Denis Shapovalov crashed out of the Qatar Open after losing in straight sets to France's Arthur Rinderknech in their quarter-final on Thursday.

The top-seeded Canadian lost in just an hour and 20 minutes as Rinderknech sealed a 6-4 6-4 victory to seal his place in the semi-finals in Doha.

Shapovalov struggled throughout, making nine double faults and having to face 10 break points, of which he managed to save eight.

Rinderknech will now face Nikoloz Basilashvili after the Georgian fought back to beat Marton Fucsovics 1-6 6-3 7-5.

The other semi-final will see Karen Khachanov take on Roberto Bautista Agut, with the Russian also coming from a set down in beating Marin Cilic 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Bautista Agut followed up Wednesday's 6-0 6-1 victory against Andy Murray by again winning comfortably against fellow Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, scoring a 6-1 6-1 success.

The number two seed won 74 per cent of points when landing his first serve as he sealed victory in an hour and 17 minutes.

At the Open 13 in Marseille, Rotterdam champion Felix Auger-Aliassime increased his winning streak to six matches after beating French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 to head through to the quarter-finals.

"It was a special moment," Auger-Aliassime said after his win. "When the match was coming to the end, I knew it was going to be a special moment, a full-circle moment. He was my top idol growing up and I saw myself in him at times."

Auger-Aliassime will play world number 49 Ilya Ivashka next, while top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also went through after a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win against Hugo Gaston. The Greek star will play Russian Roman Safiullin in the last eight.

Ninth seed Benjamin Bonzi beat fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-3 and will go up against Aslan Karatsev in the next round, while Lucas Pouille overcame Radu Albot 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-2) and will tackle Andrey Rublev next.

Andy Murray suffered one of the heaviest losses of his career in the second round of the Qatar Open, while Andrey Rublev escaped an early exit at the Open 13. 

Former world number one Murray went down 6-0 6-1 to last year's runner-up Roberto Bautista Agut in Doha on Wednesday. 

It was just the fourth occasion in which the three-time major champion has lost a match while winning only one game or fewer in his career – the last time being a defeat by the same scoreline to Roger Federer at the ATP Finals in 2014. 

Murray's fellow Briton Dan Evans also endured a second-round loss, going down 4-6 7-5 6-4 to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina – Bautista Agut's next opponent. 

Denis Shapovalov bounced back from his first-round loss to Jiri Lehecka in Rotterdam last week by dropping just eight points on serve as he claimed a 6-4 6-0 victory over Alex Molcan inside 52 minutes. 

Next up for the Canadian will be Arthur Rinderknech after the Frenchman came from a set down to defeat seventh seed Alexander Bublik 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-4. 

Nikoloz Basilashvili faced little trouble in overcoming Elias Ymer 6-4 7-5 and his reward is a quarter-final against Marton Fucsovics, who got the better of Kwon Soon-woo. 

Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic will meet in the last eight after they respectively eliminated Emil Ruusuvuori and Botic van de Zandschulp. 

In Marseille, second seed Rublev was made to work hard for a place in the Open 13 quarter-finals by home hope Richard Gasquet. 

Gasquet went a break up in the third set and, after surrendering his advantage, stopped Rublev serving out the match to force a tie-break. 

However, the world number seven did not waste his next opportunity as he sealed a 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) success. 

Aslan Karatsev also booked his place in the last eight, while there were wins for Frenchmen Benjamin Bonzi and Lucas Pouille too. 

Defending Rotterdam Open champion Andrey Rublev and world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas won through their opening tests, but Denis Shapovalov will not be in round two.

Rublev beat Henri Laaksonen 6-4 6-4 on Tuesday, while top seed Tsitsipas went the distance before edging out Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 after two hours and 39 minutes on the court.

Reflecting on his win, Tsitsipas was full of praise for his opponent, saying: "It was a great battle; he gave me some of the best tennis I have seen him play.

