Rafael Nadal offered his sympathy to Sebastian Korda after scraping past the 21-year-old, who considers his Indian Wells Masters opponent "my biggest idol".

Korda had trained with Nadal earlier this week before the draw paired the two together – an eagerly awaited encounter for the younger man.

Korda is such a big Nadal fan his cat is named after the Spaniard, but he caused some concern for the 21-time major champion and his other supporters on Saturday.

Having talked up the meeting, it looked as though the occasion might get the better of Korda as he quickly fell 4-0 down in the opener.

Nadal had not dropped a set since victory at the Australian Open – one of three tournaments he has entered this year and three tournaments he has won.

But that perfect 15-0 record suddenly came under threat in the second set, as Korda sought to prolong his dream match-up and stunned his hero 6-1.

Suddenly, Nadal was forced to face down one of his biggest fans in a decider and initially struggled badly, falling two breaks down, with Korda serving for the match at 5-2.

This time the nerves did get to Korda, who lost four games in a row before stopping the rot to reach a tie-break.

There, Korda did briefly hold a mini-break lead, but that was only as part of a sequence of five consecutive mini-breaks that took the match away from him, Nadal prevailing 6-2 1-6 7-6 (7-3).

"I feel very, very lucky today to be through, honestly," Nadal said afterwards.

Korda could at least enjoy his consolation prize: compliments from Nadal, who had won their only prior meeting en route to his 2020 French Open title.

"Sebastian was playing some fantastic tennis and I'm sorry for him," Nadal said. "He had chances, but that's tennis.

"He's very young, he has an amazing future. I wish him all the best."

Up next for Nadal is Dan Evans, whose compatriot Cameron Norrie – the defending Indian Wells champion – also advanced with a straight-sets win over Pedro Martinez.

Andy Murray chalked up a 700th career win with a typically gutsy performance to see off Taro Daniel in round one of the Indian Wells Masters.

Murray, 34, began slowly but ground out a 1-6 6-2 6-4 win over a player he has faced three times in the early stages of this season.

The former rankings leader has bounced back into the ATP top 100 after career-threatening injury woes and is looking to push on from number 88, his current position.

He will play 31st seed Alexander Bublik next.

Murray was delighted to reach the 700-win mark, telling Amazon Prime: "It means a lot. It's a target I set myself towards the end of last year. With everything that's gone on in the last few years, it's not been easy to get there.

"It's a great achievement; not loads of guys have been able to do that, so I'm really happy about it."

The three-time grand slam winner becomes the fourth active men's player to reach 700 wins, after Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Murray was beaten by Daniel in the second round of the Australian Open before avenging that in the Qatar Open.

The Scot has 14 titles to his name from Masters 1000 events but surprisingly has never triumphed at Indian Wells, and he was given a thorough workout by qualifier Daniel.

Daniel dashed into a 5-1 lead, striking the ball more cleanly and moving better than Murray, who has recently agreed to bring Ivan Lendl on to his team for a third time.

The Japanese star had no trouble seeing out that opening set, but the second was dominated by Murray.

Daniel then won the opening eight points of the decider to surge 2-0 ahead, but Murray broke back in the sixth game. Murray saved break point at 4-4 and made Daniel serve to stay in the contest. That proved beyond the 29-year-old, with Murray carving out three break points and taking the third of those when Daniel sent a forehand long.

Murray said he took pride from the match because he "figured it out" after being outplayed early on.

He said Lendl had wished him luck before going on court, with the pair to begin working together after Murray plays the next event in Miami.

Novak Djokovic is set to appear at next month's Monte Carlo Masters after his vaccination status left him unable to compete at Indian Wells.

The world number two has been forced to sit out the first Masters event of the year after not meeting the vaccination requirements to enter the United States, having been deported from Australia ahead of January's Australian Open for similar reasons.

Now, a post on the 20-time grand slam champion's official website suggests he will appear on the clay surface in Monaco, where the 34-year-old resides.

Monaco currently allows those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous six months to enter the city-state, with Djokovic claiming to have suffered from the virus in December.

"Novak will open his 2022 clay court season in Monte-Carlo, where he won the Masters 1000 title twice, in 2013 and 2015," the post reads.

The tournament now looks set to be the second to feature Djokovic in 2022 after he lost at the quarter-finals stage of last month's Dubai Tennis Championships.

