Jannik Sinner claimed his maiden title on the ATP Tour with a hard-fought victory over Vasek Pospisil at the Sofia Open.

The Italian teenager eventually prevailed 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-3) on Saturday after two hours and 15 minutes on court in the Bulgarian capital.

Pospisil sent down 14 aces as he fought back impressively after losing the first set, the Canadian emphatically overcoming an early break of his serve in the second to level up proceedings.

There was little to split the pair in the decider, Sinner seizing the advantage in a tense tie-break when he forced a pair of errors out of his opponent and grasping his chance to be crowned champion.

At 19, Sinner becomes the youngest champion on the ATP Tour since an 18-year-old Kei Nishikori at the Delray Beach Open back in 2008.

He is also the youngest player from Italy to triumph at an event in the Open era, finishing a breakthrough 2020 season with an impressive 19-11 record.

Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem continued their impressive runs to reach the US Open quarter-finals on Monday.

With Novak Djokovic out, the men's draw in New York is wide open and a first-time grand slam winner will be crowned at Flushing Meadows.

Medvedev and Thiem are the main contenders and they showed just why with tremendous last-16 wins.

Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev and Alex de Minaur also reached the quarter-finals.

 

MEDVEDEV MARVELLOUS AGAIN

Last year's runner-up, Medvedev crushed American Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-1 6-0.

The Russian third seed was in impressive form to win through in just 98 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Medvedev has lost just 29 games through his opening four wins at the tournament.

He is into the quarter-finals of a major for just the second time in his career and first since his run to the decider last year.

THIEM FLIES PAST AUGER-ALIASSIME

A three-time grand slam runner-up, Thiem was expected to be tested by Canadian 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

But the Austrian second seed needed just over two hours to advance 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 6-1.

While Thiem was solid with 23 winners and 24 unforced errors, Auger-Aliassime finished with 51 unforced errors.

Although Djokovic is out and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are not playing, Thiem said he was staying focused.

"There is a difference that none of these three are left in the draw. That's the only difference," he said.

"But for me personally, it never mattered. I just always tried to focus on my next match. My focus or my concentration, it's the same. It doesn't matter if I play one of the big three members or if I play somebody else.

"Well, I mean, what happened happened. Nobody of the other players has any or had any influence of that. We just need to focus and focus on ourselves.

"Of course, it's probably a little bit of a bigger chance for all of us to win the first slam, but basically the things didn't change that much, at least for myself."

 

RUBLEV, DE MINAUR REACH QUARTERS

Next up for Medvedev is Rublev in an all-Russian quarter-final.

Rublev overcame last year's semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3 in a clash between two seeds.

He reached a second career grand slam quarter-final and first since the 2017 US Open.

De Minaur's run continued with a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-2 victory over Vasek Pospisil.

The Australian 21st seed is into the last eight at a major for the first time in his career and will face Thiem.

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.

Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil have confirmed the formation of a breakaway players union, the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).

World number one Djokovic and Pospisil each posted a picture of the first players to sign up for the PTPA on court together at Flushing Meadows on Saturday.

Djokovic resigned as president of the ATP Player Council to front the rival union and attempt to increase player power.

The tweets from Djokovic and Pospisil read: "After yesterday's successful meeting, we are excited to announce the beginning of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). The first player only association in tennis since 1972."

However, the new male-only association has some high-profile critics.

Andy Murray believes it would send a more powerful message were the WTA to be brought on board, while Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have each come out against the PTPA.

Nadal wrote on Twitter: "The world is living a difficult and complicated situation.

"I personally believe these are times to be calm and work all of us together in the same direction. It is time for unity, not for separation.

"These are moments where big things can be achieved as long as the world of tennis is united. We all, players, tournaments and governing bodies have to work together. We have a bigger problem and separation and disunion is definitely not the solution."

Federer added: "I agree @RafaelNadal. These are uncertain and challenging times, but I believe it's critical for us to stand united as players, and as a sport, to pave the best way forward."

Vasek Pospisil has resigned from the ATP Player Council amid reports a breakaway body is set to be formed.

The New York Times reported on Friday that world number one Novak Djokovic and the top men's players are creating a players' association.

