Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley defended Novak Djokovic, saying the world number one had provided "suggestions", not demands.

With 72 players forced into quarantine for two weeks after being exposed to coronavirus on flights, Djokovic reportedly made demands regarding their conditions.

Among them, the eight-time Australian Open champion reportedly asked for players to be moved to private houses with tennis courts, with his requests rejected.

But Tiley played down the reports, saying Djokovic had simply made suggestions.

"Novak wrote a note, these weren't demands, these were suggestions," he told Channel 9 on Tuesday.

"But he too is understanding what two weeks of lockdown means."

Tiley also backed the players despite reports and social media posts suggesting they were unhappy about being forced into quarantine.

"Last night we spent quite a bit of time with the playing group going through a number of different items because they've just been here for a few days getting used to this quarantine environment," he said.

"I have to say on that call there were about 500 players and the vast majority are happy to be here, pleased to be here and really getting ready in the next two weeks to be able to get out and play in the lead-in events and then play the Australian Open on February 8.

"I think the reports we're reading and the things we're seeing doesn't represent the entire playing group. For the most part, they've been pretty good."

With the preparations of 72 players so far impacted by quarantine, there have been suggestions the Australian Open be changed to a best-of-three sets format in the men's draw.

But Tiley said he had no plans to make such a drastic change.

"We're a grand slam at the end of the day and right now three out of five sets for the men and two out of three sets for the women is the position we plan on sticking to, starting February 8," he said.

Nick Kyrgios has labelled Novak Djokovic "a tool" after the world number one reportedly issued a list of demands for players under strict quarantine conditions ahead of the Australian Open.

Defending women's singles champion Sofia Kenin is among 72 players who are consigned to their hotel rooms due to positive coronavirus tests on flights they took to head out for the first grand slam of the year.

Players have posted social media clips of them training and in their rooms, with some complaining about the conditions they are having to contend with for 14 days.

Bernard Tomic's girlfriend, Vanessa Sierra, expressed her grievances over the standard of food and having to wash her own hair and dishes during her period of quarantine with the world number 228 so far.

Djokovic does not have to adhere to such strict rules in Adelaide, where he is due to play in an exhibition tournament before the Melbourne major, as he arrived on a virus-free flight.

Yet the 17-time grand slam champion is said to have asked for less time in isolation for players, requested they are given private housing with access to training courts, and better food.

Kyrgios tweeted on Monday: "Djokovic is a tool. I don't mind Bernie [Tomic] but his Mrs obviously has no perspective, ridiculous scenes Man."

Three weeks before the Australian Open is due to get underway, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said the players will not be getting any "special treatment."

He said: "The virus doesn't treat you specially, so neither do we.

"I know there's been a bit of chatter from a number of players about the rules.

"The rules apply to them as they apply to everybody else and they were all briefed on that before they came and that was the condition on which they came. So, there's no special treatment here."

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the ATP Player Council elections with a "very heavy heart" after it was deemed his role in the Professional Tennis Players' Association (PTPA) was a conflict of interest.

The world number one quit as president of the ATP Player Council in August as he co-founded the PTPA with Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

Djokovic then last month surprisingly announced he had been nominated for a return to the council for the 2021 season, but on Monday revealed he would not be eligible due to a new ATP rule.

"I would like to give you an update with regards to my notification for the next ATP Player Council elections," Djokovic posted on Instagram and Twitter.

"I would like to first say, as always, I am honoured by the continued support and confidence shown by those who nominated me to once again serve our collective player interests on the council.

"My first reaction to this nomination was to accept it with the intention that, if elected, I would do my best to protect players' interests within the ATP.

"However, a few days after my nomination the ATP passed a new rule which has put me in a difficult position. This new rule specifies that all members of the newly formed Professional Tennis Players' Association or any association that is deemed as having a 'conflict of interest' cannot be elected as a member of the Players Council.

"As you know, I am part of the PTPA, an organisation that was recently created with no intention of being in conflict with the ATP.

"The PTPA has yet to be structured with its strategy and long-term vision yet to be clearly defined, and although the PTPA has made it clear it does not intend to be combative, it is unclear how the ATP will view the association in the future.