The Monte Carlo Masters begins on April 10, lasting until April 17, and Djokovic will be looking to make amends after exiting last year's tournament to Dan Evans in the last 16.

Rafael Nadal, who overtook Djokovic for the most men's singles grand slam titles with his January triumph in Australia, holds the record for the most successes in Monaco, winning the tournament on 11 occasions.

 

Meanwhile, with France having loosened its travel restrictions for unvaccinated people this month, Djokovic will now hope to use the Monaco outing as preparation for a first grand slam appearance of the year at Roland Garros.

The Serbian now looks increasingly likely to be permitted to defend his 2021 French Open title in May after travel restrictions had originally cast doubt on his participation.

Wild card Nick Kyrgios admitted he was "pretty good" as he won in the opening round at the Indian Wells Masters over Sebastian Baez on Thursday.

The Australian cruised past Baez in one hour and 12 minutes, winning 6-4 6-0 to secure a second-round meeting with another Argentine, 32nd seed Federico Delbonis.

Kyrgios, who had not competed since January's Australian Open, was full of his typical flair, highlighted by 27-15 winners and 12-1 aces.

"When I play good, I'm pretty good," Kyrgios said after the match. "I'm just going back to basics."

Fabio Fognini made history in his 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory over Pablo Andujar, with his 392th career ATP win clocking up the most ever for an Italian, surpassing Adriano Panatta.

Compatriot Lorenzo Musetti also progressed on Thursday with a 6-3 7-5 win over American Marcos Giron.

Rising American talent Jenson Brooksby defeated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1 6-4, while countryman and wild card Jack Sock brushed aside Juan Manuel Cerundolo 6-1 6-1 in little over an hour.

Pedro Martinez made light work of Joao Sousa 6-4 7-5, while Tomas Machec got past Alexei Popyrin 6-3 7-5.

Novak Djokovic has been included on the entry list for next month's Indian Wells Open despite the tournament requiring all players are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Last month, the world number one and 20-time grand slam winner was deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open after his entry visa to the country was cancelled due to him not being vaccinated against coronavirus.

Djokovic believed he was still eligible to enter the country and compete after testing positive for coronavirus in December and making a full recovery.

The Serbian was subsequently sent home as he lost the legal battle that dominated much of the sports news agenda during the early weeks of 2022.

Djokovic is set to make his return to the court at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships later this month, with vaccination not a requirement.

But it is at Indian Wells, where the five-time champion has been announced as a competitor, prompting curiosity about whether more legal battles await or if Djokovic has since been jabbed.

An Indian Wells statement read: "With health and safety as the tournament's top priority, the BNP Paribas Open will require valid proof of full vaccination to enter the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the tournament.

"For the second consecutive year, the BNP Paribas Open has partnered with CLEAR, the secure identity company, to facilitate the implementation of the venue's mandatory vaccination policy ahead of the 2022 tournament.

"The guidelines for the players are governed by the protocols established by their respective governing bodies, the WTA and ATP, as well as any restrictions established by the United States of America in regard to the vaccination status of international travellers entering the country."

Images of Djokovic do not appear any of the tournament's build-up social media posts nor the website's promotional announcement, while his entry-list inclusion is little more than a footnote – but, crucially, it does include him.

The statement continued: "A power-packed line-up of ATP top-10 players will join [Rafael] Nadal in looking to put together a breakthrough performance in Tennis paradise.

"2021 US Open champion and 2022 Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev (world no. 2), 2021 ATP Finals winner Alexander Zverev (world no. 3), and 2021 French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas (world no. 4) will each be in search of their maiden title in the desert.

"Reigning BNP Paribas Open champion Cameron Norrie (world no. 13) will look to replicate his extraordinary 2021 title run, in which he won his first Masters 1000 crown.

"World no. 1 and five-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic is also on the tournament entry list."

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of next month's Australian Open and is experiencing "severe" symptoms.

World number 23 Bencic returned a positive test, along with Ons Jabeur, after competing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

The pair are the third and fourth players to have tested positive after travelling to the Abu Dhabi event, following 2021 US Open winner Emma Raducanu and 20-time major winner Rafael Nadal.

Bencic wrote on Twitter: "Unfortunately and even though I am fully vaccinated, I recently tested positive for Covid-19.

