Novak Djokovic is relishing what he believes could be the biggest challenge in sport of facing his "greatest rival" Rafael Nadal in the French Open final on Sunday.

Top seed Djokovic overcame a Stefanos Tsitsipas fightback to win the second semi-final 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1 at Roland Garros on Friday after Nadal beat Diego Schwartzman in straight sets.

The world number one will do battle with 12-time French Open champion Nadal in a mouth-watering clash of the titans on Court Philippe-Chatrier this weekend.

Djokovic has won 29 of the 55 meetings between two of the all-time greats, while the Serb and Robin Soderling are the only players to have beaten the Spaniard in the Paris grand slam.

Nadal has never lost a final at a major he has dominated, and Djokovic is well aware of the size of the challenge he will face when he attempts to deny the 'King of Clay' a record-equalling 20th grand slam triumph.

Djokovic, a winner of 17 majors but only one at Roland Garros in 2016, said in his on-court interview: "It's his [Nadal's] home. And with all the titles he's won. But I remember I beat him in the quarter-finals in 2015.

"I hope to recover. It's the biggest challenge, perhaps in sport, to play Nadal here at Roland Garros but I am motivated to win."

Asked to elaborate on those comments in his news conference, Djokovic replied: "Well, isn't it obvious? He won this tournament so many times that I don't think any player has won that many times any tournament.

"He's lost twice in his entire career on this court. Obviously the conditions are different than the ones that we are used to playing in May and June. I think that could be a better chance for me, obviously the ball not bouncing as high over the shoulder as he likes it usually.

"Regardless of the conditions, he's still there, he's Rafa, he's in the final and we're playing on clay. Best-of-five playing him in the finals at Roland Garros, I know that feeling. I did lose to him on this court most of the matches that we played, but I also won one match in 2015 in straight sets in quarters.

"That's the match that I'll look back at and obviously try to take some positives out of it and use it tactically against him. I'm not feeling exhausted physically so much after tonight's match, obviously almost four hours. It was a great battle.

"But I feel fine. I think a day and a half will be plenty of time for me to recover. I'm really looking forward to a great battle with Rafa."

Djokovic added: "I've played him more than I played any other player in my professional career. I think our head-to-head is the biggest head-to-head ever in the history of the sport.

"He's definitely my greatest rival. Playing him in so many great matches, of course the past will have some effect in terms of respect towards each other, I guess motivation to get out on the court and play your best, knowing that we both have to be at our best in order to win against each other.

"So I think that's where the past will play its offensive line. Not more than that, to be honest, because I think we are both experienced enough to really approach matches like this focusing only what is ahead of us."

Novak Djokovic will face Rafael Nadal in Sunday's French Open final after battling past Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets.

With the upper-body issues that hampered his quarter-final win over Pablo Carreno Busta apparently behind him, the world number one still had to dig deep in Friday's semi-final to see off Tsitsipas, who had won 27 matches this year and had looked imperious against Andrey Rublev in the previous round.

Tsitsipas rallied from match point down in the third set to force Djokovic to go the distance in his quest to reach a first grand slam final, but the 17-time major winner wrestled momentum back to claim a 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1 victory.

The 33-year-old, who is 216-1 in grand slam matches after winning the first two sets, eventually completed the job after three hours and 54 minutes as he set up a meeting with old foe Nadal in what will be his 27th major final.

Djokovic saved four break points in the opening game before moving 4-1 ahead and again held off a stern challenge on serve to make it 5-2 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The 2016 champion's drop shot appeared on point, with two more in game nine helping him close out the opening set despite one or two loose groundstrokes.

Tsitsipas was arguably playing the better tennis by the early stages of the second set, but it was Djokovic who was producing the goods at the key points. Some remarkable defensive work and a brilliant cross-court backhand winner saw him set up just his second break point after trailing 0-40, and he took it when Tsitsipas skied a forehand after a net cord.

He consolidated to move 4-2 ahead and got the double break when Tsitsipas swung a forehand into the tramlines, serving out the set with back-to-back aces to assume control of the match.