"He was very fired up today and making the best out of every single shot. He was hitting huge winners from behind the baseline. He's one of the best young players who I have played."

However, world number 12 Shapovalov had no such luck, as he slumped to a surprise defeat to Czech qualifier Jiri Lehecka.

The world number 137 saw off the Canadian 6-4 6-4, showing impressive resolve to hold serve at 4-2 in the first set after initially going 0-40 down.

Shapovalov converted just one of 11 break points offered up by Lehecka as he failed to build on an impressive run to the Australian Open quarter-finals last month.

Aslan Karatsev, who won a title in Sydney in January, was another seed to drop out, after his 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-0) defeat to home favourite Tallon Griekspoor.

Griekspoor has enjoyed some big wins in this tournament in the past, having defeated Stan Wawrinka and Karen Khachanov in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Khachanov, too, was in action on Tuesday; unlike his Russian compatriot Karatsev, Khachanov took his place in round two with a 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 7-6 (7-6) defeat of Alexei Popyrin.

Lorenzo Musetti and Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp also progressed.

Rafael Nadal almost pulled out of the Australian Open just days before heading to Melbourne, according to his uncle.

The 35-year-old battled past Denis Shapovalov on Tuesday to reach the semi-finals of the tournament for just the third time since 2016.

Nadal, who is chasing a record 21st grand slam title to break the three-way tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, has only won the first major of the year once in his career – back in 2009 – and lost at the quarter-final stage in 2020 and 2021.

Even with nine-time champion Djokovic not competing after being deported by border authorities over a visa dispute, few considered Nadal to be the favourite for the title this year given he went from August to December in 2021 without playing a match, having undergone surgery on a foot injury.

Nadal has looked in strong form, though, even recovering from apparent stomach trouble and difficulty in the heat to beat Shapovalov 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 after more than four hours of action on Rod Laver Arena.

Toni Nadal, his coach for most of his professional career, said his nephew nearly decided against competing at all in Australia as he did not feel ready.

Asked if he were surprised by Nadal's form, he told Cadena SER: "Yes, I'm surprised, because I remember when three days before the start, Rafa called my youngest son to hit a few balls after being quarantined due to coronavirus.

"At nine o'clock, we went to train and during training, he said, 'I don't know if I'm going to go or not because at the moment I'm not in condition for an Australian Open'. They only had three days to get a flight.

"The following day, he perked up and said 'Okay, come on, I'm going'. I think it was more the excitement of competing and returning to competition than believing in himself."

Speaking about the quarter-final, Toni Nadal said his brother in Australia told the family about the problems with the heat on court.

"He looked good. In the first two sets, he played at quite a good level against a tough opponent," he said.

"Everything changed as a result of heatstroke. We were watching the game with the family and at one point, after the second set, I said, 'well, I think this is done', and my brother in Australia said no, he's literally exhausted, and he'd told them he had had heatstroke."

Shapovalov lost his temper with umpire Carlos Bernardes during the match for refusing to give Nadal a time violation during a change of ends, proclaiming "You guys are all corrupt" before claiming post-match that players such as Nadal receive preferential treatment on court.

 

"I think he is totally wrong," said Toni. "When you have to change, you need time and the umpire normally looks at the players and sees the time and starts the clock later. He pressed too soon, realised it and that's why he gave Rafa more time.

"Young people sometimes act without thinking. How could an umpire be corrupt?"

Rafael Nadal shot down Denis Shapovalov's suggestion that he receives special treatment from umpires after an epic Australian Open quarter-final tussle.

Shapovalov fell short of an incredible comeback against the record-chasing Nadal, who prevailed 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 after over four hours of action on Rod Laver Arena.

The match was full of tension, with Shapovalov furious that Nadal escaped a time violation for taking too long between the first and second sets. 

After umpire Carlos Bernardes refused to call time on Nadal's changeover, Shapovalov lost his temper, bursting out: "You guys are all corrupt."