"I am currently isolating and taking all precautionary [measures] to get through this as best as possible as I am experiencing quite severe symptoms (fever, aches, chills)."

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship typically serves as a warm-up event prior to the Australian Open which is due to begin on January 17 in Melbourne.

World number 10 Jabeur, who defeated Bencic in Abu Dhabi, is experiencing "strong symptoms" and isolating in her native Tunisia.

Rafael Nadal has tested positive for coronavirus on his return to Spain, leaving his participation at the Australian Open in doubt.

The 20-time major champion played at the Mubadala Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last weekend and declared his mission a success despite consecutive defeats on his return from a foot injury.

Indeed, Nadal had only competed in two matches since losing to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals in June before testing his long-term foot problem against Andy Murray and most recently Denis Shapovalov.

However, the 35-year-old's plans to feature in the Melbourne ATP 250 ahead of the Australian Open in early January have suffered a setback after he tested positive for COVID-19 upon landing in his home country on Monday.

Nadal revealed the news on Twitter as he posted: "I wanted to announce that on my return home after playing the Abu Dhabi tournament, I have tested positive for COVID in the PCR test that was performed on me when I arrived in Spain.

"Both in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi we passed controls every two days and all were negative, the last being on Friday and having the results on Saturday.

"I am having some unpleasant moments but I hope that I will improve little by little. I am now homebound and have reported the result to those who have been in contact with me.

"As a consequence of the situation, I have to have total flexibility with my calendar and I will analyse my options. I will keep you informed of any decisions about my future tournaments!"

Nadal was eyeing the Australian Open, which starts on January 17, as his first major comeback, though he earlier admitted his entry was not guaranteed as he evaluated his foot injury and physical fitness.

"I cannot guarantee Australia one hundred per cent, because I need to go home and see how the body responds after these days," Nadal told reporters on Saturday. 

"I have time to make a decision. At this point in my career, I need to go day by day, study each movement well.

"I have been able to show a competitive level against good players even without being in perfect condition. There are things to improve but looking at things with perspective it has been a positive tournament [in Abu Dhabi].

"The main objective is to be healthy enough to do the things that I need to do and aspire to the objectives that I have always had. The illusion and passion continue to exist."

The ATP Tour event in Melbourne, which would be Nadal's first such tournament since August, is due to start on January 3.

Nick Kyrgios believes the Australian Open should be cancelled as he threw his support behind rival Novak Djokovic, insisting the COVID-19 vaccine mandate is "morally wrong".

It remains to be seen whether world number one Djokovic will defend his Australian Open title in Melbourne in January due to vaccination requirements.

The state of Victoria, where the year's opening grand slam takes place at Melbourne Park, has introduced a vaccine mandate for professional athletes and across most industries amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2021 Australian Open went ahead, albeit in February instead of January, and without fans for most of the tournament following a snap lockdown of Melbourne due to COVID-19.

Djokovic was among the players critical of the conditions athletes endured prior to this year's Australian Open, with strict quarantine measures introduced.

Kyrgios and Djokovic have clashed in the past, but the former backed the nine-time Australian Open champion as he called for the upcoming grand slam to be scrapped.

"I don't think the Aus Open should go ahead, just for the people in Melbourne – you’ve got to send a message," Australian former world number 13 Kyrgios said on his 'No Boundaries' podcast.

"How long did [Melbourne] do in lockdown? 275 days or something?"

Kyrgios also referenced Brooklyn Nets star and NBA champion Kyrie Irving, who is yet to feature this season due to his refusal to be vaccinated against coronavirus, which is preventing him from practicing or playing – New York has a mandate in place that states players must have had a COVID-19 jab.

Kyrgios – an Australian Open quarter-finalist in 2015 – added: "Kyrie, Novak … These guys have given so much, sacrificed so much. They are global athletes who millions of people look up to.

"I just think it is so morally wrong to force someone to be vaccinated.

"I'm double vaccinated, but I just don't think it's right to force anyone [to be vaccinated] and say 'you can't come and play here because you're not vaccinated'.

"There are other solutions around it, [such as] to get tested every day. In the [United] States I know they've got rapid tests, and it's coming to Australia. It's 85 per cent success rate, you wait 15 minutes and then you're allowed to play."