Djokovic had match point on serve at 5-4 in the third but Tsitsipas suddenly struck back, at last getting a break of his own and then snatching the set with a ferocious forehand that clipped the baseline.

By now, it was Tsitsipas who was under siege on serve and Djokovic who could not make the breakthrough. He saw 10 break points come and go before sending a drop shot into the net at set point down as the contest entered an unlikely decider.

Djokovic at last broke the resistance early in the fifth, a dead-eyed drop shot and then a strangely errant service game from Tsitsipas giving the Serbian a double break. A third match point proved enough for the number one seed, a downcast Tsitsipas watching a second serve slapped beyond his reach.

Novak Djokovic was wary of revealing the full extent of his neck and shoulder injuries ahead of a French Open semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

World number one Djokovic reached the last four at Roland Garros on Wednesday after recovering from a set down to beat Pablo Carreno-Busta 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.

Djokovic was clearly hampered by fitness concerns, however, wearing tape on his neck, repeatedly stretching out his left arm and then receiving treatment in Paris midweek.

"I definitely didn't feel great coming into the court today. A few things happened in the warm-up," Djokovic explained afterwards.

"I had to deal with those physical issues coming onto the court. As the match went on, I felt better and didn't feel as much pain."

The Australian Open champion was pressed for further detail but, with his title tilt continuing, additional information remained scarce.

"I had some neck issues and some shoulder issues. I'll just say that," he said. "I don't want to get really too much into it.

"Obviously I'm still in the tournament, so I don't want to reveal too much.

"I'm feeling okay. I think as the match progressed, I warmed up by body and the pain kind of faded away. It allowed me to play better and better and feel better."

Victory was particularly sweet as it came against Carreno-Busta, Djokovic's opponent when he was defaulted from the US Open last month for striking a line judge with the ball.

It was put to the 33-year-old Serbian that match – his only defeat in 2020 – might have contributed to the slow start against Carreno-Busta, but he insisted the injuries were the sole cause.

"No, no, it wasn't that at all. It was something else," Djokovic said. "I actually just mentioned what was the issue. I had to deal with that.

"I told you guys many times I'm over it. I'm not thinking about it at all. I mean, zero per cent."

Stefanos Tsitsipas made a statement of intent by propelling himself into the French Open semi-finals with a straight-sets dispatching of Andrey Rublev.

World number six Tsitsipas, who will face top seed Novak Djokovic or Pablo Carreno Busta on Friday, made light work of his Russian opponent, taking just under two hours to win 7-5 6-2 6-3. 

It puts the Greek – the first player from his nation to make it this far in Paris – into his second career grand slam semi-final, following his run to the last four in the Australian Open in 2019.

The 22-year-old, who claimed 43 points on his first serve, won 16 of the final 21 games to thwart any comeback hopes for Rublev.

"I have been feeling really comfortable playing on this court," Tsitsipas told a limited number of spectators on Court Philippe-Chatrier after his triumph. "Despite not having a good start and being a break down, I remembered what a big fighter I am. It's about fighting and trying to find solutions in difficult moments."

Tsitsipas conceded the first break in an intense opener, with Rublev striking to go 3-2 up, but the 13th seed could not hold his nerve when serving for the set and an overhit forehand handed the ATP Finals champion a reprieve.

Another sloppy Rublev forehand gifted Tsitsipas the first set, and several unforced errors from the Russian followed in the second as the fifth seed upped the pressure.

A wonderful drop-shot gave Tsitsipas a first match point on Rublev's serve, though he failed to convert it.

Yet victory was assured in the next game, with Tsitsipas rounding off a supreme display with a clinical forehand volley.

Data Slam: Tsitsipas on a roll at Roland Garros

After dropping his first two in this year's tournament, against Jaume Munar in round one, Tsitsipas has now won 15 successive sets at Roland Garros, and he will now attempt to become the first man from Greece to reach a grand slam final.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Rublev – 25/23
Tsitsipas – 35/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Rublev – 7/0
Tsitsipas – 7/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Rublev – 1/3
Tsitsipas – 5/8

Novak Djokovic had few scares in his fourth-round win over Karen Khachanov at the French Open, though there was one "awkward situation" that left him with a sense of deja vu.

