Benoit Paire is through to the second round of the Sofia Open following a 6-4 7-5 win over seventh seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. 

The Frenchman - ranked no. 49 in the world - marked his debut at the ATP 250 event by ending a three-match losing run, progressing after one hour and 37 minutes on court. 

Paire, who recorded five breaks of serve en route to victory, will be up against either James Duckworth or Emil Ruusuvuori next. 

"[I am] happy about the win," Paire said in his on-court interview. "It was not easy. Alejandro is a very good player, so I had to be focused on my game. 

"I had to serve well and do my best and that is what I did and I am very happy and proud of my game today.  

"I played well in the first game, it was good for my confidence. The most important thing is to stay on my game and stay focused. I was solid today so I am very happy." 

Also in Monday's action, Adrian Mannarino was another seed to suffer an early exit, going down in straight sets to Gianluca Mager. 

Miomir Kecmanovic came through a tight two-set contest to knock out Adrian Andreev, including taking the opener via a tie-break. 

Wimbledon champion and world number one Ash Barty has withdrawn from this month's Indian Wells Open. 

The Australian has not played since her surprise third-round defeat to Shelby Rogers at the US Open last month. 

Barty follows four-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka in pulling out of the California event, the final WTA 1000 tournament of the year. 

The 25-year-old had indicated after her defeat at Flushing Meadows that she planned to play at Indian Wells. 

Defending champion Bianca Andreescu heads a strong field, with world number two Aryna Sabalenka, Wimbledon finalist Karolina Pliskova, French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, Olympic bronze medalist Elina Svitolina and last year's Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin all taking part. 

Three other previous winners – Simona Halep, Elena Vesnina and Victoria Azarenka – will also be present, along with teenager Leylah Fernandez, who reached the US Open final. 

Kim Clijsters saw her latest WTA Tour comeback ended by Hsieh Su-wei at the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic on Monday.

The four-time grand slam champion, playing in her first match of 2021, was defeated 6-3 5-7 6-3 in a contest lasting two hours and 18 minutes on Stadium Court.

Clijsters, who retired in 2012, made her return to the Tour last year, losing her three matches.

After knee surgery at the end of 2020 and having contracted COVID-19 this year, the 38-year-old at last made her first appearance of the season but was bested in a gruelling contest by Australian Open quarter-finalist Hsieh.

Speaking prior to her return in Chicago, Clijsters spoke of how she was drawing inspiration from Andy Murray, who continues on the ATP circuit despite two major hip surgeries.

"Seeing Andy Murray and the way he speaks about his comeback and everything, it's so motivating and it gives you a lot of energy too," she said. "To see him go through the things he's gone through and be open about the challenges of it and the belief that he has, I feel like it's something I can relate to."

Seeds Jessia Pagula, Danielle Collins and Veronika Kudermetova all progressed in Chicago on Monday, although home favourite Madison Keys had to retire from her match with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Naomi Osaka is going to play tennis again and expects to feed her itch to return to the tour "soon".

Osaka said in the wake of her shock US Open third-round defeat to teenager Leylah Fernandez that she would take a break from the sport.

"I honestly don't know when I'm going to play my next tennis match. I think I'm going to take a break from playing for a while," Osaka told her post-match media conference following that loss.

She subsequently pulled out of Indian Wells but the four-time grand slam champion, who withdrew from the French Open back in May to protect her mental health, does not anticipate her absence being an extended one.

"I know I'm gonna play again, probably soon because I kind of have that itch again," Osaka told HBO's 'The Shop'.

"But it wouldn't really matter to me if I won or lost. I'd just have the joy of being back on the court.

"Just to, like, you know, that I'm doing it for myself."

Explaining her unhappiness on the court, Osaka added: "I started to feel like that power was being taken away from me.

"And the way that I felt, like, I wasn't playing to make myself happy and I was more concerned about … what would people say about me.

"I used to love the competition and just being competitive. Like if I were to play a long match, the longer it was the more fun it was for me.

"And then I just started to feel – recently – the longer it was the more stressed out I became. But I just needed a break to go within myself."

John McEnroe promised Team World would bounce back after suffering a 14-1 thrashing by Team Europe at the Laver Cup in Boston.