Victorian sports minister Martin Pakula hit back on Tuesday, telling reporters: "I really like Nick Kyrgios and I cheer for him every time he plays and I certainly don't want to have beef with Nick Kyrgios but I actually couldn't follow the logic of his comments. We've had a long lockdown so the Australian Open shouldn't proceed? I'm not sure I follow that.

"I think the opposite applies. Melburnians, Victorians and, frankly all Australians, are absolutely gagging for major events. Our economy needs it, our state psyche needs it. It's a global grand slam, it's going to go ahead."

Novak Djokovic claimed his sixth Paris Masters title on Sunday, overcoming Daniil Medvedev and gaining revenge for his defeat in the US Open final in the process.

Prior to this week's Masters 1000 event, Djokovic had not played since going down 6-4 6-4 6-4 to world number two Medvedev at Flushing Meadows in September.

That defeat ended Djokovic's hopes of sealing a calendar Grand Slam, but he was in fine form this week as he regained the title he last won in 2019, having not played in the competition last year.

Defending champion Medvedev started the final brilliantly, but Djokovic rallied to win 4-6 6-3 6-3, claiming a record-setting 37th Masters title in the process.

And the world number one explained how he learned from the mistakes he made in New York to prevail this time around, taking his head-to-head record with Medvedev to 6-4 in the process.

"I went back and reviewed the final of the US Open to see what I did wrong and what I did right," Djokovic told the Tennis Channel.

"I tried to read the patterns of his serve and the ball toss, maybe. I tried to look for the small details, because it was a match of small margins."

Reflecting on the showdown in Paris, Djokovic added: "He started better, broke my serve in the first game and I came back. He served the first set out pretty comfortably, but I felt as if I was there.

"I thought it was only a matter of time when I was going to read his serve better and start to make some plays.

"You can't go through him. You have to find a way to play with controlled aggression, play the right shots at the right time and make him come in. It's variety that wins matches against him. We both suffered on the court and there was a lot of gruelling rallies."

Djokovic, who had already secured a record seventh year-end number one, has won 49 matches in 2021, losing on just six occasions.

Novak Djokovic came from a set down to defeat Daniil Medvedev 4-6 6-3 6-3 and win the Paris Masters on Sunday.

Djokovic lost to Medvedev in the US Open final in September, with that defeat ending his hopes of a calendar Grand Slam.

But the Serbian, whose semi-final win over Hubert Hurkacz ensured he will be the year-end world number one for a record seventh time, got his revenge in France.

It marks a fifth title of the year and a sixth triumph at this event for Djokovic, who did not compete in the tournament last year – Medvedev winning it in his place.

The 34-year-old had it far from his own way, with Medvedev instantly going a break up, and although Djokovic hit back to draw level at 2-2, the world number two held off a second break point before nosing himself ahead at 4-3.

Yet having served out the first set at the first time of asking, the US Open champion slipped up in the fourth game of the second as Djokovic reeled off some superb returns, and he did not look back.

With the momentum and crowd on his side, Djokovic broke Medvedev twice in quick succession in the decider, and although he was denied claiming the win on his serve, it merely delayed the inevitable.

Medvedev's powerful serve was not enough, with Djokovic keeping his composure to seal a record-setting 37th Masters 1000 title with a sublime forehand into the corner of the court following a draining rally.

Novak Djokovic will wait until he is retired to assess his stunning feats but recognises rankings records as "the paramount achievement of our sport".

The Serbian will finish the year as the world number one for a seventh time, a new record having previously been tied with Pete Sampras on six.

Djokovic, who also leads the way with 345 weeks at the top all-time, secured his position by advancing to the Paris Masters final with a last-four win over Hubert Hurkacz on Saturday.

"Every achievement is special," said the 20-time major champion. "I try to make myself aware of the fact that I am in a very unique position.

"It's difficult for me to understand the magnitude of these achievements, not just for myself but for the sport while I'm still [an] active player.

"Probably when I retire, I'll be able to reflect on that a little bit more and appreciate it a little bit more.

"Of course I'm very appreciative and grateful for it now, but what is the next challenge is always in your mind while you're an active player. It's constantly another task, another tournament.

"So [I] don't have really much time to enjoy the success, so to say, because you always have to turn the next page."