Amid reports president Djokovic had resigned, Pospisil confirmed on Twitter he had stepped down.

"After two years on the ATP Player Council, I am resigning from my position as the player representative for the 51-100 ranking positions," the Canadian wrote.

"It has become clear that, as a player council member within the current structure of the ATP, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to have any significant impact on any major decisions made by our tour.

"I am proud to say I have always fought for what I believed to be right and, in doing so, never compromised my integrity.

"My sole mission on the council was to represent my peers well, and I'm extremely proud to have done that to the best of my abilities. I leave holding my head high."

Djokovic and Pospisil will serve as initial co-presidents of the new body, according to The New York Times.

French Open organisers were facing a backlash on Tuesday after revealing new dates for the clay-court grand slam.

ATP tour council member Vasek Pospisil, a Canadian who was a Wimbledon doubles champion in 2014, said there had been "no communication" with the men's tour and labelled the decision "madness".

The ATP and WTA tours are at a standstill, with tournaments cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it appears entirely unrealistic that Paris, currently a city in lockdown, will be ready to stage a grand slam by late May.

The Roland Garros tournament's new dates of September 20 to October 4 mean it will begin seven days after the US Open men's final, and clashes with Davis Cup and Laver Cup matches mean the calendar will need a major overhaul.

Pospisil's accusation that French Open organisers have gone it alone by declaring its switch to a September start may suggest the newly revealed dates could face serious opposition.

The 29-year-old wrote on Twitter: "This is madness. Major announcement by Roland Garros changing the dates to one week after the US Open. No communication with the players or the ATP.. we have ZERO say in this sport. It’s time. #UniteThePlayers"

From the women's tour, American Madison Keys posted a response to the French Open announcement featuring a cartoon on Twitter of a house burning down, adding the caption: "Everything is fine."

Croatian Donna Vekic also reacted to the tournament announcement, writing: "Excusez moi?"

Regardless of the exceptional circumstances, any move by the French Open that lacked the co-operation of either the men's ATP Tour or the women's WTA Tour - if that is the case here - will test the good faith of both in the French slam organisers. It also creates a logistical nightmare.

As well as Davis Cup matches in the two days prior to the French Open, the men's tour has tournaments organised for the two-week duration of the tournament in St Petersburg, Metz, Chengdu, Zhuhai and Sofia. The Laver Cup is also due to take place from September 25-27.

On the women's tour, the Zhengzhou Open is due to finish on the first day of the rescheduled Roland Garros, followed over the duration of the tournament by events in Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Wuhan and Tashkent. Its China Open is also due to begin on October 3, the projected day of the women's final in Paris.

The 10-man ATP council on which Pospisil sits is led by world number one Novak Djokovic, with Roger Federer and 12-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal also members.

Stefanos Tsitsipas started the defence of his Open 13 Marseille title with a straight-sets victory over Mikael Ymer to reach the quarter-finals.

Tsitsipas has made a disappointing start to the season, but took just 71 minutes to dispatch Ymer 6-1 6-3 on Wednesday.

The ATP Finals champion lost just three points on his first serve and did not face a solitary break point in an emphatic win.

Second seed Tsitsipas will face Vasek Pospisil in the last eight following the Canadian's 6-3 6-4 defeat of eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz.

Sixth seed Benoit Paire made a surprise exit in his homeland, going down 3-6 6-4 6-4 to Alexander Bublik in the second round.

It was anything but plain sailing for Felix Auger-Aliassime, who saved two match points before getting past Stefano Travaglia 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Auger-Aliassime's second-round opponent will be Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 victor in his match against Mikhail Kukushkin. 

Egor Gerasimov also reached round two by knocking out fellow qualifier Dennis Novak.

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.

Stefanos Tsitsipas became the latest seed to crash out of the Rotterdam Open as Jannik Sinner claimed his first top-10 win on Thursday.

After top seed Daniil Medvedev departed the competition a day earlier, Tsitsipas and David Goffin - seeded second and fourth respectively - each suffered upsets to blow the bottom half of the draw wide open.

Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene recorded the biggest win of his career as he cut down Tsitsipas in straight sets, his second triumph over a top-10 player clinched by a 7-5 6-4 scoreline.

