Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios could face off in the inaugural United Cup, while WTA world number one Iga Swiatek will represent Poland.

The United Cup is the new warm-up tournament for the ATP and WTA Tour seasons, and will take place in Australia in December and January.

While ATP world number one Carlos Alcaraz will not feature, compatriot Nadal will be competing for Spain, and they have been drawn alongside Australia and Great Britain in Group D.

Those matches will be played in Perth, with a clash between Nadal and Kyrgios, who have enjoyed an entertaining rivalry down the years, in the offing.

They were set to meet in the semi-finals at Wimbledon this year, but Nadal withdrew due to injury, handing Kyrgios a walkover into his first grand slam final, which he lost to Novak Djokovic, who will not be playing in Australia.

Serbia are not among the batch of teams taking part, but even so, there remains doubt whether Djokovic would be able to enter Australia given his stance against the COVID-19 vaccine, which eventually saw him deported from the country after a drawn-out legal battle ahead of this year's Australian Open.

Emma Raducanu has decided against playing for the British team, which also does not feature Andy Murray.

Casper Ruud, the beaten US Open finalist, will play for Norway in Group E, in Brisbane, while Alexander Zverev will be in action for Germany.

Swiatek is the biggest name from the WTA Tour to enter, with the brilliant 21-year-old lining up alongside Hubert Hurkacz for Poland in Group B.

Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas, along with his brother Petros, will team up for Greece in Group A.

Two more countries will be admitted to the tournament later in November.

Dominic Stricker defeated home favourite Lorenzo Musetti in five tie-break sets to make it two wins from two at the ATP Next Gen Finals and advance to the semi-finals.

The world number 111, who is seeded sixth in Milan following a flurry of withdrawals, defeated Musetti 4-3 (7-5) 4-3 (8-6) 3-4 (9-7) 3-4 (8-6) 4-3 (7-3) in Wednesday's epic match that last two hours and 31 minutes.

Having become the first player in the tournament's history to win three successive tie-breaks in Tuesday's win against Jack Draper, Stricker advances with a match to spare.

Musetti now faces a winner-takes-all showdown with Jack Draper on Thursday after the latter recovered to defeat Tseng Chun-hsin 1-4 4-2 4-3 (7-2) 4-2.

In the Green Group, Francesco Passaro saved three match points to overcome Italian compatriot Matteo Arnaldi 4-3 (9-7) 2-4 3-4 (7-4) 4-3 (7-4) 4-3 (10-8).

In what will go down as one of the all-time great matches in Next Gen history, Passaro triumphed after two hours and 38 minutes to get off the mark with his first victory.

"I am very tired," he said. "It was a really long match and this format I think it is tough and physical.

"For me it was physical today, with the tension as well, I was cramping. It was not easy. I am really happy to win and I will enjoy."

Brandon Nakashima moved to the top of the standings with a 4-1 4-3 (7-2) 4-2 victory against Jiri Lehecka as the third seed made it back-to-back wins at the Allianz Cloud.

Lorenzo Musetti enjoyed a winning start at the ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan after seeing off Tseng Chun-hsin in straight sets on Tuesday.

The highest seed at the tournament after Holger Rune's withdrawal, world number 23 Musetti eased to a 4-2 4-2 4-2 victory in just 70 minutes at the Allianz Cloud Arena.

The home favourite is making his second appearance at the event and arrives after an impressive year on the ATP Tour that yielded titles in Hamburg and Naples.

"It was really nice," Musetti said during his on-court interview. "I remember playing here from last year. The crowd here is really amazing. They gave me extra energy. I am pretty confident and happy with the win."

Elsewhere in Red Group, third seed Jack Draper was beaten 4-3 (7-5) 4-3 (7-5) 4-3 (7-5) by Dominic Stricker, who became the first player in Next Gen Finals history to win three successive tie-breaks.

Ranked 111th, the Swiss debutant hit 14 aces on the way to overcoming the world number 41.