The players subsequently met at the net for a discussion, but Shapovalov was frustrated again when, before the deciding set, Nadal left the court for a medical timeout having struggled with a stomach issue, but then also had a toilet break.

Asked in his post-match news conference if he felt Nadal received preferential treatment, Shapovalov said: "Of course. 100 per cent he does. 100 per cent."

Shapovalov's comments were put to Nadal in the Spaniard's own media conference.

"No. Not in that case, no, no," Nadal responded.

"I really believe that on the court you don't deserve better treatment than the others. I really don't want it and I don't feel I have it.

"Without a doubt, even as everybody knows, I have a huge respect for Carlos and I think he's a great umpire. Is it not the case that he was always hard with me on court, no?

"I really believe that it's always in the mind that the top players get bigger advantages. And on the court it's not true. That's my feeling. I never feel that I had advantages on the court, and I really believe that he's wrong in that case.

 

"I honestly feel sorry for him. I think he played a great match for a long time. Of course, it's tough to accept to lose a match like this, especially after I was feeling destroyed and probably he felt that, [but] then I was able to manage to win the match.

"I wish him all the very best. He's young, I think we all make mistakes on our careers. I made a lot of mistakes too when I was younger, and probably he will understand later on after he thinks the proper way that probably he was not right today."

Nadal also explained why he had to be given an extended amount of time in the changeover between the first and second sets.

"I took some extra time at the end of the first set because I had to change everything there on the chair, in the changeover," he said.

"I think in that case normally at the end of the sets the umpire gives you some extra time, especially under these very humid conditions to change the clothes, because that's obvious that you can't play with the clothes in the condition that I was [in].

"I think in that moment Denis got p***** because the umpire called time and I needed like 30 seconds extra to keep changing my clothes.

"I think it's fair that Carlos gave me this extra time at that moment. I think Carlos made a small mistake in calling time. Normally at the end of the set, the umpire looks around and waits a little bit to call time until the player is a little bit ready when he's changing, no?

"Denis was wrong in that case. I understand that he just lost the set and in some way he wanted to keep playing quick, but I think he understands that normally you have some time to change your clothes."

Nadal improved his record in grand slam quarter-finals to 36-9. He is now 7-7 in Australian Open quarter-finals after surviving the Shapovalov battle, far worse than his record at the French Open (14-1), Wimbledon (7-0) and US Open (8-1).

Denis Shapovalov regrets labelling umpire Carlos Bernardes as "corrupt" but refused to relent on his view that Rafael Nadal "100 per cent" gets preferential treatment from officials.

Canadian Shapovalov fell short in a valiant comeback bid against all-time great Nadal, who eventually won through 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 after over four hours on Rod Laver Arena.

The 14th seed was left fuming between the first and set second, though, when he felt a time violation should have been given after Nadal made him wait for play to resume.

"Started the clock so long ago, he's still not ready to play. You've got to call him," Shapovalov said to Bernardes.

After Bernardes opted against doing so, Shapovalov said: "You guys are all corrupt."

"I think I misspoke when I said he's corrupt or whatever I said. It's definitely emotional, but I do stand by my side. I think it's unfair how much Rafa is getting away with," Shapovalov told a news conference when asked about the incident.

"I mean, I'm completely ready to play and the clock is ticking three, two, one, clicking towards zero, and I'm looking at the ump, and obviously I'm going to speak up and say something. 

"I've been ready to play for a minute and a half, and he tells me he's not going to give him a code violation because I'm not ready to play. To me, it's a big joke if somebody says that."

Shapovalov was further frustrated ahead of the deciding set where Nadal left the court for a medical check up having struggled with a stomach issue and also had a toilet break.

The 22-year-old felt the extended break quelled his growing momentum and that the elite players have different boundaries.

"And then after the fourth set, the guy goes – and for the same thing last year I wasn't allowed to take a toilet break when I asked for a medical," he added.

