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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Novak Djokovic will tackle teenage rising star Jannik Sinner for the first time in a tantalising clash of tennis generations on Wednesday at the Monte Carlo Masters.

World number one Djokovic is returning to action this week, having taken time away from the tour since banking an 18th grand slam title by winning the Australian Open in February.

He received a first-round bye, but waiting for him in the last 32 is Sinner, who on Tuesday saw off 2017 Monte Carlo runner-up Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 6-4, again illustrating the 19-year-old Italian's great potential.

World number 22 Sinner is the only teenager ranked inside the top 80 in the men's game and is coming off his first run to a Masters final, at the Miami Open.

The switch from hard courts to clay is one that Sinner is having to deal with, and seeing off a specialist on the surface in round one represents an impressive start, although facing two-time former champion Djokovic will be a step up.

"It's always good for me to see what I can do on clay," Sinner said, quoted on the ATP website. "Obviously, I am not in the best form on clay now for the first week.

"But I think today was a solid match from my side. It was not easy. He's not giving [away] one point, so you have to stay there the whole match. I think I played a good match from my side."

Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the last 16 with a 6-3 6-4 win over Russian Aslan Karatsev, but there was disappointment at the same stage for Italian eighth seed Matteo Berrettini, beaten 7-5 6-3 by Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Those were the only second-round matches of the day.

Surprise Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz made a winning start, battling to a 6-3 3-6 6-3 first-round success against Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano to reach round two.

Roberto Bautista Agut, Grigor Dimitrov, Pablo Carreno Busta and Fabio Fognini each booked places in round two thanks to straight-sets wins.

Qualifier Federico Delbonis was a 7-5 6-1 victor over France's Adrian Mannarino, meaning the Argentinian faces the ultimate test in clay-court tennis next, a tussle with Rafael Nadal, the 11-time former champion in Monte Carlo.

Nadal has won all four of their previous matches, and their fifth encounter will immediately follow the Djokovic-Sinner match on Wednesday.

Hubert Hurkacz made history after trumping Jannik Sinner in the Miami Open final for his first ATP 1000 title.

Hurkacz became Poland's first ATP 1000 champion thanks to his 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 win over teenage sensation Sinner in Miami on Sunday.

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, fourth seed Andrey Rublev, sixth seed Denis Shapovalov and 12th seed Milos Raonic were all upstaged by Hurkacz en route to the decider.

Hurkacz – the 26th seed – capped his memorable run with an impressive win against 19-year-old Italian and occasional doubles partner Sinner following one hour, 45 minutes on court.

Set to break into the ATP Tour's top 20 for the first time in his career, moving from 37 to a career-high 16th in the world, Hurkacz became the fourth player to win his first ATP 1000 trophy via the Miami Open since 1990 – following in the footsteps of John Isner (2018), Novak Djokovic (2007) and Andre Agassi (1990).

"I played [some] of the best tennis I've ever played," Hurkacz, who converted seven of 11 break-point chances against ATP 1000 finals debutant Sinner, said.

"I was solid throughout the whole tournament, and I was able to get through each round, [and] was even more pumped for the next round. I think that's something special for me.

"My tennis is getting better. We work hard with my coach, [Craig Boynton], and I'm super happy that it happened here. We still need to improve a couple of things and just try to get better each day."

Hurkacz became the first player this ATP Tour season to win two titles, having already claimed the Delray Beach Open.

The 24-year-old added: "Last year I spent so much time in Florida. I was here like almost half of the year.

"We were working pretty hard, and I think I'm used to the conditions. I think [that's] been part of the success I had here in Florida."

Hubert Hurkacz has recorded back-to-back top 10 wins to move a step closer to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 trophy with a hard-fought straight-sets win over Andrey Rublev at the Miami Open on Friday night.

The 26th seeded Pole knocked off in-form fourth seed Rublev 6-3 6-4 to book a spot in Sunday's final where he will play teenage 21st seed Jannik Sinner who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut earlier in the day.

The 24-year-old from Wroclaw had beaten second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals and continued that strong form by never allowing Rublev to settle into his game.

"It means a lot, especially after winning a title at the beginning of the year, I had a couple of rough matches," Hurkacz said in his on-court interview, referring to his January win at the Delray Beach Open in Florida.

"I’m so happy that I came over and I was still trying to improve my game and trying to be a better player. This is really huge for me."

The 23-year-old Russian had won 16 matches this calendar year including taking out last month's Rotterdam Open.

Rublev had also not lost a set all tournament and only been broken twice, yet Hurkacz broke serve three times.

The Pole also hit 25 winners and showed determination under pressure, when Rublev had a break point at 5-4 in the second set, before saving it in an epic rally and winning the game to secure the match.

World number eight Rublev said: "Today was not my day. Hurkacz played really well and he deserved to win… Now it's time to go back to work hard to be ready for the clay season."

"It’s [been a] great week for me. I did my first semis [at an ATP Masters 1000]. I'm playing really consistent. Every week I go deep in the tournament."

