Andy Murray has withdrawn from the Madrid Open through illness, having been due to play old rival Novak Djokovic on Thursday.

Murray and Djokovic first faced off on the ATP Tour in Madrid 16 years ago and had been set to clash again in the last 16 after the Briton beat Dominic Thiem followed by Denis Shapovalov at the ATP 1000 event, where the world number one eased past Gael Monfils.

However, the Madrid Open confirmed on its Twitter page on Thursday that Murray would be unable to compete "due to illness", meaning Andrey Rublev and Dan Evans are to instead open the day's play on centre court.

The Serbian, who has a 25-11 record against Murray, will now face the winner of Hubert Hurkacz and Dusan Lajovic in the quarter-final after being given a walkover.

After his win against Shapovalov, Murray was excited about the prospect of locking horns with Djokovic again, saying: "In theory I should have no chance in the match. He's obviously number one in the world [and] I'm playing with a metal hip, so I shouldn't have a chance in the match.

"We've had so many great battles over the years in some of the biggest tournaments in the world. We played in the final I think of all four grand slams, we played here in the final, and I haven't had that opportunity to play against him for a long time."

Sadly for Murray, and tennis fans, that wait will have to go on for a bit longer.

Novak Djokovic set up a last-16 clash with Andy Murray at the Madrid Open, impressing in a straight-sets victory over Gael Monfils while Murray overcame Denis Shapovalov.

The 20-time grand slam champion eased to a 6-3 6-2 win in the Spanish capital, assuring him of a record-extending 369th week at the top of the ATP world rankings and teeing up a mouth-watering contest with one of his greatest rivals.

The Serb hailed his victory as representing his best performance of 2022, saying he was pleased with his progress after falling to a final defeat against Andrey Rublev on home soil in last month's Belgrade Open.

"[It was] probably the best match of the year so far for me," Djokovic told Tennis TV after the win. "I haven't played many matches and am still finding my groove.

"But [it's] a very good win against a very tricky opponent. I had a week, 10 days to get ready for this match, and for this tournament I have done everything I possibly can to build my fitness and also improve on all aspects of the game, on the court. 

"I'm really glad that it paid off, because I felt good on the court. It's the right process, and it's the right direction."

Djokovic will face Murray for the 37th time, and the first time since 2017's Qatar Open, after the three-time grand slam winner rolled back the years to overcome Shapovalov 6-1 3-6 6-2 in an absorbing two-hour contest later on Tuesday.

The duo are one of only two male pairs to have met in each of the four grand slam finals (along with Djokovic and Rafael Nadal), while Djokovic holds a 25-11 lead across their previous meetings and has won both of their two encounters at the Madrid Open, one of which was their first-ever meeting in 2006.

Elsewhere in the draw, it was a day of few shocks in Spain as seeds Rublev and Carlos Alcaraz ensured their own progress to the last 16.

Rublev recovered from a poor first-set showing to down Great Britain's Jack Draper 2-6 6-4 7-5, while home favourite Alcaraz remained on course for a potential meeting with compatriot Nadal after earning a 6-3 7-5 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Finally, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 3-6 6-4 in a competitive first-round affair to set up Wednesday's enticing last-32 clash with world number three Alexander Zverev.

Andy Murray swept aside Dominic Thiem in impressive fashion to secure his first clay-court win in five years as the Scot advanced to the second round at the Madrid Open on Monday.

The three-time grand slam champion was largely in control against his Austrian opponent, hitting nine aces and saving all three break points against his serve, while Thiem could only save one of the three he faced as Murray won 6-3 6-4.

He will now play 14th seed Denis Shapovalov after the Canadian beat Ugo Humbert 7-6 (7-1) 6-3.

The winner of that contest will have a last-16 meeting against the victor of Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils after the latter eased into the round of 32 to set up a clash with the Serbian.

Monfils defeated wildcard Carlos Gimeno Valero 6-3 6-0 in less than an hour, while Alejandro Davidovich Fokina also advanced with a 7-5 6-3 win against Lloyd Harris.