"Unfortunately, given these latest developments I feel it is now necessary to remove my name from the list of candidates. I do not wish to create conflict or uncertainty around the player elections or create any issues that may arise.

"I do this reluctantly and with a very heavy heart. I am, and always have been, very passionate when it comes to representing my peers on the council.

"I truly believe there is a path forward that will greatly improve the lives of many players, especially the lower ranked, and have a powerful and positive impact on the sport of tennis as a whole. I am confident that the PTPA will achieve this in the near future.

“Before concluding, I wish to communicate that it is extremely important that we do not have conflicts of interest in our sport.

"I hope that, going forward, this is not only applied to the formation of new associations at the player level but further applied to all levels within the ATP structure."

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."

Novak Djokovic booked his place in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals after a hard-fought victory over Alexander Zverev.

The five-time champion clinched a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over the German as he wrapped up his place in the last four at London's O2 Arena in one hour and 36 minutes.

With three semi-final spots already decided, Friday's match was a winner-takes-all showdown to see who would be the last player to progress from the group stage.

Djokovic cruised through the first set but required a tie-break to overcome his opponent in a tense second set as Zverev briefly threatened a fightback.

The 33-year-old Serbian, who won the ATP Finals in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, will play Dominic Thiem in his semi-final on Saturday with Rafael Nadal taking on Daniil Medvedev in the other match.

World number one Djokovic had beaten Zverev three times in their past five meetings before this one and began the contest in commanding fashion.

Djokovic breezed through his opening service game, producing a superb drop volley, before he took control of the set with a key break.

Djokovic had managed just a solitary break point in the whole match during a defeat to Medvedev on Wednesday, but when offered an early chance on Zverev's serve he nailed a crosscourt passing shot before his opponent double faulted.

The early mistake cost world number seven Zverev, who was unable to find a way back in as a resolute Djokovic saved two break points at 4-2.

Djokovic then closed out his service games, as he sealed the first set with a backhand down the line which the 23-year-old Zverev had no answer for.

The second set was a much tighter affair, with both players saving break points early on, before taking charge of their respective services games to force a tie-break.

Zverev took a 2-0 lead but Djokovic got himself level and then secured the crucial mini-break with a classy backhand winner to make it 5-3.

At 6-4 Djokovic held his nerve and produced a powerful forehand to confidently reach the last four in an emphatic manner.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic - 18/13
Zverev - 38/19

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic - 3/3
Zverev  - 12/6

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic - 1/4
Zverev  - 0/3

Novak Djokovic urged the government to support players heading into the Australian Open, the world number one calling for authorities to sanction lead-up tournaments while quarantining.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is confident the 2021 Australian Open will go ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic and concerns over international travel.

There have been reports pre-Australian Open events will be held in Victoria, rather than around Australia in cities like Sydney and Brisbane, in order to minimise travel ahead of the year's opening grand slam in Melbourne.

Initial reports suggested players would arrive in Australia in mid-December to undertake mandatory quarantine of two weeks before competing, though the ATP has since pointed to plans for January.

Asked about the looming Australian Open, defending champion and record-setting eight-time winner Djokovic told reporters following his ATP Finals loss to Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday: "There's several options I hear that are on the table and I think Tennis Australia has been very communicative and very open with the process with us players.

"I'm very pleased with the way Craig Tiley and the other staff from Tennis Australia have been trying to fight for us as best conditions as is possible for the players. But it's also not in their hands obviously, the government of Australia decides and Victoria on the conditions and restrictions and so forth.

"As far as I know so far, the Australian Open will happen whether it's in the current week or the week later. If that's what's necessary then yes I would understand the Australian Open being pushed a week later. Even though the tournaments post-Australian Open would get hurt.

"So we have to, as men's and women's tennis and the ATP, WTA, everybody involved, we have to consider what are the ramifications of maybe potentially some decisions that are going to be made in terms of the calendar in Australia and how that's going to affect the Tour after that. I'm planning to play the Australian Open for sure, I would like to go there and I'm ready to quarantine for two weeks and whatever is necessary for me to be able to play.