Meanwhile, in Green Group, San Diego champion Brandon Nakashima prevailed in an epic five-set thriller against Matteo Arnaldi 2-4 4-3 (9-7) 4-3 (7-4) 3-4 (4-7) 4-2.

The fourth seed is aiming to go the extra couple of steps this year, having reached the semi-finals 12 months ago.

"Right from the beginning, it was a lot of critical points, the sets were going by fast, so I just tried to adapt as quick as possible," Nakashima said. "The tie-breaks, I was kind of lucky to squeeze them out, and today I think it was just all about finding a way out here.

"He's a super tough opponent, he was playing really well, and it was just some critical points in the end that helped me get over the line."

The day's other match saw Jiri Lehecka celebrate his 21st birthday by defeating Francesco Passaro 4-1 4-3 (9-7) 4-1 in just 67 minutes on his debut.

Novak Djokovic overcame Stefanos Tsitsipas in a dramatic final-set tie-break to reach the Paris Masters final on Saturday, teeing up a meeting with Holger Rune. 

Djokovic's 12-match winning run looked likely to be halted when Tsitsipas found a mini-break in the decider, with the Greek having fought his way into contention after losing the opening set.

However, the 21-time grand slam champion stepped up when it mattered, winning the final four points of the match to seal a 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-4) victory.

The Serbian, who will now take part in his record 56th Masters 1000 final on Sunday, opted to praise Tsitsipas for his role in a thrilling encounter following the win. 

"It's very sweet, obviously, when you win matches like this against one of the best players in the world," Djokovic said.

"I thought I started the match very well, again, great hitting, like yesterday in the quarters. I had chances early on in the second, I didn't break his serve. The momentum shifted, the crowd got into it. I think he elevated his level of tennis.

"We went into an even battle all the way until the last point, until the last shot. Some incredible points towards the end. I'm just really glad to overcome this challenge."

In Saturday's other match, Rune clinched his first Masters 1000 final appearance by posting a straight-sets victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The in-form Dane seized control of the contest after breaking in the third game of the opener, and did not give up a single break point en route to a comprehensive 6-4 6-2 win.

In doing so, Rune exacted revenge for last week's defeat to Auger-Aliassime in the Swiss Indoors final in Basel, halting the Canadian's 16-match winning run.

Rune has now won eight career matches against top-10 opponents, and half of those victories (four) have come during his strong run in Paris this week.

Carlos Alcaraz will miss the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup Finals after his season was cut short by an abdominal injury.

The world number one suffered an internal oblique muscle tear during a Paris Masters quarter-final against Holger Rune on Friday.

Alcaraz retired early in a second-set tie-break after losing the opening set 6-3 in the French capital.

The US Open champion on Saturday revealed it will take him six weeks to recover from the injury, so Taylor Fritz will take his place in the ATP Finals in Turin next week.

Teenager Alcaraz will also be unavailable for Spain's bid to win the Davis Cup on home soil, with the prestigious event getting under way on November 22 in Malaga.

He posted on Instagram: "After my withdrawal yesterday and having been evaluated by my medical team, Dr Juanjo Lopez and Juanjo Moreno, unfortunately this is the result of my injury: an internal oblique muscle tear in the left abdominal wall with an estimated recovery time of six weeks.

"Unfortunately I won't make the ATP Finals or the Davis Cup Finals. It is tough and painful for me to miss these two events, which are so important to me, but all I can do is be positive and focus on my recovery. Thank you for the support!"

The 19-year-old became the youngest player to top the ATP rankings after winning his maiden major title at Flushing Meadows in September and ends a magnificent season with a record of 57 wins and 13 defeats.

He has won five ATP Tour titles in 2022, with Masters 1000 triumphs in Miami and Madrid along with his finest hour in New York.

Novak Djokovic outclassed Lorenzo Musetti to reach the Paris Masters semi-finals after Carlos Alcaraz retired due to an abdominal injury.