Dusan Lajovic set up a second-round match against fifth seed Casper Ruud, who defeated Borna Coric 6-3 4-6 6-4, and ninth seed Cameron Norrie will go up against John Isner, the Briton having overcome Soonwoo Kwon 7-5 7-5.

An interesting tie awaits the much-talked about Carlos Alcaraz after Nikoloz Basilashvili beat Fabio Fognini 7-5 6-4, with the Georgian to face the number seven seeded teenager next.

Jannik Sinner, the 10th seed, scraped through a hard-fought encounter against American Tommy Paul 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3, and will play Alex de Minaur next after the Australian beat Pedro Martinez 7-6 (7-2) 1-6 6-3.

Diego Schwartzman will take on Grigor Dimitrov in the second round. The Argentine 13th seed beat Benoit Paire 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-1, while Dimitrov overcame Maxime Cressy 6-2 7-6 (7-4).

Andy Murray does not support the ban on Russian and Belarusian players competing at this year's Wimbledon or other Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) tournaments, while Novak Djokovic reiterated his stance.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club recently announced that players from the two nations are prohibited from competing in the British grand slam following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

It means the likes of men's world number two Daniil Medvedev and women's world number four Aryna Sabalenka would miss out on the British swing.

Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have both spoken out against the ban, while the ATP and WTA have also pressed for reconsideration.

Now Murray, a two-time Wimbledon champion who also won Olympic gold at SW19 in 2012, has refused to give the ban his backing.

"I'm not supportive of players getting banned," Murray said in a news conference ahead of the Madrid Open, with the former world number one in action against Dominic Thiem on Monday.

"My understanding of the guidance was that Russians and Belarusians can play if they sign a declaration that they're against the war and against the Russian regime.

"I'm not sure how comfortable I would feel if something happened to one of the players or their families."

 

Murray understands it is a delicate situation, however. 

"I don't think there's a right answer. I have spoken to some of the Russian players. I've spoken to some of the Ukrainian players," he continued.

"I feel really bad for the players who aren't allowed to play and I get that it will seem unfair to them. But I also know some of the people who work at Wimbledon, and I know how difficult a position they were in.

"I feel for everyone, feel for the players that can't play, and I don't support one side or the other."

There has been speculation that the ATP and WTA may sanction Wimbledon, with one possibility being reducing the amount of tour points on offer from the grand slam.

World number one Djokovic, who will be allowed to compete at Wimbledon, where no requirement for a COVID-19 vaccination will be in place for players, is unsure what the next step will be.

He told reporters: "I've spoken to some of the Russian players in Belgrade [at the Serbia Open].

"Obviously, it's not an easy situation to be in. Being stripped of the right to participate in one of the biggest tournaments, if not the biggest tournament in the world, it's hard, I understand that. There is frustration.

"[The] ATP is going to analyse the whole situation and understand what can be done. I have not spoken to people from ATP so I'm not sure about it. I've gone through something similar, it's not the same thing, but something similar earlier this year for myself [when he was denied entry to Australia due to his COVID-19 vaccination status].

"It's frustrating knowing that you're not able to play. I still stand by my position that I don't support the decision. I think it's just not fair. It's not right. But it is what it is, they are entitled to make the decision.

"I guess it's on Player Council, the tour management, to really decide, along with the players, what is the best solution in this situation whether they keep the points, protect the points, take away 50 per cent of the points.

"So I heard that some of those models are still considered to be used in this kind of instance, but I'm not sure what is right, what is wrong, to be honest. I guess we'll have to wait and see the outcome."

Novak Djokovic hopes Boris Becker is able to live a relatively normal life once the six-time grand slam champion has served his prison sentence.

Becker, who became the youngest ever male major singles champion when he won Wimbledon in 1985, was sentenced last week after being found guilty of four charges relating to violations of the United Kingdom Insolvency Act.

The 54-year-old declared bankruptcy in 2017 but was found to have hidden assets and loans in order to avoid paying his debts, which amounted to around £50million.