"He had already taken two medicals. He was getting medically evaluated, that's what the ump said after the fourth set, getting medically evaluated, and after the evaluation the guy goes and takes a toilet break.

"It's like, where is the line? Where are you going to step on the players and again, I respect everything that Rafa has done and I think he's an unbelievable player. 

"But there's got to be some boundaries, some rules set. It's just so frustrating as a player. You feel like you're not just playing against the player; you're playing against the umpires, you're playing against so much more.

"It's difficult. I mean, it was a big break after the fourth set for this reason, and the momentum just goes away. It's much more difficult to play, I think.

"Again, not trying to say anything against Rafa; he's a great player, I really respect all he's done, but I just think it's super difficult and super frustrating as an athlete to go up against all of this."

Asked if he feels Nadal gets preferential treatment, he added: "Of course. 100 per cent he does. 100 per cent. Every other match that I have played, the pace has been so quick because the refs have been on the clock after every single point.

"This one, after the first two sets it was like an hour and a half just because he's dragged out so much after every single point. He's given so much time in between sets and all this. It's just dragged out.

"Like I said, for the same reason I wasn't allowed to go to the washroom last year at the Australian Open because I had called a medical. I'm not arguing the fact that he had a medical or whatever it is. But how can you get evaluated medically and have a toilet break at the same break and just causing so much delay in the game?

"I mean, it's just not balanced."

Shapovalov and Nadal had a discussion at the net, but the former explained that it was an amicable exchange.

"It was nothing against Rafa. Rafa was serving and I would expect the umpire to be looking at Rafa and the umpire was staring me down. It didn't make sense to me," he said.

"Rafa is getting ready to serve, there's a clock right there, as an umpire you should be looking at the server. The guy is staring me down so I just looked at him like, 'Why are you looking at me?'

"It was shortly after I had said – obviously, like I said, I misspoke, but he was staring me down, so I felt like there was some feud or something. I looked at him.

"I was just explaining that to Rafa that it had nothing to do with him."

Rafael Nadal survived a huge scare to reach the Australian Open semi-finals with an enthralling five-set win over Denis Shapovalov on Tuesday.

Nadal is two wins away from a record-breaking 21st grand slam title after enduring a four-hour epic to beat Shapovalov 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.

A year after losing from two-sets-to-love up at the same stage to Stefanos Tsitsipas, there was almost a repeat for Nadal.

But, seemingly battling a stomach issue, the Spaniard remained alive in his bid to set the outright record for most grand slams won by a man, following a thrilling battle that lasted four hours, eight minutes.

The success saw Nadal – who will face either Matteo Berrettini or Gael Monfils in the last four – reach his 36th career grand slam semi-final and seventh at Melbourne Park, where he claimed the title in 2009.

Nadal landed the first blow with a break to love in the fourth game.

A superb forehand winner down the line got Nadal going before three wild forehands in a row from Shapovalov saw him fall 3-1 behind.

Shapovalov was unable to make any inroads against the Nadal serve, winning just five return points in a 39-minute opening set.

The Canadian was angry with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes' decision not to give Nadal a time violation between sets and the players unusually met at the net before the second game of the second set.

Nadal needed a tough hold during a 12-point sixth game and he capitalised in the next, an overhead securing the break after Shapovalov had sent a forehand well long at 30-30 to end a point he had been in complete control of.

Nadal closed out the set, but found trouble in the sixth game of the third as he faced break points for the first time after a double fault.

After saving both and holding serve, Nadal was broken at the key time – when serving to stay in the set – as Shapovalov delivered a backhand cross-court winner to extend the contest.

The momentum had well and truly swung and a double fault from Nadal saw Shapovalov break for 3-1 in the fourth set.

Approaching the three-hour mark, Nadal required a medical timeout, seemingly suggesting an issue with his stomach.