"I hope that there's going to be support and understanding from the Australian government for the players and for Tennis Australia and they will allow players to compete in the second week of quarantine and hopefully that's going to help immensely with the calendar and everything and you won't be then losing a week, you'll be able to have a tournament or two prior to the Australian Open which for the majority of the players is important obviously for a lot of the players.

"They were done with the season in Paris and then potentially having no tournaments or official matches before the Australian Open, before a grand slam, is a huge thing. Hopefully we'll be able to have at least a tournament before the Australian Open."

Djokovic was easily swept aside by Russian star Medvedev 6-3 6-3 at the O2 Arena in London midweek.

Eyeing a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals trophy, Djokovic uncharacteristically tallied 28 unforced errors as he tasted defeat for just the fourth time this year, compared to 40 wins.

"I was a little bit [feeling unwell]," the 17-time major champion said about his fitness. "Especially towards the end of the first set and beginning of the second. I kind of regrouped and felt better towards the end of the match. But just an unfortunate 15-20 minutes for me that resulted with seven games in a row lost. Against a player like Medvedev then the match is done."

Djokovic – who will next meet Alexander Zverev for a spot in the final four – added: "He was a better player and deserved to win, no doubt about it."

Daniil Medvedev produced a near faultless performance to book his place in the last four of the ATP Finals by comfortably beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

Medvedev has typically presented Djokovic with more problems than most on the ATP Tour, though the world number one went into this Group Tokyo 1970 clash with a 4-2 edge in their head-to-head record.

However, Djokovic looked bereft of answers as Medvedev cruised to a 6-3 6-3 win at the O2 Arena, making only 12 unforced errors in 18 games.

It marked the first best-of-three-sets match between the two not to go the distance since Djokovic's triumph at Eastbourne in 2017, with Medvedev now having won three of their last four meetings.

Djokovic, whose match with Alexander Zverev on Friday will decide the other semi-finalist from the group, was under pressure early on and staved off a pair of break points in the third game.

Two more went begging for Medvedev in the seventh before the pressure eventually told at the fifth attempt.

An uncharacteristically sloppy Djokovic surrendered the set with his fourth double fault and the momentum stayed with Medvedev thereafter as he raced into a 3-0 lead in the second, saving the only break point he faced in the process.

Service games became increasingly routine for Medvedev, with Djokovic posing little threat, and an authoritative forehand rounded off one of the more impressive wins of the world number four's burgeoning career.

"To be completely honest I'm sure he didn't play his best today," Medvedev said of Djokovic's performance in his on-court interview. 

"It happens for everybody, the big three are champions because it happens less for them than for other players, still tough to beat them on their bad days.

"He was a little bit slower than usual, serving less good, I knew I had to take my chances. I think he had only one break point. Great match for me."


 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS  
Medvedev: 20/12
Djokovic: 19/28

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS  
Medvedev: 10/4
Djokovic: 3/5

BREAK POINTS WON  
Medvedev: 3/8
Djokovic: 0/1

Novak Djokovic kicked off his quest for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title with a straight-sets victory over Diego Schwartzman on Monday.

The world number one, who last won the season-ending event in 2015, needed one hour and 11 minutes to overcome Schwartzman 6-3 6-2 in London.

Schwartzman is competing in the competition for the first time and he made a good start as he broke Djokovic in the third game, but his opponent instantly hit back to level up.

A perfect forehand winner saw Djokovic break Schwartzman – still seeking a first win against the Serbian – in the eighth game before taking the opening set.

The 33-year-old made plain sailing of the second set as he held throughout and twice broke Schwartzman, getting the job done with a powerful forehand volley winner on his third match point.

"It was a close encounter until I broke his serve at 4-3," said Djokovic, who was awarded the year-end number one trophy prior to the match. "I managed the close out the first set.

"Second set, I started swinging through the ball a little more, bit less hesitation from both corners and I was very pleased with the way I played in the second set.