Becker coached Djokovic earlier in the Serbian's career and the world number one is shattered for the German.

"Heartbroken for him," Djokovic told a news conference ahead of the Madrid Open.

"He is a friend, a long-time friend, a coach for three, four years. Someone I consider close in my life, he has contributed a lot to my success in my career.

"I was just heartbroken. I don't know what to say more than that. It's [not] getting into details of the verdict, because I'm not in a position to do that, but as his friend, super sad for him and there's not much that you can say.

"I just hope that he will go through this period that he has to be in jail and that when he comes out he's being able to live his life as, I don't know if you can use the word normal, because his life is definitely changing. For anybody going to prison, especially for that long of a time.

"So I don't know how things will turn out for him. I just pray for him. I hope things will be well in terms of his health, his mental health, because that's probably going to be the most challenging part."

Former world number one Andy Murray, however, has little sympathy for Becker.

"I feel sorry that he's in that situation, but I also feel sorry for the people that he's affected with his decisions as well and what's happened to them," said Murray. who faces Dominic Thiem in his opening match in Madrid.

"I hope he's okay and that he learns from his mistakes. But I didn't have a particular emotion about it.” 

Ivan Lendl insists Andy Murray can still compete for grand slam titles after re-joining the Scot's coaching team for a third time.

Lendl has teamed up with Murray in order to prepare the two-time Wimbledon champion for his home grand slam this summer, with the 34-year-old skipping the clay-court season to enhance his chances of being at his best on the grass.

Murray won all three of his grand slam titles, Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, and the US Open in 2012, under Lendl's guidance, but has not reached a grand slam quarter-final since 2017, undergoing two hip surgeries during that time.

Lendl, who himself won eight grand slams during a glittering playing career, cited Rafael Nadal's victory in January's Australian Open as evidence that class remains permanent, and expressed confidence in Murray's ability to follow his lead.

"You are asking this [whether Murray can compete] with a straight face after what Rafa [Nadal] has done in Australia," Lendl said after watching Murray's second-round defeat to Daniil Medvedev in Miami.

"They are just like bulldogs, and they want to do things because they haven't been done before.

"If they set their mind to it then they can achieve amazing things.

"Rafa said he wasn't even sure he's going to be able to play again [after his own injury problems], then he goes and wins the Australian Open. So yes, these guys can do it.

"I would say grass is probably Andy's best surface. 

"[For] a lot of the players, it's their worst surface. That would obviously increase his chances." 

Murray made his first ATP final since 2019 earlier this year, losing in straight sets to Aslan Karatsev in the final of the Sydney International in January, and is 85th in the ATP world rankings.

Andy Murray and Daniil Medvedev both know they could have done things better in Saturday's match, though it was the Russian who progressed with relative ease from the tie.

Medvedev, who enjoyed a short-lived stay as world number one earlier in March, defeated three-time grand slam winner Murray 6-4 6-2 to reach the third round of the Miami Open.

Murray beat Federico Delbonis in his first-round match but the former world number one has not won two successive games in a tournament since January, when he went all the way to the final in Sydney.

The crowd was largely on Murray's side in Saturday's contest yet Medvedev hardly felt the pressure. Indeed, the 26-year-old did not offer up a single break point throughout.

Nevertheless, Medvedev saw scope for development in his game, though was still able to reflect on a relatively routine victory.

"I think it was a great match. It's never easy, even if you practice on the same courts for one or two months, it's never going to be the same as a competitive tournament match," said Medvedev, who is top seed in Miami.

"So I'm happy that I managed to have zero break points against me. I feel like I have some room for improvement, but it was a great match against an amazing player and I'm happy that I managed to go through.

"On the days when you serve good, your opponent doesn't have this freedom to return, it helps you.

"[In the] second set, the scoreline was easier, it was much tougher in the beginning, but when your opponent knows you're probably going to get some aces and it's not going to be easy for him to return, he gets pressure on his serve and many times that is what happens in close matches.