Djokovic moved into the last four of a Masters 1000 event for a staggering 74th time with a commanding 6-0 6-3 victory over Musetti on Friday.

The defending champion will do battle with Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the final as he eyes a seventh Paris Masters title.

Sixth seed Djokovic made only 10 unforced errors and broke five times, not allowing his Italian opponent to have a game point until early in the second set.

The 21-time grand slam champion only needed 74 minutes to dispatch the unseeded Musetti, moving two victories away from a fifth title of the season.

Meanwhile, world number one Alcaraz's participation in the ATP Finals next week is in doubt after he was injured in his quarter-final against Holger Rune.

Rune won the first set 6-3 and the Dane was 3-1 up in a second-set tie-break when US Open champion Alcaraz brought the match to a premature end.

As Alcaraz prepares to discover whether he can play in the season-ending tournament in Turin, Rune can look forward to facing Felix Auger-Aliassime in his maiden Masters 1000 semi-final.

Auger-Aliassime beat Rune to take the title in Basel last weekend and the Canadian stretched his winning run to 16 matches by beating Frances Tiafoe 6-1 6-4.

Tsitsipas was the last man to seal his place in the semi-finals, getting the better of Tommy Paul, who beat Rafael Nadal earlier in the week, 6-2 6-4.

Rafael Nadal has turned his focus to the ATP Finals after his shock exit from the Paris Masters, though found it hard to visualise success in Turin.

World number two Nadal crashed out in the second round of the ATP 1000 event on Wednesday, going down 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 to Tommy Paul.

Nadal, who was contesting his first match since his Laver Cup doubles exhibition with the now-retired Roger Federer, took the opening set and appeared on his way to a comfortable victory when he went up a break in the second.

But Paul broke straight back, going on to win the tie-break before storming home in the decider as Nadal seemed to struggle physically the longer the match dragged on.

Speaking to the media after the loss, Nadal gave credit to his opponent and said he did not deserve to win after blowing his chance.

"It's okay – all the credit to Tommy," he said. "Things happen sometimes.

"I think he played aggressively, a lot of great shots. I had my match in that second set, with a set and break [lead]. 

"I played a terrible game there. I didn't deserve the victory playing that bad in that key moment, no.

"Until that moment, it was okay, a good match for me. Knowing that this is my first match in a while – and this surface especially, you cannot make mistakes with your serve.

"We are always ready to find excuses, but in the end, it's always the same. You play well, you win; you don't, you lose. 

"For moments, putting everything in a pack, I was playing quite well. Then at the right moment, I didn't make the right things. So that's it – he played well, he's having a great year."

Turning his attention to the season finale in Italy, Nadal said he will be there if everything goes to plan.

"Yes, I hope, if nothing happens, I hope to be there," he said. "I'm excited about playing, even if it hasn't been the perfect couple of months for me, of course. 

"But yeah, nothing to lose. After a good year, going there, just trying my best. It's true that for the last five months I didn't spend enough days on the Tour.

"I don't even say competing on a tennis court – I say on the Tour. Practicing with the guys, that's what I need."

His lack of a strong build-up to the tournament has 22-time grand slam champion Nadal admittedly not liking his chances, saying it would be "difficult to imagine" this being the year he is able to win his first ATP Finals title.

"I mean, for me it's difficult to imagine now arriving in good enough shape to win a tournament like this one that I didn't win during my whole tennis career," he said.

"To play against the best players of the world, from the first day you need to be there and the rhythm, conditions, that will not happen. 

"So the only thing I can do is try to be there earlier, have some good practice with the guys and then give my best on the court – and hopefully the level of tennis will be there, and the body too.

"I can't predict much, and I honestly don't think much about what I have to do or what I don't have to do to be really there. 

"I just think about 'be better' – I need to improve a couple of things, and then I need to play sets against the best players, to feel myself again, competitive against everyone.