"I must say that it feels very strange to play in front of the empty stands. For all the tennis fans watching on the TV, we love you guys, we miss you guys."

Daniil Medvedev takes on Alexander Zverev in the other Group Tokyo 1970 fixture later on Monday.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Djokovic: 23/12
Schwartzman: 9/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Djokovic: 7/2
Schwartzman: 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON 
Djokovic: 4/6
Schwartzman: 1/2

Novak Djokovic has mixed emotions after claiming a record-equalling sixth trophy for finishing as the ATP's year-end number one.

Djokovic achieved the feat for the sixth time in the past 10 years, matching American great Pete Sampras – who ended six successive years at the pinnacle of men's tennis between 1993 and 1998.

World number one and 17-time grand slam champion Djokovic has enjoyed a stellar 2020, capturing an eighth Australian Open crown and four titles amid a 39-3 match record this year.

Preparing to open his bid to win a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals trophy in London, where he will come up against Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman in Group Tokyo 1970, Djokovic reflected on his season-ending accomplishment.

"I'm very happy," Djokovic told ATPTour.com. "It's been a strange year for all of us with a six months' gap for all of us.

"We restarted the season in August, and I continued where I left off before lockdown and had a terrific run. I'm very pleased with the way things went.

"I have to say a huge thank you to my team for supporting me in the hard time and trusting me. This is the crown for all achievements in the year and it’s unreal that I've managed to finish the year at number one for a sixth time.

"Obviously I am super proud of it, but I have mixed emotions because of what is going on in the world. I can't be ignorant to that, although I have achieved one of the biggest goals in sport.

"I feel for many people in the world going through hardship and my heart goes out to them."

Djokovic begins his ATP Finals campaign against Diego Schwartzman at The O2 Arena on Monday.

World number one Novak Djokovic believes the ATP Finals is the toughest tournament to win due to the strength of the field.

Djokovic will begin his bid to win a record-equalling sixth Finals trophy in Group Tokyo 1970, which includes Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman.

Rafael Nadal, defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem and Andrej Rublev are in Group London 2020 at O2 Arena.

The winner of 17 grand slams, Djokovic has enjoyed great success at major level, but the Serb star feels the season-ending London event is a tournament like no other.

"Over the years I had some thrilling matches here with Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal], with Andy [Murray] and all the guys now, the young guys coming in now on the tour," Djokovic, who last won the Finals in 2015, said.

"We had different winners which was great to see. We had [Grigor] Dimitrov, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, [Alexander] Zverev, Andy [Murray] in '16. So we had four different winners in the last four years. I think it's wonderful for the game because collectively as part of the tennis system we want to promote as many players out there as possible because then the game benefits on the global level. Back in 2012 that was a big win against [Roger Federer]. I did have some big wins against Rafa in 2013, and then Roger again. 

"I've been very fortunate to enjoy a lot of success in O2 Arena and this tournament that probably is the most challenging tournament of the year or of the season because you start off by playing a top-eight player in the world right away. And every single match that you get to play, you play against one of the top-eight guys.

"So, already the second match can be against one of your biggest rivals in the group. So, yeah, that's the intensity that this tournament brings. But at the same time, I feel like it's making us all go into this competitive mode right away, from the first point. Which I personally like."

Djokovic, who has 39 victories this season and just three losses, will end the year top of the ATP Tour rankings.

He clinched his record-tying sixth year-end number one finish, ahead of rival Nadal.

"It is definitely always the highest goal and aspiration for me to end the year and the season as number one and try to stay there as long as possible," Djokovic continued. "It is very challenging, without a doubt, the most challenging goal that a player can have because you have to be able to play consistently well throughout the entire season on all different surfaces. 

"Obviously, this season is unusual and different from any other. We did have a five, six-month gap with no tournaments, but we still played quite a few tournaments at the beginning of the year and then the last three months. I'm just pleased, obviously, very pleased, and very proud to end this year and the season as number one.

"Although, I have mixed feelings a little bit, to be honest, because of the situation that we are in collectively as people of the world. I am obviously happy to be here, to be able to do my job and my passion, but I know there are millions of people that don't have that opportunity. So, I'm kind of somewhere in between with my emotions."