Sinner, 19, won a three-set match against Bautista Agut to book his spot in the decider earlier on Friday.

The young Italian world number 31 and Hurkacz know each other well.

"We played doubles together last week in Dubai,"Hurkacz said. "Now we’re playing in the final of a Masters 1000 event, so it’s going to be a fun match."

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has blown a strong position to be knocked out of the Miami Open by world number 37 Hubert Hurkacz in three sets on Thursday night.

The Polish 26th seed lost the first set and trailed 0-2 in the second with Tsitsipas having two break points, before fighting back for an outstanding 2-6 6-3 6-4 triumph.

The victory seals Hurkacz's place in his first-ever Masters 1000 semi-final where he will face Russian fourth seed Andrey Rublev.

On Thursday night, Rublev won 7-5 7-6 (9-7) over Sebastian Korda, ending the young American's exceptional run in Miami.

Tsitsipas's demise was the major story on Thursday, having only dropped one set in his previous three matches in Miami.

The Greek world number five was in form, having made February's Australian Open semi-finals and last week's Mexican Open final.

Tsitsipas was in control until Hurkacz dialed up his aggression in the second, producing a brilliant flick after the Greek's volley to take advantage at 2-2.

Hurkacz got the crucial break at 2-2 in the third when the Greek coughed up a mistake by missing a routine smash.

The 24-year-old Pole also sent down 15 aces in a breakthrough win.

"It is so big," Hurkacz said in his on-court interview about reaching his maiden Masters 1000 semi-final.

"I was trying to keep fighting and that’s what I did. [I am] super pumped and happy that I was able to turn this match around.

"He was returning very well and I had to play a lot of rallies. At the beginning of the match, I tried to go for too much, so then I was trying to adapt my game a little bit."

Rublev claimed his 20th ATP Tour win for the calendar year, the most of any player ahead of Daniil Medvedev and Tsitsipas with 17, to book his semi-final spot against Hurkacz.

The defeat ended 20-year-old Florida resident Korda's superb run, where he claimed his first top 20 win against Fabio Fognini and first top 10 victory against Diego Schwartzman.

Egor Gerasimov followed up his win over Andy Murray in Montpellier by powering past a man who once played second fiddle to the Scot.

The Belarusian saw off Aljaz Bedene, with a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) win carrying him through to the quarter-finals of the Open Sud de France.

Bedene was British number two to Murray heading into Wimbledon in 2016, when the Scot won his third grand slam title, but has since reverted to representing his native Slovenia.

He put up a fight against Gerasimov, who sank Murray in straight sets on Tuesday, but the 28-year-old from Minsk took three of his five break-point opportunities and held his nerve in the tie-break to advance.

The success for Gerasimov sets up a last-eight clash with Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who scored a fine 7-5 6-2 win over Polish fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz.

Top seed and world number 13 Roberto Bautista Agut raced to a 6-0 6-3 victory over French qualifier Gregoire Barrere, but Croatian third seed Dusan Lajovic tumbled out, losing to Dennis Novak in straight sets.

At the Singapore Open, second seed John Millman fell by the wayside, the Australian slumping 6-4 6-1 to compatriot Matthew Ebden.

French top seed Adrian Mannarino encountered no such problems, ending the hopes of Roberto Marcora with a 6-3 7-5 win to join Ebden in the quarter-finals.

Top seed Fabio Fognini suffered a shock straight-sets defeat to Marc-Andrea Huesler in the second round of the Generali Open on Thursday.

Fognini, competing for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both ankles in May, went down 6-1 6-2 to world 303 Huesler in a little under an hour.

The 2011 French Open quarter-finalist was broken in the second game and Huesler, who had just two previous career wins on the ATP Tour, broke again in the sixth.

After saving three break points in the early stages of the third set, Huesler held serve and secured a famous win in Kitzbuhel with minimal fuss.

Feliciano Lopez awaits in the last eight after battling to a 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-3) victory over seventh seed Guido Pella in three hours.

Jannik Sinner set up an enticing second-round clash against top seed Daniil Medvedev at the Open 13 Marseille with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) win over Norbert Gombos.

The 18-year-old is viewed as one of the most exciting prospects on the ATP Tour and a run to the quarter-finals in Rotterdam that saw him defeat David Goffin will have only furthered his burgeoning reputation.

Sinner will now get to test himself against US Open finalist Medvedev after defeating Gombos in straight sets on Tuesday.

Sinner saved all of the six break points he faced and was aided by nine aces, with a significant stoppage because of an alarm disrupting play at the Palais des Sports de Marseille not affecting his rhythm.

On his upcoming match with Medvedev, Sinner said in his on-court interview: "Nothing to lose, I will try to play my best tennis, which I have to do if I want to win. If not it will be a very nice experience."

Vasek Pospisil, who stunned Medvedev in the first round in Rotterdam, saw off lucky loser Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6 (8-6) 6-3. Hubert Hurkacz awaits Pospisil in the second round after the eighth seed's 6-4 6-1 victory over Antoine Hoang.