"That's it – I'm gonna try to make that happen – and if not, you know what, there's going to be next year, and I'm going to try to have the best season possible to start strong."

Carlos Alcaraz views fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal as another competitor and "not my enemy", despite the pair's battle for top spot in the world rankings.

The 19-year-old continues to break records at the top table in tennis, becoming the first teenager to be crowned world number one in the Open Era.

Alcaraz, aged just 19 years and 129 days, also set a new benchmark as the youngest number-one ranked male player in the world since rankings were published in 1973.

Those feats came after winning September's US Open, where he joined Arthur Ashe (1968) and Rod Laver (1969) as the only Open Era players to win on their first or second main-draw outing at the tournament.

Now, Alcaraz has Nadal – a record 22-time major winner – chasing him for top spot, though the youngster assures there will never be bad blood between himself and his compatriot.

"I don't see it that way," Alcaraz responded to Eurosport when asked if he was embroiled in a battle with Nadal.

"It's true, Rafa is fighting for the No.1. Some players have the same goal – to be No.1, so I need to do my best. Outside the court [Rafa and I] are colleagues, at least it's the way I see it.

"Rafa is not my enemy. I say hello, I don't see that competition. With the rest of the players, it's the same. Beyond that relationship, I'll try to keep being No.1."

 

While Alcaraz remains the world's top-ranked male player, he intends to savour the moment after a surreal victory at the US Open.

"It is an incredible feeling, waking up as No.1, the US Open winner. It's a dream come true," he added.

"I am enjoying this moment so far. I keep working, my life is still the same, I'm still the same kid, same player. I just keep practising, keep improving."

As the teen aims to relish topping the ranks, his next focus turns to the Paris Masters – where he faces Yoshihito Nishioka on Wednesday – with a knee injury not as serious as first thought.

"It's a little pain, but the calendar is very demanding," he said of the injury. "We are playing and travelling with barely any breaks and it's normal that we have a few pains.

"All players have them and we learn how to deal with them. I am feeling good physically and I am ready to play here in Paris and in Turin in the [ATP] Finals."

Daniil Medvedev celebrated "one of the best victories" as he beat Denis Shapovalov 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the final of the Vienna Open on Sunday.

Playing in his first tour-level final since winning the Mexico Open in August, Medvedev found himself on the back foot after Shapovalov came out on top in a 50-minute opener.

The world number four conceded serve twice in the first set – the first time he had been broken throughout his run in Austria.

However, Medvedev hit back to claim the second set at the first time of asking.

Having lost serve twice in the decider, Shapovalov hung on in to frustrate Medvedev, saving six match points before finally succumbing to a deft drop-shot that the Canadian could only clip back into the net.

The victory marks Medvedev's second title of 2022, while it also ensures the Russian – who worked his way to world number one earlier in the year – will play in the ATP Finals next month, after going for glory at the Paris Masters.

"This match was the best of the week because Denis was really playing unreal until probably 4-3 in the second set," said Medvedev, who is aiming for a strong end to the season.

"He dropped his level by maybe two per cent and I was able to use it. This is one of the best victories when you know your opponent is on top of you, but you try and stay there and do what you can.

"I like to play indoor hard courts at the end of the season. I feel that I do a great job with my team not to arrive burnt out.

"I'm looking forward to the last two tournaments of the year which are really important and I usually play well."

World number one Carlos Alcaraz was stunned in the Swiss Indoors Basel semi-finals as Felix Auger-Aliassime set up a final clash with Holger Rune.

Auger-Aliassime saw off the US Open champion in just 82 minutes as he won 6-4 6-3 to take his unbeaten run to 12 matches.

The Canadian was in irresistible form on Saturday, with his shot placement in decisive moments proving far more consistent and lethal than his counterpart, hitting 23 winners to Alcaraz's eight.

Twenty-two-year-old Auger-Aliassime is still fighting to qualify for the ATP Finals for the first time and victory in Sunday's final will move him up to sixth in the rankings having won each of his two previous tournaments in Antwerp and Florence.