"I tried to stay focused, and I delivered," Bedene said shortly after a stunning winner down the line saw him successfully serve out for the match.

"I actually served really well when it was important and kept my cool really, because I was feeling that he [Tsitsipas] was pressuring sometimes.

"I had to stay focused and cool and play my shots, and I delivered. I'm happy with that."

The world number 52 saved five break points in the opener before claiming his first opportunity, and he conceded: "I think he [Tsitsipas] was probably the better player for most of the first set.

"He was serving really well, and I didn't play my game - especially on his service points. I stayed tough, which I had to do, otherwise it would go the other way. I guess the break gave me a boost of confidence."

Bedene will play Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals, with the winner potentially meeting NextGen champion Sinner - matched with Pablo Carreno Busta - in the last four.

Sinner, still just 18, came up with 27 winners to see off 10th-ranked Goffin 7-6 (9-7) 7-5.

"I feel great, especially now in this moment," the Italian said, according to quotes on the ATP Tour website. "It was not easy playing against him. He is very solid, so you sometimes go for a winner or change the rhythm.

"It feels like a normal victory, but sometimes you play better than others. It's all about improving and testing where you are."

Reigning champion Gael Monfils prolonged his title defence, beating countryman Gilles Simon 6-4 6-1.

Seventh seed Andrey Rublev also advanced, while Vasek Pospisil could not build on his shock defeat of Medvedev, going down 6-4 7-6 (9-7) to Filip Krajinovic.

Gael Monfils became the Open Sud de France champion for the third time on Sunday after defeating Vasek Pospisil.

The 33-year-old, who triumphed in Montpellier in 2010 and 2014, won 7-5 6-3 to become the eighth French champion in the 10 editions of the tournament since it was relocated from Lyon.

Pospisil, who battled past second seed David Goffin to reach only his second ATP Tour final, failed to make the most of four break points against the Monfils serve in an hour and 37 minutes.

At the Pune Open, Jiri Vesely ended a five-year wait to lift a Tour title after overcoming Egor Gerasimov.

Vesely saved match points in his quarter-final and semi-final to book a showdown with Gerasimov, which he won 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-3.

"I have to be realistic. I had a lot of luck in the week, saving six match points [across] two matches in a row," he said.

"I think that happens once in a lifetime, maybe, you never know…

"Two matches in a row, especially in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, is really big."

Vesely is the eighth player since 2013 to save match points in two matches en route to winning a Tour event.

Gael Monfils will face Vasek Pospisil in the final of the Open Sud de France after the home favourite clinched a straight-sets win over Filip Krajinovic.

Seeking his third title at the event, world number nine Monfils triumphed 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in 82 minutes against the Serbian.

Monfils saved all three break points against Krajinovic in an impressive victory that maintains France's perfect record of ensuring a home player reaches the final of the Montpellier tournament.

The 2010 and 2014 champion will meet Pospisil on Sunday after the Canadian defeated David Goffin in three sets.

Goffin served for the match in the decider but lost three decisive games in a row as Pospisil triumphed 6-3 1-6 7-5 in two hours and 21 minutes.

At the Pune Open, Australia's James Duckworth was beaten 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 by Egor Gerasimov in the semi-finals.

The Belarusian dropped only five points behind his first serve as he reached a maiden ATP Tour final, where he will face Jiri Vesely.

Vesely saved match points for the second round in a row, outlasting second seed Ricardas Berankis 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (9-7) in a draining encounter to secure a first final in nearly five years.

Top seed Gael Monfils is the only home hope still standing at the Open Sud de France after beating Norbert Gombos in straight sets to reach the semi-finals.

The world number nine downed Slovakian Gombos 6-3 6-4 in Montpellier on Friday to stay in contention to win the tournament for a third time.

Filip Krajinovic stands in the way of Monfils and a place in the final after the seventh seed accounted for Gregoire Barrere 6-2 7-5.

Vasek Pospisil moved into the last four when Richard Gasquet retired at 6-1 1-0 down in his homeland due to an abdominal injury.

