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

Frances Tiafoe shrugged off his first-round loss at the Sardegna Open with a successful hard-court return, beating sixth seed Dusan Lajovic at the European Open.

The American had lost to Corentin Moutet on the clay in Italy but was back to form in Antwerp in only his second meeting with the Serbian.

Lajovic won their previous encounter at Indian Wells in 2017 but Tiafoe saved two set points in the second set to prevail 6-3 7-6 (8-6) and progress to the second round.

Tiafoe was not the only player to knock out a seed on the ATP Tour on Monday, as his compatriot Steve Johnson claimed victory over Marin Cilic at the Cologne Championships.

Johnson spurned four set points as the opener was sent to a tie-break. However, he prevailed in the shoot-out and then broke the ninth seed to love in the first game of the second.

Cilic never threatened to break back as the 2014 US Open champion slipped to a surprise defeat.

Daniil Medvedev rolled into the US Open fourth round and he was joined by Dominic Thiem on Saturday.

Russian third seed Medvedev – last year's runner-up – eased past J.J. Wolf in straight sets at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Thiem, who is seeded second for this year's grand slam, ousted 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic.

As for exciting 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, he completed Canadian history.

 

MEDVEDEV CRUISES INTO LAST 16

The Russian produced another dominant performance, beating Wolf 6-3 6-3 6-2 in one hour, 48 minutes.

Medvedev has not lost more than four games in a set through three matches, breaking seven times against his American opponent.

"It's good that I managed to win in three sets and I didn't even have to play [to] 7-5 because six months of not playing tennis, it's not easy to recover from playing five or four-set matches," Medvedev said. "With a day off and just a three-setter to play, I'm feeling good." 

Next up for Medvedev is 2019 Australian Open quarter-finalist Frances Tiafoe, who reached the US Open fourth round for the first time after taking down Marton Fucsovics 6-2 6-3 6-2.

 

 

THIEM OUSTS CILIC

Cilic put up a fight but three-time slam finalist Thiem was too good in a 6-2 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory in the night session.

Thiem hit 38 winners as he moved through to the second week of the US Open for the fifth time in seven appearances.

"I'm not 100 per cent yet. I still have to raise my level if I want to go deeper," Thiem said after two hours, 27 minutes on court. "I'm normally capable of doing this in the Slams [and] hopefully here as well."

 

OH CANADA!

Thiem will meet Auger-Aliassime in the round of 16 after the Canadian sensation dispatched Corentin Moutet 6-1 6-0 6-4.

Two days after eliminating 2012 winner Andy Murray, Auger-Aliassime impressed again as he joined countrymen Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil in the fourth round – the first time three Canadian players have reached the second week.

The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime also became the first player born in the 2000s to advance to a grand slam fourth round.

Last year's semi-finalist and sixth seed Matteo Berrettini, 10th seed Andrey Rublev and 21st seed Alex de Minaur also progressed.

Frances Tiafoe has withdrawn from the All-American Team Cup exhibition event in Atlanta after testing positive for coronavirus.

Tiafoe announced he had contracted COVID-19 on Saturday, having played in Friday's opening session, beating Sam Querrey in straight sets.

The 22-year-old American and world number 81 has been replaced by Christopher Eubanks.

"Unfortunately, I tested positive late Friday for Covid-19 and have to withdraw from the All-American Team Cup special event in Atlanta this weekend," Tiafoe wrote via Twitter.

"Over the past two months, I have been training in Florida and tested negative there as recently as a week ago.

"I am scheduled to have a second test early next week, but have already begun the quarantine protocol as advised by the medical staff here in Atlanta.

"While I've been so excited to get back out there, the health and safety of everyone continues to be a top priority."

The tournament said in a statement: "Frances Tiafoe has tested positive for the coronavirus. Like all the players, Tiafoe was tested prior to or upon arrival in Atlanta and has passed daily temperature tests.

"Following his match, he was showing symptoms and was retested and tested positive. Tiafoe has left the event site and will not participate in the remainder of the event. Upon learning this information, we immediately began deep cleaning and sanitising the event site, and enacted protocols in place for contact tracing and alerting individuals who may have been exposed.

"The health and safety of our event participants, staff and attendees are a top priority, and we will continue to diligently enforce all guidelines from local health officials."

The ATP Tour season is scheduled to restart in August, having been suspended in March due to COVID-19.

Top seed Dominic Thiem trails by a set and a break in his quarter-final against qualifier Gianluca Mager after the Rio Open was washed out for the day.

Rain wreaked havoc in Rio, where only two quarter-final matches were completed at the ATP 500 tournament on Friday.

Thiem's back is against the wall, with the Australian Open runner-up and world number four down 7-6 (7-5) 2-1 against Mager – who is featuring in his first ATP Tour quarter-final.

Lucky loser Attila Balazs and qualifier Pedro Martinez were also playing when the rain returned in Brazil, with the latter leading 6-2 2-2.

Cristian Garin managed to win through to the semi-finals after the third seed claimed his seventh successive victory by rallying past Federico Coria 2-6 6-3 7-5.