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.

Andrey Rublev won the Vienna Open after a confident 6-4 6-4 victory over surprise contender Lorenzo Sonego to book his place at the ATP Finals in London.

The Russian wrapped up the win at the Wiener Stadthalle in an hour and 19 minutes on Sunday as he clinched his fifth ATP title of the season.

Unheralded Sonego, ranked at number 42 in the world, had reached the final in the wake of a shock quarter-final win over world number Novak Djokovic but could not repeat the feat against a clinical Rublev.

"This tournament is really special for me because my grandma was also Austrian, so I have Austrian blood," Rublev said during the trophy presentation.

Italian Sonego found no way past Rublev's serve as he failed to inflict a single break.

It ensured Rublev ended the tournament without once surrendering his serve in 38 games – becoming the first player to achieve the feat in an ATP tournament since Alex de Minaur reeled off 42 games at Atlanta in 2019.

World number one Novak Djokovic is out of the Vienna Open after a shock 6-2 6-1 quarter-final defeat to unfancied Lorenzo Sonego.

Ranked 42 in the world, Sonego had failed to win a single set in his three previous meetings with players inside the top 10.

But the 25-year-old Italian produced a scintillating performance against the top seed as he became the first lucky loser to beat Djokovic.

"It's unbelievable. It's amazing," Sonego said in an interview on court after wrapping up the win in 68 minutes.

"For sure, it's the best victory of my life. Novak is the best in the world. I played so, so good."

Djokovic's surprise exit at the Wiener Stadthalle meant the Serbian missed the opportunity to guarantee top spot in the year-end ATP Rankings this week.

The 33-year-old is still poised, however, to tie Pete Sampras' record of six year-end number one finishes unless Rafael Nadal takes up an unlikely wildcard for next month's Sofia Open, with reports indicating the Spaniard has already rejected such an opportunity.

Novak Djokovic will almost certainly finish the year at the top of the ATP world rankings for a joint-record sixth time after he claimed a hard-fought win over Borna Coric at the Vienna Open. 

Djokovic needed to win just two matches in Austria to guarantee he will end the year as world number one, unless Rafael Nadal takes up an unlikely wildcard for the Sofia Open. 

After defeating Filip Krajinovic in the first round, Djokovic took a vital step towards cementing his name in the record books with a 7-6 (13-11) 6-3 victory over Coric on Wednesday. 

Pete Sampras is the only previous player to have claimed the year-end number one spot on six occasions, doing so between 1993 and 1998. 

Djokovic is tied with fellow modern greats Rodger Federer and Nadal, who the Serbian lost to in the French Open earlier in October, and Jimmy Connors, but is now set to nose ahead of his rivals, having previously secured top spot in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018. 

His latest win did not come easy, though, with the 33-year-old made to work by world number 24 Coric. 

The pair traded blows in an epic opening set which lasted just under two hours – Djokovic eventually coming out on top in a thrilling tie-break after Coric dropped serve for a third time. 

A first break in set two handed Djokovic the advantage and he then held his nerve to take the eighth game with some wonderful shots in an exhilarating rally, making it 5-3. 

Djokovic's sublime volley close to the net set the tone in the next game and while Coric saved two match points, it was only a case of delaying the inevitable.

Earlier, Stefanos Tsitsipas opted to switch his shoe in the third set of his match with Jan-Lennard Struff, though the third seed ultimately came through the contest to tee up a tie with Grigor Dimitrov. 

With the third set tied at 1-1, Nitto ATP Finals champion Tsitsipas changed his footwear and subsequently broke serve, going on to record a 6-7 (7-3) 6-3 6-4 triumph. 

Daniil Medvedev, meanwhile, is enjoying the hospitality in Austria as he eased past Jason Jung 6-3 6-1 in his first-round match. 

"It's great. The hotel is good, the food is amazing, maybe the best of the year," said the world number six. 

"These small things make tennis players happy all the time. The most important is to play good on the tennis court, so the organisation is very good."

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