Djokovic eased into his 14th Roland Garros quarter-final with a 6-4 6-3 6-3 win on Court Philippe Chatrier on Monday.

An entertaining but largely uneventful encounter was marked by a moment of drama as Djokovic accidentally hit a line judge with an errant shot.

The world number one, defaulted from the US Open for striking a line judge with a ball after dropping serve at Flushing Meadows, was in no danger of disqualification this time around, though Djokovic conceded the moment left him briefly feeling uneasy.

He will meet Pablo Carreno Busta in a rematch of that US Open clash following the Spaniard's 6-2 7-5 6-2 win over Daniel Altmaier.

Meanwhile there were wins for Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev.


DEJA VU FOR DJOKOVIC

Djokovic skipped his press commitments in the wake of his infamous incident at Flushing Meadows.

However, he was more than happy to face the media after history repeated itself in more innocuous fashion, and he praised the line judge in question for their response to the accident.

"My gosh, it was very awkward deja vu," Djokovic said. "I'm actually trying to find the lines person and see if he's okay because I saw he had a little bit of a bruise, like redness, in that place in the head where the ball hit him. 

"I hope he's fine. I mean, he definitely dealt with it in a very strong and brave way. But it was a hit because I was very close.

"Obviously because of what happened in New York, people I guess are going to make the story out of this.

"It has happened to me and to many other players in the last 15 years that I've been on the tour. I've seen it a lot when the ball ricochets from the racquet and the frame, hits someone in the stands, or someone that is close to you or line umpire.

"It was a very awkward situation obviously."

RUBLEV HAILS 'REALLY IMPORTANT' WIN

Rublev had to fight extremely hard to see off Marton Fucsovics, conqueror of his Russian compatriot Daniil Medvedev in the first round.

The 13th seed was a break down in each of the first three sets, losing the opener on a tie-break before coming back to prevail 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

Asked if he could enjoy a match where he was almost always having to claw back a deficit, he replied: "I think I start to enjoy more when it was one set all.

"When he broke me and I broke him back. When the games was three-all, when I broke him, when he broke me back, from that time I start to enjoy more.

"In general, I think we showed great level. These kind of matches are really important. You understand why you are working, why you're giving everything every day in practices."

TSITSIPAS EYES REVENGE

Next up for Rublev will be fifth speed Tsitsipas, who lost to the Russian in the final in Hamburg prior to travelling to Paris.

The Greek overcame Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 7-6 (11-9) 6-2 to set up a rematch with Rublev in the last eight.

And he knows he will have to improve if he is to alter the outcome from their previous encounter.

"Andrey, we grew up playing together. He has improved a lot. We've played each other many times. I think he has a positive record against me," Tsitsipas said.

"It is very important for me to take this opportunity and fight harder this time, maybe do something better.

"He's a very challenging player to play against. I think he for sure brings the best out of me when I step out on the court to play against him."

Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed his 25th win of the year to progress to the last 16 of the French Open.

The fifth seed became the first Greek player to reach this stage at Roland Garros on multiple occasions after overcoming Aljaz Bedene.

Tsitsipas and Grigor Dimitrov will meet for the first time in the fourth round, with each having had curtailed time on court on Saturday as their respective opponents retired.

Marton Fucsovics set up a showdown with in-form Andrey Rublev, but the day arguably belonged to Daniel Altmaier, whose remarkable run continues after he dispatched world number eight Matteo Berrettini.

 

TSITSIPAS READY FOR REAL TEST

Tsitsipas barely broke sweat as he advanced to the last 16, with Bedene retiring with a foot problem in the third set.

The pair had only been on court for 80 minutes, Tsitsipas having taken a commanding 6-1 6-2 3-1 lead against the clearly hampered Slovenian.

While the match inevitably lost a level of intrigue, the same cannot be said for Tsitsipas at these finals. The 22-year-old, whose personalised face masks have been a hit at the championships, has also made a point of keeping his media duties interesting.