Next up for Garin is fifth seed Borna Coric, who defeated Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 on the Brazilian clay.

At the Delray Beach Open, second seed Milos Raonic and fellow big server Reilly Opelka will meet in the semi-finals.

Raonic beat Steve Johnson 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 and 2019 New York Open champion Opelka took down Kwon Soon-woo 6-3 6-4 at the ATP 250 event.

"It's going to be tough. He gets a lot of free points on his serve and you've got to make him play," Raonic said.

"You can't just make him play though because he goes for it from the centre of the court. You've got to move in, you've got to find a way to be aggressive."

Elsewhere, Yoshihito Nishioka overcame teenager Brandon Nakashima 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and sixth seed Ugo Humbert eased past 2018 winner Frances Tiafoe 6-1 6-2.

Alex de Minaur and home favourite Jannik Sinner will meet to decide this year's champion at the Next Gen ATP Finals after respective semi-final triumphs over Frances Tiafoe and Miomir Kecmanovic.

Defeated by Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year's final, top seed De Minaur was on scintillating form against his good friend Tiafoe in a 4-2 4-1 0-4 4-2 victory.

The world number 18 – who has three singles titles to his name this season – hardly had to break a sweat as he took complete control in the first two sets.

Heeding the in-game advice of his coach, Tiafoe put in "unconditional effort" at 2-0 down, managing to haul himself back into contention with a supreme display in the third set.

However, De Minaur ultimately had too much firepower and, after a winner teed up match point, a stray shot into the net from Tiafoe handed the 20-year-old a second successive final appearance.

"It's difficult, but easier in some ways [to play a friend]," De Minaur said afterwards. 

"It's easy because you know that no matter what happens on the court, you're still going to be the best of friends.

"In the same manner, you've got to remember that you are opponents, I've got to get in the zone, fired up and motivated, but it worked out."

Facing the Australian in Saturday's title decider will be a favourite of the Milan crowd – 18-year-old wild card Sinner, who rallied from a set down to defeat Kecmanovic 2-4 4-1 4-2 4-2.

Some nervy shots from the world number 95 allowed his Serbian opponent to take a foothold, but Sinner – buoyed on by voracious supporters – soon regained his composure.

Successive breaks of serve across the end of set two and start of set three gave Sinner an advantage he did not relinquish and although Kecmanovic clawed back three match points in the final set, he sent a forehand return out of play to seal the Italian's progression. 

Frances Tiafoe and Miomir Kecmanovic sealed their places in the last four of the Next Gen ATP Finals with straight-sets victories on Thursday.

Tiafoe joined Jannik Sinner in progressing from Group B in Milan with a 4-2 4-2 4-2 defeat of Mikael Ymer.

Second seed Tiafoe missed out on a place in the semi-finals of the season-ending event last year when he was beaten by Jaume Munar, but was not to be denied on this occasion.

The American will face top seed Alex de Minaur, who made it three wins out of three in Group A with an emphatic 4-1 4-0 4-2 beating of Casper Ruud.

Tiafoe went on a five-game streak from 2-1 down in the first set against the Swede at Allianz Cloud and never looked back.

The 21-year-old said: "I'm pretty stoked. I needed this. The second half of this season has been rough for me, so every match is an opportunity for me.

"I love this event and I want to stay. The more you win, the longer you can stay, so I'm happy to be in the semis."

Kecmanovic advanced by seeing off Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-1 4-1 4-3 (8-6) in just under an hour.

The Serb will take on Sinner, who went down 4-3 (7-5) 3-4 (3-7) 4-2 4-2 to Ugo Humbert in the final round-robin match.

Alex de Minaur made it two wins from two Next Generation ATP Finals matches as he defeated Miomir Kecmanovic on Wednesday, with Jannik Sinner booking a last-four spot.

Australian De Minaur, the highest-ranked player at the event, secured a 4-1 4-3 (7-3) 1-4 4-0 victory to follow up on his opening Group A win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Having been made to work hard for his triumph in Milan, particularly during the second and third sets, the 2018 runner-up was pleased with his powers of recovery.

"This is what you expect in these conditions," said the world number 18, referencing the shorter format. "A match can turn quickly. I didn't play badly, he just played well in the important moments.

"I just had to regroup and stick to my game."

The impressive Sinner was a 4-0 4-2 4-1 winner over Mikael Ymer to ensure he will progress from Group B.

Casper Ruud, who lost his opener to Kecmanovic, inflicted a second consecutive defeat on Davidovich Fokina.

Davidovich Fokina took the first set and went the distance but came up short in a 3-4 (2-7) 4-3 (7-2) 4-2 3-4 (2-7) 4-1 loss to the Norwegian.

In the other Group B clash, Frances Tiafoe recovered from his defeat to Sinner by beating Ugo Humbert, who has now suffered back-to-back reverses.

The American boosted his qualification hopes with a 4-2 4-3 (7-5) 3-4 (4-7) 4-1 success.

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