"Every opportunity I had I tried to take it, to go for it, and there were a lot of moments when I was happy about my game."

Murray, on the other hand, acknowledged he is simply not yet at a level where he can expect to outlast the world's best players.

"My level of tennis is obviously not right now where it needs to be to win matches like that," the 34-year-old told reporters.

"Today there were some good signs on the court but the two key things in tennis are serve and return. I didn't do either of them particularly well."

Daniil Medvedev comfortably saw off Andy Murray in their third-round match at the Miami Masters, winning 6-4 6-2 on Saturday.

Medvedev must reach the semi-finals in order to retake the top spot in the ATP rankings from Novak Djokovic in April, and he got off to a positive start in Miami, not facing a single break point in his 90-minute win.

"On the days when you serve good, your opponent doesn't have this freedom to return, it helps you," Medvedev said post-match.

"[In the] second set, the scoreline was easier, it was much tougher in the beginning, but when your opponent knows you're probably going to get some aces and it's not going to be easy for him to return, he gets pressure on his serve and many times that is what happens in close matches."

Medvedev will face Pedro Martinez, who defeated Cristian Garin 7-6 (6-2) 6-2.

Reigning Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz got his title defence off to a good start with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 victory over Arthur Rinderknech.

Following defeats for Murray and John Isner, the Polish world number 10 is the only former champion left in the draw.

A number of men's seeds were beaten in their second-round matches on Saturday, however, including Canadian duo Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov.

Miomir Kecmanovic continued his good run of recent form, defeating Auger-Aliassime in straight sets 6-4 6-2, while South African Lloyd Harris beat Shapovalov 6-4 6-3.

For his third consecutive ATP 1000 match, meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas was pushed to three sets by an unseeded American.

After some entertaining hitting, with both looking to finish points early, the Greek third seed claimed four straight breaks of serve to eventually defeat Jack Wolf 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-1.

Daniil Medvedev will have to go through two-time Miami Open champion Andy Murray to quickly reclaim the world number one ranking.

Medvedev's first stint at the top of the ATP rankings ended swiftly when he lost in the third round at the Indian Wells Masters and was displaced by Novak Djokovic.

But the Russian has the opportunity to leapfrog Djokovic once more by making the semi-finals in Miami.

Before thinking about the latter stages of the Masters 1000 tournament, however, Medvedev first must master Murray, who looked in good nick on his return to Miami.

Murray has twice won this tournament but has not played it since 2016, meaning Thursday's match against Federico Delbonis was his Hard Rock Stadium debut.

Delbonis had won the pair's only prior meeting yet was outclassed 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 after a steady first set.

Medvedev and Murray have also only met once before now, with the world number two coming out on top, but the wild card is looking forward to the challenge.

"It's a big challenge for me, a big test," Murray said. "I've got a big training block after this tournament and it'll be a really good test for where my game's at and the things I need to work on as well against him. I'm looking forward to that."

That is not the only mouthwatering second-round tie, with Nick Kyrgios through to face Andrey Rublev.

However, Stefanos Tsitsipas has a slightly more straightforward task on paper after qualifier J.J. Wolf advanced past Daniel Altmaier.

Andy Murray has expressed his sympathy for Naomi Osaka over the abuse she was subjected to at Indian Wells but says athletes must deal with it.

Osaka was reduced to tears as she crashed out of the Indian Wells Open with a 6-0 6-4 third-round defeat to 21st seed Veronika Kudermetova on Saturday.

A member of the crowd could be heard shouting "Naomi, you suck" after the four-time grand slam champion had been broken in the first game of the match.

Osaka approached the chair umpire to report the incident and held further discussions with the court supervisor after being insulted again.

Murray says there is no place for such conduct, but believes players must be able to ignore it.

He said: “It's a difficult one. I've often thought watching certain sports, I wouldn't say I've often seen it loads in tennis … but if I watch a football or a soccer match and a player's going to take throw-in or a corner kick and the crowd are just hurling insults at those individuals.