However, he added: "Being historically [the] number one-ranked player in the world is probably the paramount achievement of our sport.

"Also, finishing the season as year-end number one requires full commitment throughout the entire year and consistency and playing the best tennis in the biggest events, which accumulate the most points that enable you to be highly ranked. So that's what I have done this year."

Djokovic will have his work cut out as he pursues a 37th Masters 1000 title, now facing Daniil Medvedev, the man who denied him the calendar Grand Slam in the US Open final.

"The job is not done," added Djokovic. "Obviously reaching the finals of one of the biggest tournaments that we have in our sport on our tour is something that stands out regardless of the year-end achievement that is completed.

"So hopefully going to have another great match and then take it from there.

"For now I am just proud and extremely happy. Obviously that was one of the biggest goals and it's always one of the biggest goals, to try to be number one and end the season as number one.

"To do it for the record seventh time and surpass my childhood idol and role model, Pete, is incredible. Very grateful, very blessed to be in this position.

“I wasn't bored without tennis, but I like competing so I was looking forward to coming to Paris and the biggest reason coming here was to clinch the year-end number one.

"Now that I managed to do it, it's a huge relief, as well."

Defending champion Daniil Medvedev set up a showdown with Novak Djokovic in the Paris Masters final after dismissing Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

The Russian, who downed Djokovic in the final of this year's US Open, was at his imperious best to see off Zverev 6-2 6-2 in the French capital.

He will now attempt to deny Djokovic a sixth title at the ATP 1000 event on Sunday, while seeking to etch his own name onto the trophy for a second year running.

World number two Medvedev, who overcame Zverev in the final of this event in 2020, ended the German's run of eight consecutive victories in style.

It took just 80 minutes for Medvedev to get the job done, his flat groundstrokes posing questions that Zverev had no answers to.

While Zverev did apply some pressure by forcing his rival to face three break points, Medvedev was cool under pressure as he held serve throughout the contest.

This triumph drew Medvedev level at 5-5 in the pair's head-to-head record.

He will likely face a sterner test against Djokovic, whose come-from-behind win over Hubert Hurkacz ensured he will claim the year-end number one ranking for a record seventh time.

On Sunday, he will bid to set another record by moving ahead of Rafael Nadal to reach 37 titles in Masters 1000 tournaments.

Novak Djokovic moved one step away from a sixth Paris Masters title by beating Hubert Hurkacz, guaranteeing himself the year-end number one ranking for a record seventh time.

The Serbian great is looking to get back to title-winning ways in his first tournament since September, when his hopes of a calendar Grand Slam were snuffed out by Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.

He was pushed all the way to a deciding set tie-break by world number 10 Hurkacz, the player who beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon amid his breakout year.

But Djokovic had just enough in the tank to complete a 3-6 6-0 7-6 (7-5) semi-final victory, thumping his chest in relief and exhilaration as he got across the winning line.

On Sunday, he will bid to set another record by moving ahead of Rafael Nadal to reach 37 titles in Masters 1000 tournaments.

Saturday's success guarantees Djokovic will end the season on top of the ATP rankings for a record-breaking seventh time – Pete Sampras drops to second on the list with six years at the top.

Hurkacz broke serve in the eighth game of the first set and closed it out, only to surrender meekly in the second.

Djokovic broke to lead 3-1 in the decider, but a spirited Hurkacz recovered the break with a booming forehand into Djokovic's backhand corner in the seventh game.

The Polish player staved off a match point when serving at 5-4, getting somewhat lucky when a Djokovic passing shot landed just wide.

A tense tie-break swung Djokovic's way when Hurkacz lashed a forehand into the net at 5-5, and a backhand volley from the Miami Masters champion landed just wide on match point.

In the title match, Djokovic will tackle the winner of the second semi-final between Medvedev versus Alexander Zverev.

Novak Djokovic says he has room to improve despite easing past Taylor Fritz in straight sets to reach the semi-finals of the Paris Masters.

The world number one is competing in his first tournament since his dream of winning a calendar Grand Slam was ended by Daniil Medvedev in September's US Open final.

After beating Marton Fucsovics in three sets and then benefiting from a walkover against Gael Monfils in the last 16, Djokovic made light work of Fritz in Friday's quarter-final.