Shapovalov found himself in some trouble trying to level the match, but recovered from 15-40 to force a fifth set.

Nadal – who had been beaten from two-sets-to-love up just twice previously in his grand slam career – had to save a break point in the opening game of the decider, a volley winner to hold drawing huge cheers from the Rod Laver Arena crowd.

Instead, Shapovalov played a loose game, two wayward forehands, a double fault and a framed backhand giving Nadal a break and 2-0 lead.

Nadal, looking far more energetic, saved two break points in the third game before becoming more comfortable on serve on his way to the last four, Shapovalov smashing his racquet after match point.

 

DATA SLAM: Nadal overcomes major Melbourne hurdle … just

Nadal improved his record in grand slam quarter-finals to 36-9, but the last eight has often been a problem in Melbourne during his incredible career.

He is now 7-7 in Australian Open quarter-finals after surviving the Shapovalov battle, far worse than his record at the French Open (14-1), Wimbledon (7-0) and US Open (8-1).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 41/28
Shapovalov – 53/51

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 8/11
Shapovalov – 20/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 3/7
Shapovalov – 2/8

Denis Shapovalov hit out at chair umpire Carlos Bernardes in an extraordinary outburst during his Australian Open clash against Rafael Nadal.

Shapovalov was furious with Bernardes' decision not to call a time violation against Nadal after the Spaniard left him waiting between the first and second sets on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

Nadal had taken the first set 6-3, but forced the Canadian 14th seed to wait before he could serve to start the second.

"Started the clock so long ago, he's still not ready to play. You've got to call him," Shapovalov said to Bernardes.

After Bernardes opted against doing so, Shapovalov said: "You guys are all corrupt."

Nadal and Shapovalov met at the net between the first and second games of the set in a brief discussion that eased the tension.

After Nadal led 6-3 6-4, Shapovalov hit back to take the third set 6-4 on a hot day in Melbourne.

Denis Shapovalov said it is a privilege to be facing Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open quarter-finals after his win over Alexander Zverev, who conceded "everything" went wrong.

Zverev had been looking sharp in Melbourne over the last week, with the world number three not dropping a single set en route to the last 16.

Yet the Olympic gold medallist was on the end of a straight-sets loss on Sunday as he went down 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to Shapovalov.

Zverev made 32 unforced errors, five fewer than Shapovalov, and managed to convert only two of five break points, with the German winning 46/67 first-serve points.

Asked what went wrong, Zverev bluntly told reporters: "Everything.

"It's no one else's fault. It's not the coach's fault, it's not my team's fault, it's no one else's fault. It's purely me.

"As world number three, I have to take responsibility for the things I do and don't do.

"I give credit to Denis. It's incredible that he's in the quarters, I think he deserves it. He's done a lot of work, improved his game.

"But I've got to look at myself. Today was just, in my opinion, awful from my side."

Shapovalov had lost to Zverev in the ATP Cup earlier this month, but after Sunday's win the duo's head-to-head record stands at 4-3 in the latter's favour.

The 22-year-old Canadian will now face Nadal, with the 20-time grand slam winner having progressed to his 14th Australian Open final by defeating Adrian Mannarino.

Nadal holds a 3-1 head-to-head record against Shapovalov, though this will be the first time the pair have met in a major.

"It's always an honour to go up against a guy like Rafa," said Shapovalov after reaching his first Australian Open quarter-final.

"It's always going to be a battle against him. It's going to be a tough one and I'm definitely going to enjoy it."

Reflecting on just his second career win over a player in the top five, Shapovalov said: "I think off the ground I was playing really well, really feeling my shots off both wings.

"I played pretty smart, it felt like things were going my way early on. I lost a little bit of momentum midway in the second set but fought well to come back and just kind of rolled with it after."

It was also the first time in the tournament that Shapovalov had not had to go to at least four sets.

"It's probably the one I least expected to finish in three. I'm very happy with my performance, definitely happy with where my game is at," he added.

Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime clinched a maiden ATP Cup crown for Canada with victories over Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta and Roberto Bautista Agut in Sunday's final.

Canada lost their opening four matches of the competition but recovered in style to reach a first final, which they won 2-0 with a couple of commanding straight-sets wins in the singles matches.

Shapovalov saw off Carreno Busta 6-4 6-3 in the opening singles rubber to give Canada, who had to rely on other results to avoid elimination earlier in the tournament, the lead in Sydney.

World number 11 Auger-Aliassime followed that up with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory against Bautista Agut to give Canada an unassailable 2-0 lead, meaning that there was no need for a doubles decider.

"The emotions are unbelievable. There's no better feeling than winning," Auger-Aliassime, who saved 10 of the 11 break points he faced, said in his on-court interview. "We left everything out there. 

"We came back from far in this competition, losing our first four matches. But we never stopped believing. I think that's very important. We trust each other to the highest level.

"It came down to the perfect result. I'm super thrilled for everybody in the whole team and myself, of course."

Canada become the third nation to have lifted the trophy after Serbia, who beat Spain 2-1 in the 2020 final, and Russia in 2021.

Canada will face Spain in their first ATP Cup final after eliminating defending champions Russia in Saturday's semi-final in Sydney. 

Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Russian duo Daniil Medvedev and Roman Safiullin 4-6 7-5 10-7 in the doubles to complete a tense 2-1 victory for Canada.

World number 14 Shapovalov edged Safiullin 6-4 5-7 6-4, but US Open champion Medvedev levelled up with a 6-4 6-0 win against Auger-Aliassime in the other singles match.

That set up a doubles showdown for the right to face Spain, who overcame Poland on Friday, which Canada came from behind to win.

Russia held in the opening set to take the lead, though a break of serve late in the second set for Canada ensured the contest would be decided by a tie-breaker.

Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime held their nerve at the Ken Rosewall Arena, recovering from 6-5 down to win 10-7.

It marks a remarkable comeback in more ways than one for Canada, who lost their first four matches of the competition.

"Denis helped me and the team to push myself," Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview. 

"We had a tough start in the doubles, so to be able to come back in this way, it's really a team effort.

"That's what the ATP Cup is about. You can still win after being one-all and losing a tough singles. It's really about the team effort and we're happy to be through."

Felix Auger-Aliassime pulled off a terrific win over Alexander Zverev to carry Canada through to the ATP Cup semi-finals.

After Great Britain beat the United States 2-1 earlier to stake a claim for a last-four spot, Canada's singles players rose to the challenge to see off Germany.

That meant disappointment for Dan Evans and the British team, with Canada progressing to a clash with Russia as winners of Group C.

Denis Shapovalov got the better of Jan-Lennard Struff in a tight tussle, the world number 14 beating 51st-ranked Struff 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3, giving Auger-Aliassime a swing at Olympic Games and ATP Finals champion Zverev before a possible doubles decider.

The world number 11 duly got the better of third-ranked Zverev by a similar score to the opening singles rubber, winning 75 per cent of first-serve points as he came through 6-4 4-6 6-3 late at night in Sydney.

Great Britain had impressed in edging out the US team, with Dan Evans beating John Isner and then teaming up with Jamie Murray to see off Isner and Taylor Fritz 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 10-8 in a dramatic doubles decider. Fritz beat Cameron Norrie in the second singles rubber.

Daniil Medvedev played a pivotal role as Russia wrapped up a perfect 3-0 match record in Group B, beating Italy 2-1 to nail down their semi-final place.

Defending champions Russia, who also won the Davis Cup last year, were on the back foot early on against Italy after Jannik Sinner beat Roman Safiullin, but US Open champion Medvedev ground out a 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 win over Matteo Berrettini to take the match – and the battle for top spot in the group – down to a doubles decider.