"It's amazing," Auger-Aliassime said. "I never expected it, when I was in Florence three weeks ago, or after the US Open. I'm just really happy that all my work is coming together.

"I've always believed that I can play this way, that I can be consistent in that way, but one thing is to believe and the other is to actually do it. It's nice to feel that way, it's nice to come out on the court and win that many matches in a row. So hopefully this is just the beginning of seeing me play this way."

Rune awaits after the Dane beat Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (10-8) despite being 6-2 down in the second-set tie-break. He will move into the top 20 for the first time as a result of that win.

The final of the Vienna Open will be contested by Daniil Medvedev and Denis Shapovalov, who came through their respective semis in straight sets.

Top seed Medvedev was exceptional against Grigor Dimitrov, with the Russian's serve proving especially important in his 6-4 6-2 win.

Medvedev won 87 per cent of points on his first serve to leave Dimitrov frequently struggling for momentum, and the former world number one recognised that impact.

"The serve is probably the most important shot in tennis," he said. "I was lacking it a little bit this season, I was doing too many double faults. Sometimes in important moments my serve could have been a little bit better. I was working a lot with my coach to try and find this rhythm [again], and so far I'm serving good here. I'm really happy about it and that's also why I'm playing so good."

Shapovalov ultimately romped to an impressive win over Borna Coric.

A tight first set was followed by the Croatian getting bageled as Shapovalov won 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 to reach his second final of the year.

Novak Djokovic expects to find out in the "next few weeks" whether he can participate in next year's Australian Open and says the early signs are positive.

The 21-time grand slam winner was denied the chance to defend his title in Melbourne in January after having his visa revoked because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Due to Australian immigration laws, Djokovic – who was also blocked from taking part in this year's US Open – faced a potential three-year ban from entering the country.

However, with fewer than three months to go until the 2023 edition begins Down Under, Djokovic is still hopeful his ban is waived so he can obtain a visa.

Asked for an update on the situation, the Serbian told Sportal: "When it comes to Australia, there are some positive signs, but unofficially.

"We are communicating through my lawyers in Australia. In fact, they are communicating with the authorities in charge of my case. 

"I hope to have an answer in the next few weeks, whatever that answer might be. I am hoping for a positive one so I have enough time to prepare for the start of the season."

Djokovic has won nine titles at Melbourne Park, which is the most of any male singles player and the most he has won at any of the four majors.

Rafael Nadal won the event this year in Djokovic's absence, and the latter is desperate to get a chance to draw back level on grand slam titles won by competing in Australia.

"I really want to go there. I am over what happened this year and I just want to play tennis, it is what I do best," he said.

"Australia has always been the place where I have played my best tennis, the results speak for themselves, so I am always extra motivated to go there. This time even more so.

"I am waiting for the permission again. It's a good thing they have now opened the borders for the unvaccinated foreigners travelling to Australia. 

"I have that ban, I hope it will be lifted. As I said, it is not in my hands, I hope the people in the Australian government will give a positive answer, that is all."

Carlos Alcaraz reached the last-16 stage of the Swiss Indoors Basel by beating Jack Draper in three sets on Monday.

The number one seed lost the opening set but responded to take the following two and win 3-6 6-2 7-5.

Alcaraz dominated at the net, winning 30 of 39 points to edge out his opponent after more than two hours.

Elsewhere, at the Vienna Open, fourth seed Taylor Fritz overcame Yoshihito Nishioka in another three-set thriller.

Nishioka took the opener, and Fritz was staring down the barrel in a second-set tie-break before trailing by a break in the decider.

However, the American won the final five games to advance 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (9-7) 6-3.

The comeback boosted Fritz's chances of making the ATP Finals, trailing Felix Auger-Aliassime by 315 points in the Race to Turin.

Third seed Andrey Rublev found life far easier as he beat Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-1.