Marin Cilic came from a set and a break behind to beat qualifier Ilya Ivashka 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and book a second-round meeting with Denis Shapovalov.

Gilles Simon had no such issues against Harold Mayot 6-4 7-6 (7-3) and will meet Aljaz Bedene next after his surprise 4-6 6-4 7-5 win over fifth seed Khachanov.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were untroubled, but Grigor Dimitrov was among five seeds to fall at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Federer produced an excellent performance in a straight-sets thrashing of Filip Krajinovic on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great had received good news before even going on court after three seeds fell in his quarter of the draw, with Fabio Fognini only narrowly avoiding that fate.

Earlier, Djokovic dropped just seven games on his way to a thrashing of Tatsuma Ito in Melbourne.

 

FEDERER, DJOKOVIC EASE THROUGH

Having lost a set in the opening-round victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, Djokovic suffered no such setback against Ito, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2.

A record seven-time champion in Melbourne and 16-time grand slam winner, Djokovic brushed past Ito on the back of 31 winners.

Federer was even more impressive later in the day, crushing Djokovic's Serbian compatriot Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1.

The 20-time grand slam champion looked in fabulous form with 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors, reaching the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year.

Federer will next face John Millman, who upset 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 7-5 6-3. The Australian stunned Federer at the US Open in 2018.

 

DIMITROV AMONG SEEDS TO CRASH OUT

Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2017, bowed out in a surprise 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (10-3) loss to Tommy Paul.

The Bulgarian 18th seed went up by a break twice in the final set, but lost seven consecutive points from 3-3 in the match tie-break.

Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed who reached the US Open semi-finals, was edged out by Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 4-6 2-6 7-5.

Sandgren reached the quarter-finals in 2018 and will face Sam Querrey in an all-American third-round clash.

British 30th seed Dan Evans also made a second-round exit, losing to Djokovic's next opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-4 6-3 6-4.

 

CILIC, RAONIC ADVANCE AS TSITSIPAS GETS FREE PASS

Marin Cilic, runner-up in 2018, eliminated 21st seed Benoit Paire in a thriller.

The Croatian needed three hours, 33 minutes to overcome Paire 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-3).

Next up for Cilic is a man he has lost to twice at the Australian Open in Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish ninth seed too good for Michael Mmoh 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-1.

Milos Raonic has reached at least the Australian Open quarter-finals four times and the Canadian has shown impressive form early on this year.

The 29-year-old served 19 aces in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Cristian Garin on Wednesday and next faces 2019 semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas advanced without hitting a ball after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to a muscle strain.

 

FOGNINI TAKEN THE DISTANCE BY THOMPSON

It is proving to be an arduous campaign for Fognini, who surrendered a two-set lead before holding his nerve in a decisive tie-break with home hope Jordan Thompson.

The Italian was taken the distance in his first-round meeting with Reilly Opelka after losing the first two sets, and this time it was the 12th seed who almost choked on a healthy lead.

Fognini hurt himself when punching his racket in frustration and was called for a foot-fault in the fifth-set breaker, but he got the job done in a memorable 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 (10-4) triumph that took more than four hours to complete. 

Denis Shapovalov was surprisingly beaten in straight sets by 21-year-old Ugo Humbert at the Auckland Open on Friday.

A day after first and third seeds Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov were knocked out, second seed Shapovalov was beaten 7-5 6-4.

Humbert, who broke serve in the final game of each set, described the win as "one of the biggest of my career" as he set up a semi-final against John Isner.

The American was taken to two tie-breaks by Kyle Edmund but prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5), his 25 aces getting him over the line as he seeks a third title in Auckland.

Benoit Paire reached his first semi-final at the event, coming from a set down to beat John Millman 3-6 6-1 6-4.

The fifth seed will face Hubert Hurkacz, who spurned six second-set match points in a mammoth tie-break before eventually seeing off Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-7 (11-13) 6-4.

At the Adelaide International, home favourite Alex Bolt was soundly beaten by Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Canadian needing just 55 minutes to win 6-3 6-0.

He will meet Andrey Rublev in the last four after the Russian battled past Dan Evans 6-4 3-6 6-3 in just over two hours.

Spanish hopes were extinguished in the quarter-finals, where Tommy Paul surprised Albert Ramos-Vinolas to win 6-3 6-4 and Lloyd Harris beat fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-3.

Bushfires in Australia have led to the Canberra International tennis tournament being moved due to fears over the air quality.

Bendigo – more than a six-hour drive away in the state of Victoria – will now host the tournament, which begins on Monday, after the ATP Challenger Tour confirmed the "unprecedented decision" on Friday.

"Unfortunately, we received expert advice that air quality [is] not likely to improve in time for us to complete the event in Canberra," a statement read.

"There are too many variables such as the state of the fires and upcoming conditions which are out of our control.

"We are deeply disappointed that the current conditions will not allow us to host the event here in Canberra, however the health of you [the players] as well as our volunteers, ball kids and event staff is our number one priority. It always will be."

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