He sent down eight aces and was successful with 72 per cent of his first serves that landed on his way to a 6-4 6-3 victory.

However, Djokovic lost his serve on three occasions and, while happy with his overall display, the Serbian feels like there is more to come from his game in the French capital.

"I was absent from the tour for two months coming into this tournament," he said. "The last competitive match I played was in the US Open final, compared to the other guys playing one or two events prior to Paris.

"I knew that I needed to start well, with good intensity and put in a lot of hours on the practice court. But it's different when you play points in a competitive match.

"I am pleased with the way I played against Fucsovics and again today, though I did have ups and downs. I am not entirely pleased with the way I closed out the sets.

"I backed myself up with good returns and read Taylor's serve very well to get into rallies. I closed out the last couple of service games well and that's a positive."

Djokovic is aiming to win the Paris Masters for a record-extending sixth time in his bid to end the year as world number one for a record seventh occasion.

The Serbian will contest his 71st career Masters 1000 semi-final – four short of Rafael Nadal's record – against Hubert Hurkacz, who saw off James Duckworth 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 7-5.

With that victory, the world number 10 clinched the final singles spot at the ATP Finals in Turin later this month.

Hurkacz is the second Polish player to qualify for the event after Wojtek Fibak in 1976. It also means only European players will feature in the ATP and WTA Finals for the first time ever.

Saturday's other semi-final in Paris will be contested between Djokovic's US Open conqueror Medvedev and Olympic gold medallist Alexander Zverev.

Home favourite Hugo Gaston eliminated Pablo Carreno Busta earlier in the tournament but was always likely to face a tougher task against Medvedev.

So it proved, with the qualifier going down 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in a match that saw Medvedev hit 13 aces to his opponent's one.

"When the atmosphere is against you, you need to face it," Medvedev said. "You need to try to win, no matter what.

"Even when it is against me, I think, 'I will try to beat my opponent and the crowd' because there is no other choice."

Zverev kept his momentum going with a 7-5 6-4 win over Casper Ruud in Friday's final contest, as he made it eight wins on the bounce.

The German held serve throughout, while breaking his opponent twice, to remain on course for a sixth final of 2021.

Alexander Zverev was given a thorough examination of his Paris Masters credentials by Grigor Dimitrov, but the fourth seed progressed nonetheless to reach the last eight.

Zverev, who last in last year's final, saw match points slip from his grasp in the second set as Dimitrov levelled the match, however, he eventually prevailed on Thursday.

World number one Novak Djokovic benefited from a walkover, while Daniil Medvedev also moved through to the quarter-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 event.

Zverev outlasts Dimitrov

Olympic Games gold medallist Zverev had to dig deep for his 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 win over former world number three Dimitrov.

It was Zverev's seventh win on the bounce, but he was well aware of just how deep he had to dig to see off a resilient Dimitrov.

"Incredible match," Zverev, who won a fifth tour title of the year last week at the Vienna Open, said afterwards. "Grigor is playing very high-level tennis and I had to leave everything out there.

"I think it was a very high-level match and it could have gone both ways, especially the third set. I am happy with how things went in the end."

Djokovic moves through without playing

There was no such ordeal for top seed Djokovic, however.

Djokovic – a 20-time grand slam champion – received a walkover after Gael Monfils was advised not to continue with the tournament due to an adductor issue sustained in his previous win over Adrian Mannarino.

Taylor Fritz awaits five-time Paris champion Djokovic after the American saw off 10th seed Norrie 6-3 7-6 (7-3), while Casper Ruud will tussle with Zverev.

Ruud's emphatic 6-2 6-1 demolition of Marcos Giron clinched a historic achievement for the 22-year-old – who became the first Norwegian to qualify for the ATP Finals at the end of a breakthrough year in which no player can better his five tour-level titles.

Hubert Hurkacz did his chances of joining Ruud in Turin no harm as the Polish seventh seed – who holds the last automatic qualifying berth – fought back to defeat Dominik Koepfer 4-6 7-5 6-2 and set up a meeting with James Duckworth, who beat Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

Second seed and US Open champion Medvedev was another who had to come from behind before ultimately seeing off Sebastian Korda 4-6 6-1 6-3.

He will go up against Hugo Gaston, who became the first French qualifier to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals since 1990 with his win over Carlos Alcaraz.

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