovic fired down 26 aces and won 84 per cent of his first serves, having served sat 62 per cent through the contest.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 56/37
Tiafoe – 49/43

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 26/5
Tiafoe – 23/8

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 5/14
Tiafoe – 2/3

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