"I always think, how is that allowed? Like, you can't do that. If you're doing that to someone when you're walking down the street or in any other sort of work environment, that's obviously not tolerated.

"I've played in certain atmospheres as well myself in tennis, like Davis Cup atmospheres, away from home, especially where the atmosphere's intense, and sometimes things are said and it's not that comfortable.

"The people that come to watch, you want them to be there and supporting the players and not making it more difficult for them. I don't know, but it's also something that's always just kind of been part of sports as well."

He added: "If you go and watch a basketball match, for example, and a player's taking free throws, I would say like almost every basketball match I've been to one of the players has been heckled by the crowd as well

"While it's wrong for those individuals to be doing it, the athletes obviously have to kind of be used to that as well or be able to deal with that too, even though it's not pleasant.

"I feel for Naomi, that obviously it upset her a lot, but it’s always been something that's been part of sport, I guess, as well.

"You have to be prepared for that in some ways and be able to tolerate it because it does happen regularly across all sports."

Third seed Alexander Zverev has been knocked out of the Indian Wells Masters by Tommy Paul in his first game since his expulsion from last month's Mexican Open for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Unseeded American Paul triumphed over the German 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-2) in two hours and 17 minutes, rallying back from a break down in the final set.

Paul hit less winners, 26-21 to Zverev but made less unforced errors 25-19, while his serve and volley game was a key feature.

"I played a really high level today," Paul said during his on-court post-game interview. "The last time I played him, I played well, I put pressure on him so I knew how i wanted to play so I came out and executed him well.

"I played well when it came down to the breaker, so I'm pretty happy with my performance."

Zverev had not played since being expelled in Acapulco after a stunning outburst where he struck his racquet on the umpire chair several times after a doubles defeat.

Ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was a major casualty, going down to Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes.

The Canadian had 36-27 winners but was let down by 43-26 unforced errors, along with converting only two of his 10 break points.

Van de Zandschulp had failed to take three match points in the second set but showed composure to finish the job in the third.

Wild card Andy Murray was also eliminated in the second round, blowing three set points in the first set before going down to 31st seed Alexander Bublik 7-6 (11-9) 6-3 in two hours and one minute.

Last year's Wimbledon runner-up and Italian sixth seed Matteo Berrettini needed more than two hours to get past world number 86 Holger Rune 6-3 4-6 6-4.

Seventh seed Andrey Rublev defeated Dominik Koepfer 7-5 6-4 to extend his win streak to 10 matches, while 11th seed Hubert Hurkacz beat Oscar Otte 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Other seeds to be eliminated were 22nd seed Aslan Karatsev who went down 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to American Steve Johnson, while 24th seed Marin Cilic lost 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to Miomir Kecmanovic.

Emma Raducanu landed her first Indian Wells victory as the US Open champion said Andy Murray inspired her to see off Caroline Garcia.

There was a certain irony about that, given Garcia is the player Murray famously once tipped to become a world number one.

But seeing fellow Briton Murray battle past Taro Daniel prior to her own match fuelled Raducanu for her opening test at the WTA Indian Wells Open.

While it was not always comfortable for the 11th seed, Raducanu recovered from a shaky second set to win 6-1 3-6 6-1 against her French opponent.

Murray's pronouncement about Garcia's prospects came on Twitter in 2011 as he watched the then little-known player take on Maria Sharapova in the French Open.

Garcia reached as high as number four in 2018, and it is now Raducanu who looks the likelier future number one, having landed a breakthrough grand slam against all the odds in New York last year.

Raducanu was beaten on her Indian Wells debut by Aliaksandra Sasnovich last October, so to land a first win came as a relief.

She said in an on-court interview: "It's amazing to be back and I'm so happy to have got my first win in the desert here. I hope to come back for many more years.

"I thought the level of tennis was pretty high today, and it means a lot to have come through that because it could have gone either way."

Raducanu said Garcia "climbed on top" of her game in the second set, but, like Murray earlier, she kept enough back for a decider.