Europe wrapped up a fourth consecutive Laver Cup triumph as Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev capped off a dominant performance.

Having won all four matches on Saturday, Europe needed just one more victory to again retain the trophy, preserving their record of having won each edition of the tournament.

That duly arrived as Rublev and Zverev prevailed against Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov in their doubles clash.

They emerged 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 10-3 victors, to spark European celebrations.

Next year's match will be played in London, and Team World captain McEnroe said: "No one wins the Laver Cup, beats us, John McEnroe, five times in a row. You've got to keep going.

"Team Europe is a great team, no question, incredible team. They had good team spirit. We did, as well."

McEnroe, quoted on the Laver Cup website, added: "If you get a couple of different results, we could have put more pressure on them. But we just came up short in four tiebreakers. You win half those, it's totally different story. We gave it our best, but they were just too good."

Zverev reflected on Europe's win, saying: "The score says that it was 14-1, but it could have gone both ways a lot of the time.

"We [did] a lot of hard work for this victory throughout the whole week. The group of this team has been absolutely amazing.

"I think a lot of us came a lot closer together and to be honest I can't wait for London next year."

Hubert Hurkacz collected his fourth ATP Tour title after defeating Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets at the Moselle Open.

The Pole did not drop a set on his way to the final and produced yet another impressive outing to down Carreno Busta 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 in just 82 minutes.

Carreno Busta did, however, take an early lead and have Hurkacz reeling from a break down in the first set but the 24-year-old, who defeated former world number one Andy Murray this week, responded efficiently.

Having come from 3-1 down to 4-4, Hurkacz did not look back as his sharp first serve caused Carreno Busta all sorts of problems, most notably to secure the first-set tiebreaker with ease.

The pair continued to exchange breaks at the beginning of the second set but Hurkacz played well from the baseline and held serve to clinch his first trophy outside of the United States.

His victory means he holds a 4-0 record in ATP Tour finals and also saw him inflict revenge on Carreno Busta, who won the previous head-to-head clash in Cincinnati last month.

Hurkacz will be looking for doubles glory on Sunday as well, as he teams with international compatriot Jan Zielinski.

Anett Kontaveit sealed a second title of the season as she overcame Maria Sakkari in straight sets at the Ostrava Open.

The unseeded Estonian, who is ranked 30th in the world, saw off fourth seed Sakkari 6-2 7-5 to claim the trophy in the Czech Republic.

Kontaveit has now won two tournaments in four weeks, having won in Cleveland last month to end a four-year wait since winning her first title in 2017.

This was Sakkari's first final in over two years as well, but Kontaveit cruised past the Greek in just over an hour and a half as she did not drop a set all week.

That flawless level of tennis saw her eliminate Petra Kvitova, Paula Badosa and Belinda Bencic en route to the final, where the 25-year-old faced only one break point as she powered to a comfortable victory over a player who reached semi-finals at the French Open and US Open this year.

Sakkari managed more of a fight in the second set, where she battled for her sole break point, but Kontaveit breezed past any pressure and kept her serve to maintain control.

Sakkari, who is likely to move into the top 10 despite losing, had boasted a 5-3 head-to-head record in main-draw clashes between the pair coming into Sunday's final, but 23 unforced errors outnumbered the 20 winners from her racket as Kontaveit collected her most notable title to date.

Kwon Soon-woo claimed his maiden ATP Tour title with a straight-sets defeat of James Duckworth at the Astana Open.

The South Korean came out on top in the battle of the unseeded first-time finalists on Sunday, winning 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in Nur-Sultan.

Kwon won 86 per cent of points behind his first serve and came from behind in both sets to be crowned champion.

Australian Duckworth failed to convert three set points in a tie-break and Kwon made him pay, grasping his first opportunity to go a set up.

Kwon was broken in the first game of the second set, but the battling world number 82 hit straight back to draw level.

Duckworth, who had not dropped a set en route to the final, was broken again to trail 4-2 and he was unable to find a way back as the 23-year-old Kwon celebrated his finest hour.

 

Team Europe are poised to seal yet more Laver Cup glory after producing another dominant display against Team World, though the focus was on Nick Kyrgios following comments about his long-term future.