David Goffin will take on the Canadian after the second seed saw off Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

James Duckworth reached his maiden ATP Tour semi-final with a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) defeat of qualifier Roberto Marcora at the Pune Open.

The 96-ranked Australia will come up against Egor Gerasimov, who came from a set down to beat Kwon Soon-woo 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4.

Jiri Vesely and Ricardas Berankis will contest the other semi-final after getting past Ilya Ivashka and Yuichi Sugita respectively.

Spain will face Canada in Sunday's Davis Cup final after Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez edged the hosts past Great Britain.

A gripping semi-final saw the singles split and the tie came down to drama in the doubles on Saturday.

The Spanish duo, in front of a partisan crowd in Madrid, survived a major test as Nadal and Lopez needed two tie-breaks to fend off Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski.

With Andy Murray roaring on the British team from courtside, his older brother and Skupski pushed Nadal and Lopez through two intense sets before falling just short, losing 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8).

The British pair had set points to take it to a decider, but Spain, and Nadal in particular with one sublime overhead after a brilliant reach, produced their best when the pressure was at its greatest.

It was always likely Britain would need Kyle Edmund to win his singles rubber and he duly delivered with a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) win against Lopez – a late stand-in for the injured Pablo Carreno Busta.

But Nadal coasted to a 6-4 6-0 beating of Dan Evans, who tailed off after putting up a valiant effort in the first set against his more illustrious opponent.

And after the late-night doubles joy, with the contest finishing well after midnight, Nadal said: "I think we played a great match. 'Feli' served great the whole match and at important moments he did everything well.

"Thank you very much to Feli and the rest of the team."

Lopez said: "There was a lot of drama today on the court. We are very pleased we somehow managed to play those points in a very good way.

"It was a lot of drama but this is what you expect when you play this kind of match. I think we have a very good opportunity tomorrow to lift this cup."

Earlier, Canada reached the Davis Cup final for the first time in their history by winning a similarly thrilling tie against Russia.

Denis Shapovalov kept Canada in with a chance by beating Karen Khachanov 6-4 4-6 6-4 after Andrey Rublev overcame Vasek Pospisil 6-4 6-4.

And the Canadian duo defeated their Russian rivals 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) in a thrilling deciding doubles rubber.

Canada won a thrilling tie against Russia to seal a place in the Davis Cup final for the first time on Saturday.

Russia prevailed in a deciding doubles tie-break in an epic contest with Serbia a day earlier but were unable to repeat the trick as Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil made history for Canada.

The duo secured a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) triumph over Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov in Madrid, despite Pospisil having received treatment on a shoulder injury prior to the final set.

It marked the culmination of a memorable tussle, in which Russia struck first when Rublev earned a fourth singles victory of the week with a 6-4 6-4 win over Pospisil.

That meant Shapovalov had to defeat Khachanov to keep Canada's hopes alive and things were not looking good when the Russian raced into a 4-1 lead.

Shapovalov rallied brilliantly to take the opener, but succumbed when serving to stay in the second at 5-4 down.

A tense decider went the way of Shapovalov, who celebrated a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory in a match featuring 73 unforced errors.

Spain or Great Britain, who contest the other last-four tie, await in the final.

Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil sent Australia packing as Alex de Minaur's singles victory proved fruitless in the first Davis Cup quarter-final.

With Pospisil defeating John Millman 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in the opening match, Australia relied on a comeback from De Minaur to haul themselves level.

Next Gen ATP Finals runner up De Minaur – Australia's star player in Thursday's tie with Nick Kyrgios sitting out – did it the hard way, coming from a set down to beat Shapovalov 3-6 6-3 7-5 and tee up a deciding doubles encounter.

But Canada were too good in the doubles – Pospisil picking up where he left off while Shapovalov bounced back from his loss in style via a 6-4 6-4 win.

A break of serve in the opening game against Australian counterparts Jordan Thompson and John Peers paved the way for the pair to claim the first set with ease.

Thompson and Peers looked set to take the match all the way when they earned a 3-0 lead in set two, only for Shapovalov and Pospisil to restore parity before pushing on to seal progression with their first match point.

Serbia play Russia, Argentina face Spain and Great Britain go up against Germany in the other quarter-final ties, which will be played on Friday.

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