Speaking to Amazon Prime, she revealed how seeing Murray show his battling qualities against Daniel reminded her of what it takes in trying circumstances.

"I was watching pretty much the whole match until I had to go warm up," Raducanu said. "He was down, and it was a really tough one. To see him, I kind of wanted to follow him and learn from him and he kind of inspired me to dig in today when it got tough."

She added: "To get this win after a stop-start year that I've had at the beginning, it means a lot. I'm just really happy to have given myself another opportunity.

"For sure it's difficult after dropping a set. I knew I'd slipped up, and I'd missed too many first serves, and I was just thinking... 'Just think how bad you're gonna feel after the match if you let this one go'."

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.

Andy Murray has pledged to donate his prize money for the remainder of 2022 to children affected by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The conflict has led to more than two million people fleeing the country over the past two weeks, according to figures released by the United Nations.

Tennis' governing bodies, the ATP, WTA, and International Tennis Federation (ITF), as well as the four grand slam organisers, announced on Tuesday that they are to donate a total of $700,000 to help humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Three-time major winner Murray is also doing his bit by working closely with UNICEF – the world's leading organisation helping children in danger – to provide medical supplies and development kits.

"Over 7.5m children are at risk with the escalating conflict in Ukraine," Murray posted on his personal Twitter page.

"It's vital education continues, so UNICEF is working to enable access to learning for displaced children, as well as supporting the rehabilitation of damaged schools, together with replacement equipment and furniture. 

"I'm going to be donating my earnings from my prize money for the rest of the year, but anyone in the UK can support UNICEF's humanitarian response by donating to our appeal."

Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska donated her prize money from last week's run to the Lyon Open final, where she lost in three sets to Zhang Shuai, to help her home country.

Novak Djokovic is delighted to be back in competitive action after he booked his spot in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic, whose decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 caused him to be deported from Australia on the eve of the year's first grand slam, eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti in his first match and made similarly light work of Karen Khachanov on Wednesday.

The world number one has won in Dubai on five occasions, last doing so in 2020, having elected against defending his title last year.

However, the Serbian is looking good to regain the crown in what is his first tournament on the ATP Tour in 2022, after he was unable to feature in Melbourne. 

Djokovic needed 98 minutes to see off Khachanov 6-3 7-6 (7-2) and tee up a quarter-final tie against qualifier Jiri Vesely.

"I missed it [playing competitively]. This is my life," Djokovic said, with his previous competitive appearances coming in the Davis Cup Finals in November and December.

"This is what I have known for the past 20 years. Tennis is my love. I enjoy bringing positive energy and memories for people who watch."

It was not all plain sailing for Djokovic, who offered up four break points, but the 34-year-old clawed back three of them.

"I was feeling excited and motivated," added Djokovic, who has progressed to the quarters in Dubai every time he has featured at the tournament.

"But also at the same time I was feeling stressed. Particularly at the moments when I was facing break points. I thought the atmosphere in the stadium was terrific."

Djokovic, who will lose his place at the top of the ATP rankings if Daniil Medvedev triumphs in Acapulco, should have little trouble in sealing a semi-final spot, though Vesely does come into that tie on the back of a surprise 6-2 6-4 win over world number 15 Roberto Bautista Agut, who had triumphed in Doha last week.

Murray falls short of landmark win

Second seed Andrey Rublev came from a set down to defeat Kwon Soon-woo 4-6 6-0 6-3, and will go up against American Mackenzie McDonald for a place in the last four.

There was no such joy for former world number one Andy Murray, however, who fell to Jannik Sinner 7-5 6-2.

"It is a special feeling [to share the court with Murray]," said Sinner, who will next face Hubert Hurkacz, a 6-3 6-2 winner over Alex Molcan.

"He is a legend. Winning three grand slams, many, many tournaments and he has had some unfortunate moments with surgeries. His fighting spirit is incredible.

Murray was chasing a 700th tour-level win of his career but failed to muster a single break opportunity against the Italian, who made it to the quarter-finals in Melbourne last month.

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