Perhaps that comes in part from the young Tsitsipas' journalistic background. "I was a journalist when I was 11, 12 years old. I had this Facebook page, which I very often updated with news about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic," he explained.

"I was really into it. Every day after school I would check the results, check the current, latest tennis news. I would update it. It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed doing it.

"Journalism and press and media, I love this a lot. I do understand how it operates, how it works. So for me, you know, I'm a tennis player, and if something works, I'm on the court the next day  trying to do the same thing. For me sometimes there isn't really much for me to say tactical-wise or match-wise because I'm just trying to follow the things that have been working for me."

Tsitsipas will now meet Dimitrov, who had even less time on court against Roberto Carballes, the Spaniard retiring at 1-6 3-6 down with a little over an hour played.

It is the first time Dimitrov, a semi-finalist at each of the other majors in his career, has reached the second week in Paris.

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

Altmaier produced the finest two hours and 15 minutes of his career as he defeated Berrettini, a semi-finalist at last year's US Open, in straight sets.

The seventh seed lost 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to the German qualifier, who is ranked 186th in the world and nearly did not compete in Paris due to injury.

"My coach and I have been working so hard to be here, and while I've struggled with a few injuries, I am super-pleased it’s at Roland Garros," said Altmaier, who is just the fifth qualifier since 2000 to reach the last 16 of a men's slam.

"Before qualifying, I was struggling with an injury, so I wasn't sure I was going to play. I hope the crowd and the TV audience enjoyed watching, as I want to entertain."

Next up for Altmaier will be Pablo Carreno Busta – himself a US Open semi-finalist just three weeks ago – after he beat compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-4 in three hours and 22 minutes.

FUCSOVICS READY FOR RUBLEV

Rublev's winning streak stretched to eight matches as he made light work of big-serving Kevin Anderson, winning 6-3 6-2 6-3 in just 94 minutes.

Anderson, the former world number five, hit 33 unforced errors and won just four points on Rublev's first serve as he fell to the Russian.

Rublev will now face Fucsovics, who beat Brazil's Thiago Monteiro 7-5 6-1 6-3. It will be their first meeting since the 2017 Davis Cup, when Fucsovics fought from two sets down to help Hungary to a 3-1 victory.

"We were different players," said Fucsovics. "Right now he's just about to break in the top 10. I got more matured. I have more experience. I'm fit now, fitter than ever. I'm looking forward to playing a good match against him, try to break through finally to the quarter-finals."

Novak Djokovic set his sights on French Open glory after thrashing Mikael Ymer in the first round on Tuesday.

The Serbian, seeking to put his US Open disqualification firmly behind him, made an early statement of intent with a 6-0 6-2 6-3 victory on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

It took Djokovic one hour, 38 minutes to get the job done, with Ricardas Berankis awaiting in the second round.

And the world number one is determined to chase down a second crown at Roland Garros, having triumphed in 2016.

"I'm ready physically, mentally, emotionally to go deep in the tournament," said Djokovic.

"Hopefully I can have another successful year here in Paris. 2016 was a dream come true.

"Obviously the only French Open title I have won in my career, and it was a very long anticipated title."

 

TSITSIPAS AND RUBLEV, UNITED AGAIN BY FIVE-SETTERS

Two days after they went head to head in the Hamburg European Open final, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas were back in action in Paris.

And both at one stage looked in serious danger of first-round exits, with their efforts of the past week in Germany seemingly catching up on the seeded pair.

Rublev, who got the better of Tsitsipas in Hamburg, trailed Sam Querrey by two sets on Tuesday. Tsitsipas also slumped two sets behind in his clash with Spain's Jaume Munar.

But both staged spectacular fightbacks, with Russian 13th seed Rublev edging out American Querrey 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-4 6-3 and Greek fifth seed Tsitsipas prevailing 4-6 2-6 6-1 6-4 6-4.