Felix Auger-Aliassime clinched the European Open title by beating Sebastian Korda in straight sets in Antwerp, replicating last week's Firenze Open triumph to maintain his strong run of form.

Auger-Aliassime swept aside J. J. Wolf to emerge victorious in Italy a week ago, and was in control from the start on Sunday as he beat another American to win his third ATP title of the year.

The Canadian seized the initiative when he broke Korda's serve to go 4-2 up in the opener, before saving two break points early in the second set.

Korda failed to conjure up another opportunity to break as Auger-Aliassime wrapped up a routine 6-3 6-4 win by holding to love.

Auger-Aliassime has responded brilliantly to his first-round exit at the Astana Open earlier this month, winning eight consecutive matches – six of them in straight sets.

Meanwhile, the 22-year-old has now won three of his past four ATP Tour finals, failing to drop a set in any of those victories after losing each of his first eight final appearances.

Auger-Aliassime's victory also represented a major boost to his hopes of reaching next month's ATP Finals in Turin, strengthening his grip on the final qualification spot for the tournament.

Dominic Thiem saved three match points before beating Hubert Hurkacz for the first time to reach the semi-finals of the European Open on Friday.

Thiem was on the brink of being knocked out by the top seed in Antwerp, but fought back to win 3-6 7-6 (11-9) 7-6 (7-4).

The 2020 US Open champion fended off all three match points in a second-set tie-break to take a thrilling quarter-final the distance and then came out on top in another breaker to advance.

Thiem will do battle with Sebastian Korda for a place in the final after the American emphatically defeated eighth seed Yoshihito Nishioka 6-0 6-2.

Richard Gasquet moved into the last four at the expense of David Goffin and will face Felix Auger-Aliassime, who came from a set down to beat Dan Evans.

Matteo Berrettini remains in the hunt to win the Tennis Napoli Cup on home soil after a 6-2 6-3 quarter-final triumph over Taro Daniel.

Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta crashed out in Italy, losing 7-5 6-2 to Miomir Kecmanovic, who will face Lorenzo Musetti after he got the better of Daniel Elahi Galan. Mackenzie McDonald will come up against Berrettini after getting past Zhang Zhizhen.

Stefanos Tsitsipas sealed a Stockholm Open semi-final spot with a 7-5 6-3 win over Mikael Ymer and will take on Emil Ruusuvuori, who eliminated Frances Tiafoe.

Holger Rune and Alex de Minaur meet in the other last-four match in the Swedish capital following wins over Cameron Norrie and Denis Shapovalov respectively.

Dominic Thiem saw off Francisco Cerundolo for the second time in the space of a week as he dug deep in the deciding set to win 6-1 1-6 7-5 at the European Open.

The Austrian downed the Argentinian in straight sets six days earlier in Gijon but found this a sterner test of his capabilities against the sixth seed.

Nevertheless, the former US Open winner shook off a second-set collapse and then responded to going a break down in the decider, winning four of the final five games to seal a quarter-final clash with favourite Hubert Hurkacz.

He was joined in the last-eight by two more unseeded players, as David Goffin and Sebastian Korda recorded straight-set upsets over third seed Diego Schwartzman and fourth-ranked Karen Khachanov respectively.

At the Stockholm Open, fifth seed Alex de Minaur made swift work of American J.J. Wolf, dispatching him in a 6-4 6-2 win to set up a quarter-final with Canada's Denis Shapovalov.

Defending champion Tommy Paul is out however, losing to Sweden's Mikael Ymer, who recorded a 6-2 6-3 victory that earns him a clash with top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Slippery court conditions contributed to a backlog in fixtures at the Napoli Cup, meaning first-round matches were followed by second-round encounters on Thursday.

Nevertheless, second seed Matteo Berrettini made light work of Roberto Carballes Baena, winning 6-4 6-2.

Roberto Bautista Agut, seeded third, slipped to a 6-4 6-4 loss to Mackenzie McDonald, with the American joining Berrettini in the last eight.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.