Europe swept Saturday's four matches in Boston to stand on the cusp of a fourth consecutive Laver Cup triumph – the defending champions lead 11-1 and require just two more points to clinch the title.

Stefanos Tsitsipas blitzed Team World's Kyrgios 6-3 6-4 at TD Garden, where Olympic Games gold medallist Alexander Zverev beat John Isner 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 10-5 before US Open champion Daniil Medvedev made light work of Denis Shapovalov 6-4 6-0.

Team Europe secured their fourth win of the day in the doubles – Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev teaming up to defeat Isner and Kyrgios 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 10-4.

After Kyrgios' straight-sets loss to Greece's Tsitsipas, the 26-year-old Australian star casted doubt over his tennis future.

"This is my probably my last Laver Cup," former world number 13 Kyrgios – an Australian Open and Wimbledon quarter-finalist – told reporters post-match. "I don't know how much longer I will be in tennis.

"This is my last event of the year. I will get my body right ahead of the Australian Open.

"My mum is not doing too well with her health. I'd like to go back and see her."

"As long as I'm on the court, I will try and give my best, but I'm not going to lie and say that I'm going to plan to play four or five more years on tour," Kyrgios said. "That's just not me."

Playing for the first time since earning his maiden grand slam trophy at the expense of record-chasing Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows, world number two Medvedev suffered no letdown against Shapovalov.

"I played unbelievably, especially [in] the second set," Russia's Medvedev said in his on-court interview. "I didn't know what to expect because after the US Open, I didn't play for a week and a half. Came here, practised as much as I could the past three days, so I didn't hit [that] many balls, but was surprisingly feeling well.

"I wanted to show that also today. [The] first [set] was not easy, the ball was not going as fast as I wanted [and] he was playing really good. And then I just couldn't miss a ball anymore. I'm really happy about [that]."

Hubert Hurkacz and Pablo Carreno Busta will do battle for the Moselle Open title after the top two seeds reached the final with straight-sets victories on Saturday.

Top seed Hurkacz defeated German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to stand on the brink of a third title of the year.

The world number 13 from Poland won 79 per cent of the points on his first serve and sealed victory in an hour and 37 minutes.

Gojowczyk saved five break points but was unable to pull off an upset in Metz.

Hurkacz said: "Peter played a really great match. He was super tough to play against, so I am proud of myself that I managed my emotions and played a good tie-breaker.

"I was trying to keep holding serve to stay in the second set and ended up taking the set in the tie-breaker."

Carreno Busta ended Gael Monfils' bid to win the title on home soil, the Spaniard triumphing 7-5 7-6 (10-8).

Monfils was 5-3 up in a second-set tie-break but failed to force a decider as Carreno Busta advanced for a showdown with Hurkacz.

James Duckworth is into his first ATP Tour final after beating eighth seed Ilya Ivashka 6-3 7-6 (7-4) at the Astana Open.

The Australian will face Kwon Soon-woo, who upset second seed Alexander Bublik 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Anett Kontaveit made home hope Petra Kvitova her latest Ostrava Open scalp as there were upsets in both semi-finals on Saturday. 

Kontaveit faced second seed Kvitova having previously toppled Paula Badosa and Belinda Bencic in straight sets. 

Her last-four victory was even more comprehensive, as Kvitova went down 6-0 6-4 in 71 minutes. 

Kontaveit advances to her fourth final of 2021 and avoids facing Iga Swiatek, who defeated her at the US Open – her only loss since winning the Tennis in the Land title last month. 

But the Estonian must take on the woman who knocked her out of the Olympic Games in Maria Sakkari. 

Number four seed Sakkari took down top seed Swiatek 6-4 7-5 to make her first WTA Tour final since 2019. 

Sakkari had lost nine consecutive semi-finals since then, while Swiatek had never lost at this stage of a tour-level event, but the Greek was a deserving victor. 

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.

Hubert Hurkacz's fine season continued as he ended Andy Murray's run at the Moselle Open on Friday.

Top seed Hurkacz beat Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer on the way to the semi-finals at Wimbledon, and previously beat Murray in Cincinnati.

Hurkacz is ranked 13th in the world and is pushing for a place at the ATP Tour Finals, and he edged closer to a fourth career title by defeating Murray again in Metz.