"Although I started well, I was kind of switched off again later during the first set," Tsitsipas said. "Whatever I was trying to do, most of my shots were landing out and nothing was going my way.

"It was crazy what was happening out there, and I couldn't find any solutions. I feel like I was just turning down the hill, and I'm happy that I took my time.

"I started thinking a little bit more. Started figuring out why I was rushing so much and why I was going for extreme things. After a bit of processing and thinking, I think that helped settle things down and have a fresh new start of the match."

Rublev accepted his display against Querrey was dismal, saying: "I was feeling completely tight. I choke another level. From the first point of the match till the last match of the match I was completely frozen. I couldn't do one step, I could only hit, I was tight like I don't know."

 

BERRETTINI FEELING OLD...AT 24!

Matteo Berrettini breezed past Vasek Pospisil 6-3 6-1 6-3 before railing against the relentless march of time.

At just 24, the Italian is already feeling like a veteran after seeing the impressive exploits of compatriots Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti, who are both teenagers.

"Now it's crazy. Until last year I was the young one," exclaimed Berrettini, who faces Lloyd Harris in round two.

"Now these two are with big steps stepping in. I mean, my career is completely different compared to theirs. They started really young.

"This is my third Roland Garros, and I'm 24. Probably them at 24, they would have played already maybe six Roland Garros. It's definitely different."

 

GASQUET AND SIMON LEAD FRENCH CASUALTIES

Canadian ninth seed Denis Shapovalov was tested by experienced Frenchman Gilles Simon but won through 6-2 7-5 5-7 6-3, while 18th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov drubbed another Frenchman in Gregoire Barrere, landing a 6-3 6-2 6-2 win.

Roberto Bautista Agut added to the French misery, sinking fellow veteran Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-1, and lesser-known players also exited their home grand slam as Ugo Humbert, Quentin Halys and Harold Mayot also bowed out.

Andrey Rublev heads to Roland Garros with a third title of the season secured after Stefanos Tsitsipas let victory slip from his grasp at the Hamburg European Open.

As the French Open began, Rublev and Tsitsipas were almost 600 miles away in northern Germany, duking it out for ATP Tour silverware.

Both will arrive in the French capital after a string of fine clay-court results; however, Rublev will be the happier man after a 6-4 3-6 7-5 success in the final saw him pocket the €79,330 winner's cheque.

Rublev pouched trophies at the start of the year in Qatar and Adelaide, and only Novak Djokovic has won more matches on the tour this season than the 22-year-old Russian's haul of 25 victories.

After they split the opening two sets, It seemed a sure thing that Greek world number six Tsitsipas would wrap up the title after surging to a 5-3 lead in the decider.

However, he could not get across the line, with Rublev landing his first title at ATP 500 level by reeling off four successive games.

Tsitsipas was seeking his second title of 2020, having won in Marseille in February, but his win-loss record in ATP finals now stands at 5-7, with his inability to close out this match posing questions about his prospects of competing deep into the coming fortnight in Paris.

Rublev has only played the French Open once, losing in the first round three years ago. He faces an opener against American Sam Querrey, while Tsitsipas starts against Spain's Jaume Munar.

Andrey Rublev described the Hamburg European Open as "the most special tournament" in his life just now after setting up a final showdown with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 22-year-old Russian lost to Nikoloz Basilashvili in last year's final and will look to go one better after battling past Casper Ruud in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Rublev, aiming for a third title of 2020 and fifth of his burgeoning career, outfought Ruud on the way to a 6-4 6-2 win at the clay-court event.

"The match was really tough. I think everyone saw how tough it was, how [many] long rallies we had, how many chances both of us had," said Rublev.

He added, quoted on the ATP website: "It could [have been] easily 6-4, 6-2 to Casper’s side, but I was a little bit lucky. In the most important moments and at the end, the match was for me. I am really happy with the way I played today."

Rublev fell in the second round in Rome last week, following a run to the US Open quarter-finals, and his form has been inconsistent this year, yet sporadically brilliant.

Titles came in Qatar and Adelaide at the start of the year, and now another beckons in Germany.

The fifth seed said: "[It is] my first ever time that two years in a row I reached a final at the same tournament. For the moment, it is the most special tournament for me. We will see how it goes [on Sunday]."

Tsitsipas, seeded second, halted Chilean Cristian Garin in a three-set thriller he described as "nerve-wracking".

The Greek second seed will chase a second title of 2020 on Sunday, before joining Rublev in heading to the French Open.

A 7-5 3-6 6-4 success against Garin sent the world number six through to a 12th career ATP final, battle-hardened for the clash with Rublev.

The French Open also begins on Sunday, but Tsitsipas and Rublev are not due to begin their challenges in Paris on the opening day of the grand slam.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is into the semi-finals of the Hamburg European Open after eventually seeing off Dusan Lajovic in relatively straightforward fashion on Friday.

The 22-year-old Greek did not have it all his own way in the 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win, but after coming out on top in a tricky first set, he maintained his level and saw off Lajovic.

Tsitsipas had been in good form during wins over Dan Evans and Pablo Cuevas in the previous two rounds, not dropping a set in the process, though world number 24 Lajovic looked likely to pose more of a threat.

And the Serbian appeared poised to take the first set when going 5-3 up in the tiebreaker, only for Tsitsipas to rattle off four points in succession and take the lead.

Although there were then three straight breaks of serve to start the second set, it was mostly plain sailing from then on for world number five Tsitsipas, who once again relished the setting, with up to 2,300 fans permitted to attend the tournament despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

"It was a perfect day, sunny, good people, good atmosphere and good clay," Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. "Dusan is a difficult opponent to play on clay, with a lot of spin and variation in his shots. I think I had to do something extra for the victory today. I will keep working hard."

Up next for the 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist is Chile's Cristian Garin, who impressively fought back from a set down to beat Alexander Bublik 3-6 6-4 6-4 to reach a third semi-final – all on clay – this year.

The other last-four clash will see the in-form Casper Ruud – 7-5 3-6 6-1 winner over Ugo Humbert – face Andrey Rublev, who impressed with his aggression in a 6-2 7-5 defeat of Roberto Bautista Agut.

Stefanos Tsitsipas was delighted to be back on clay after he overcame Daniel Evans 6-3 6-1 in the first round of the Hamburg Open.

World number six Tsitsipas has largely failed to find his best form since the ATP Tour season got back underway in August, and he was eliminated in the US Open third round.

However, the 22-year-old defending ATP Finals champion was back at his best in a 59-minute victory over world number 34 Evans on Wednesday.

Tsitsipas struck 24 winners and offered up just one break point – which Evans failed to take – and the Greek was thrilled to return to form ahead of the French Open.

"It's very satisfying to be playing that level of tennis, as I've missed playing on clay," said Tsitsipas, who will face Pablo Cuevas in round two.

"It helps for my confidence. I've watched this tournament on TV since I was very young and I'm delighted to have gotten off to a strong start."

Elsewhere, Benoit Paire was forced to retire hurt against Casper Ruud, while Cristian Garin ended Yannick Hanfmann's run to take a spot in the last eight.

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev also booked a quarter-final berth with a 6-1 3-6 6-2 defeat of Tommy Paul and Felix Auger-Aliassime went down 6-4 6-2 to world number 56 Alexander Bublik.

Bublik pulled off an audacious underarm serve at one point, catching Auger-Aliassime unaware as the Canadian slumped to a shock defeat.

In Wednesday's final match, world number 11 Roberto Bautista-Agut needed just over two hours to see off Dominik Koepfer 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Rafael Nadal showed few signs of rust as he swept aside the challenge of Pablo Carreno Busta at the Internazionali d'Italia.

Playing his first match since winning the Mexican Open on February 29 before the sport was shut down, Nadal defeated his fellow Spaniard 6-1 6-1 in just 73 minutes.

It was an emphatic return to action against Carreno Busta, who took Alexander Zverev to five sets after a run to the US Open semi-finals last week.  

World number two Nadal will meet either Milos Raonic or Dusan Lajovic in the last 16.