The 24-year-old prevailed 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 over the former world number one, who was playing in his first ATP Tour quarter-final of the year.

"Andy is an unbelievable competitor, he has achieved so much throughout his career," Hurkacz said. "He is coming back from a tough injury and playing at a very high level, so he is amazing and you can be inspired by his results."

Next up for Hurkacz is Peter Gojowczyk, who overcame Marcos Giron 3-6 6-1 6-3 and is backing up his recent US Open run in strong fashion.

The other last-four match will take place between French home favourite and third seed Gael Monfils, who has reached his first tour semi-final since February last year, and Pablo Carreno Busta.

Carreno Busta, the Spanish second seed, needed three sets to beat Holger Rune, while Monfils had an easier time of it against Nikoloz Basilashvili, winning 6-3 6-3.

At the Astana Open, second seed Alexander Bublik beat Carlos Taberner 6-3 6-4, as he hunts a first singles title.

A crowd favourite in Kazakhstan, whom he has represented since 2016, Russian-born Bublik faces a semi-final against Soonwoo Kwon, who got past Laslo Djere.

Fifth seed John Millman succumbed to fellow Australian James Duckworth, who will face Ilya Ivashka for a place in the final.

Anett Kontaveit beat Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and will face home favourite Petra Kvitova for a place in the Ostrava Open final.

Estonian Kontaveit, ranked 30th in the world, claimed her fourth top-20 win of the season as she prevailed 6-4 6-3 on Friday.

Kontaveit also defeated Bencic in the 2020 Australian Open, meaning she is 2-0 in their head-to-head rivalry.

Czech left-hander Kvitova awaits in the last four, after the second seed defeated Bencic's Swiss compatriot Jil Teichmann 6-4 6-4.

Teichmann beat Kvitova in their only previous meeting, but the world number 10 had too much on this occasion, along with the backing of the crowd to boot as she chases a 29th singles title of her career.

The other semi-final will see top seed Iga Swiatek face Maria Sakkari.

Last year's French Open winner Swiatek reached her first semi-final since May – when she landed the prestigious title in Rome – by overcoming Elena Rybakina 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Sakkari, meanwhile, ended Tereza Martincova's hopes in straight sets.

Greek star Sakkari ended Swiatek's reign as Roland Garros champion in June, beating the Polish 20-year-old in the quarter-finals in Paris.

US Open champion Emma Raducanu has split from coach Andrew Richardson and wants to partner with someone with greater WTA Tour experience. 

Richardson had coached Raducanu in her younger days at Bromley Tennis Centre and accompanied the 18-year-old for her campaign at Flushing Meadows. 

The experience proved unforgettable as the Briton, ranked 150 in the world at the time and having played in just one other major previously (Wimbledon in July), took the title after moving through qualifying and the main draw without dropping a set. 

She became the youngest grand slam finalist since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004 and is the only qualifier in tennis history to win a major final. 

Her astonishing triumph catapulted her to 22 in the WTA rankings and Raducanu is now looking for someone to guide her through the next phase of her career. 

 

Speaking at a homecoming event organised by the Lawn Tennis Association, she said: "Where I was at after Wimbledon, I was ranked around 200 in the world and at the time I thought Andrew would be a great coach to trial, so we went to the States but never did I even dream of winning the US Open and having the run I did, and now I'm ranked 22 in the world, which is pretty crazy to me. 

"I feel like at this stage in my career, and playing the top players in the world, I realised I really need someone right now that has had that WTA Tour experience at the high levels, which means that I'm looking for someone who has been at that level and knows what it takes. 

"And especially right now because I'm so new to it, I really need someone to guide me who has already been through that. 

"Obviously having such an experience with your team, it's tough to have that conversation with anyone, but I think for me, it's just really what I need." 

It has been suggested Raducanu could look to partner with Darren Cahill, the renowned coach who split with Simona Halep this month. 

For now, she is considering when to make a competitive return to action, with the notable Indian Wells Open coming up. 

"I'll decide in the next few days where I'm going to go to but, wherever I play next, I'm going to make sure I'm ready. I don't want to jump into things too early," she said. 

Page 1 of 64
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.