Both players survived break-point opportunities in their opening service games, before Nadal reeled off five straight games to win the opener.

Carreno Busta stopped the rot with a hold to open the second set but was otherwise powerless to stop Nadal, who won every game from there.

Despite a first-serve percentage of just 49, Nadal only faced one break point in the contest as he beat Carreno Busta for the sixth straight meeting.

Nadal's win on Wednesday came after Novak Djokovic showed little sign of being affected by his US Open default in a 6-3 6-2 win over Salvatore Caruso.

The standout result of the day saw teenage home hope Jannik Sinner record a superb win over third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, triumphing 6-1 6-7 (9-11) 6-2 for just the second top-10 win of his career.

Matteo Berrettini was another Italian to win in Rome as he beat Federico Coria in straight sets, while Marin Cilic defeated sixth seed David Goffin 6-2 6-2.

Borna Coric and Denis Shapovalov produced incredible comebacks at the US Open, while Novak Djokovic eased into the last 16.

Coric and Shapovalov looked set for third-round exits at Flushing Meadows before fighting back for stunning wins on Friday.

Djokovic, meanwhile, had far fewer problems as he stayed on track for an 18th grand slam title.

There was also drama in New York before Alexander Zverev's third-round victory over Adrian Mannarino.

 

CORIC, SHAPOVALOV IN EPIC COMEBACKS

Coric was staring at an exit before responding to stun Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4).

Trailing by two sets to one, Coric – the Croatian 27th seed – fell 5-1 behind in the fourth against Tsitsipas on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

However, he saved six match points and won six consecutive games to force a decider.

After another thrilling battle, Coric came from a break down in the fifth set to reach the fourth round of a grand slam for the third time in his career.

Coric will next face Jordan Thompson after the Australian brushed past Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5 6-4 6-1.

Shapovalov also looked set for an exit against American 19th seed Taylor Fritz.

The Canadian 12th seed trailed 5-2 in the fourth set before recovering to win 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Shapovalov incredibly finished with 60 winners and 33 unforced errors to reach the fourth round of a grand slam for the second time in his career.

He will meet David Goffin after the Belgian seventh seed proved too good for Filip Krajinovic 6-1 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

 

NO DRAMA FOR DJOKOVIC

Djokovic's comfortable run continued with a 6-3 6-3 6-1 win over Jan-Lennard Struff on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The world number one improved to 26-0 in 2020 and he has dropped just one set through his first three rounds in New York.

Djokovic has now made at least the fourth round in his previous 13 appearances at the US Open, where he is a three-time champion.

The Serbian had won all four of his previous meetings with Struff, including twice this year, and he outclassed the German 28th seed again.

Djokovic will next face Pablo Carreno Busta after the Spanish 20th seed eased past Ricardas Berankis 6-4 6-3 6-2.

 

OFF-COURT DRAMA IN NEW YORK

Zverev's clash with Mannarino was delayed after health officials did not want the Frenchman to play.

Mannarino was one of the players put in a "bubble within a bubble" in New York after being in contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

The Frenchman's third-round clash with Zverev was delayed before he was allowed to play, suffering a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 6-2 loss to the German fifth seed.

Zverev moved into the fourth round, where Alejandro Davidovich Fokina awaits.

Davidovich Fokina got past Cameron Norrie 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-2 6-1.

Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas booked their spots in the US Open third round, while Novak Djokovic is also through.

Zverev and Tsitsipas, seeded fifth at fourth respectively, were challenged but came through their tests in New York on Wednesday.

The duo shape as two main threats to Djokovic at Flushing Meadows, where the grand slam is being held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Djokovic remained unbeaten this year on what was a dominant day for the seeds in the men's draw.

 

ZVEREV, TSITSIPAS CONTINUE RUNS

Zverev did not have things all his own way but was still too good for Brandon Nakashima 7-5 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 6-1.

The German – a semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year – mixed 60 winners with 35 unforced errors to advance in just under three hours.

Next up for Zverev is Adrian Mannarino, the French 32nd seed beating Jack Sock 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 6-2.

Tsitsipas reached the third round of the US Open for the first time after a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 6-4 win over Maxime Cressy.

The Greek had won just once in his previous two main-draw appearances in New York, but is through to what shapes as an entertaining clash with Borna Coric.

Coric, the Croatian 27th seed, needed more than four hours to overcome Juan Ignacio Londero 7-5 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-3.

 

DJOKOVIC GOES 25-0

After an early blip, Djokovic got past Brit Kyle Edmund 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 6-2.

The world number one improved to 25-0 this year as he chases the 18th grand slam title of his career.

"I thought there's a lot of positives in the last couple weeks. Had plenty of match play on the court. I competed great, especially in the last couple of matches during the Cincinnati tournament. Those were very important wins I think mentally for me coming into US Open," Djokovic, who won the Western & Southern Open, said.

"I don't feel tired. I don't feel like energy or recovery is going to be an issue or is an issue for me. In contrary, I actually feel very fit. I love playing best-of-five [sets]. I like my chances best of five on the centre court of US Open against anybody in the world.

"Being experienced player and playing on a big stage for so many times, obviously part of the tour for 15 years, helps in these kind of particular situations.

"I'm just going to do what I know works best for me and hope for the best."

Up next for Djokovic is Jan-Lennard Struff, who claimed a 6-2 6-2 7-5 win over Michael Mmoh.

 

SEEDS IN COMPLETE CONTROL

The seeds dominated on Wednesday as 11 of the 13 in action reached the third round.

David Goffin, Denis Shapovalov, Taylor Fritz, Filip Krajinovic and Pablo Carreno Busta were among those advancing.

The only two losses came by Cristian Garin, who was edged by Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-5, and Hubert Hurkacz, the Pole falling to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4 1-6 6-2 6-2.

Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas joined Novak Djokovic in advancing at the US Open on Monday.

Zverev and Tsitsipas, two players capable of threatening Djokovic in New York, posted strong first-round wins at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic, the world number one, cruised through on what was a good day for the seeds.

Of the 16 men's seeds in action, 13 advanced.

 

ZVEREV, TSITSIPAS GET THE JOB DONE

Zverev, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year, needed more than three hours to get past Kevin Anderson 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-3 7-5.

The 2017 US Open finalist, Anderson was unable to take his chances, converting just two of five break points as Zverev capitalised on three of his four.

Zverev has never been beyond the fourth round at the US Open, but the German fifth seed could challenge this year.

Awaiting Zverev in the second round is Brandon Nakashima, who beat Paolo Lorenzi in his opener.

Tsitsipas matched his best result at the US Open by reaching the second round with a 6-2 6-1 6-1 thrashing of Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The Greek fourth seed dominated Spain's Ramos-Vinolas, losing just 18 points on serve and not facing a break point.

DJOKOVIC CONTINUES FINE FORM

Djokovic continued his good form, easing past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-4 6-1.

After improving to 23-0 this year by winning the Western & Southern Open, Djokovic showed few signs of fatigue despite a second-set battle.

Djokovic maintained his record of having never lost in the first round at the US Open, improving that record to 15-0.

The world number one is set to face a tougher battle in the second round, where Brit Kyle Edmund awaits.

Edmund was too good for Alexander Bublik 2-6 7-5 7-5 6-0, but has lost five of his six meetings with Djokovic.

 

SEEDS SHINE

Of the 16 seeds in action, 13 advanced to the second round.

David Goffin (seven), Denis Shapovalov (12), Cristian Garin (13), Taylor Fritz (19), Pablo Carreno Busta (20), Hubert Hurkacz (24), Filip Krajinovic (26), Borna Coric (27), Jan-Lennard Struff (28) and Adrian Mannarino (32) all advanced.

The three seeds to fall were Diego Schwartzman (nine), John Isner (16) and Dusan Lajovic (18).

Isner played almost four hours before going down to Steve Johnson 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in a thriller.

Schwartzman fell to Cameron Norrie in five sets, while Lajovic was edged by Egor Gerasimov.

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