Medvedev and Safiullin were given a stiff test by their singles foes on the doubles court but had just enough to beat Berrettini and Sinner 7-5 4-6 10-5.

Rafael Nadal declared his Abu Dhabi mission a success despite suffering a second consecutive defeat at the Mubadala Tennis Championship on Saturday.

After a hard-fought battle with Andy Murray on Friday served up a reminder of many a classic match between the pair, it was Denis Shapovalov who beat Nadal in his second comeback clash.

Since losing to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals in June, Nadal had played only two matches due to a worrying foot injury.

That has been a long-term problem and the 35-year-old Spaniard chose this week's event to test how it would stand up to match conditions.

Canadian Shapovalov beat his fellow left-hander 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 10-6, but Nadal has done enough in his two matches, and in a practice session with Andrey Rublev, to be persuaded his prospects for 2022 are looking up, with the Australian Open just a month away.

The 20-time grand slam champion said: "Maybe it was too tough to start after a long time."

But he was laughing as he said that, and added: "The goal is achieved: to be back on court. I've played two matches and played more or less four hours on court.

"I enjoyed it. Congrats to Denis today. I wish you all the very best for the next season, and I'm going to try to keep going with my road."

Nadal said he would return to the tournament in future years, as long as he remains fit and still on tour.

"If I'm still playing tennis, I am always super happy to be here playing," he said. "Hopefully I can keep coming during the next couple of years."

Shapovalov, 22, is one of the ATP Tour's most talented youngsters, striving to make a telling impact while the likes of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Murray reach the twilight years of their careers.

He said of Saturday's win over Nadal: "Any time I get to go on court against a guy like Rafa is an honour for me.

"It's great to just see you back on the court and see you healthy. Hopefully you can grab a great season and keep going."

Jannik Sinner continued his push for an ATP Finals spot with a straight-sets defeat of Reilly Opelka in the first round of the Vienna Open, while Carlos Alcaraz exacted revenge on Andy Murray.

Sinner won his fourth title of what has been an outstanding season for the Italian in Antwerp last weekend and is only 110 points adrift of Hubert Hurkacz in the battle for the final place in the season-ending event in Turin.

Murray did the 20-year-old a favour by knocking Hurkacz out of the ATP 500 tournament in the Austrian capital on Monday and seventh seed Sinner eased to a 6-4 6-2 win over American Opelka two days later.

Sinner, who will overtake Pole Hurkacz if he reaches the semi-finals this week, won 93 per cent of points behind his first serve and did not face a break point in a resounding win and will play Dennis Novak in the second round.

Murray beat Alcaraz at Indian Wells this month, but the 18-year-old rising star from Spain turned the tables on the three-time grand slam champion with a 6-3 6-4 second-round win in Vienna.

Former world number one Murray struggled with his serve and was broken five times as he made an early exit.

Third seed Matteo Berrettini beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-3 to reach the third round, while Diego Schwartzman, Gael Monfils and Lorenzo Sonego moved into the second round.

In the St Petersburg Open, defending champion Andrey Rublev beat Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals along with Denis Shapovalov, a 2-6 6-3 6-0 winner against Pablo Andujar.

Jan-Lennard Struff also moved into the last eight, with Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic securing first-round wins.

Top-10 seeds Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov were bounced from the Indian Wells Masters on Monday as number one seed Daniil Medvedev hit a season milestone. 

Tommy Paul took down Rublev, beating the fourth seed for the first time in four meetings, while the ninth-seeded Shapovalov fell to Aslan Karatsev.

The news was not all bad for the higher seeds, though, as US Open champion Medvedev picked up his 50th win of the year. 

 

PAUL DOWNS RUBLEV

Playing in the main draw at Indian Wells for the first time, the 24-year-old American Paul outlasted Rublev 6-4 3-6 7-5 for his second win in eight career matches against top-10 players.

Paul was on the offensive throughout the match, firing 41 winners while making 37 unforced errors, while Rublev had 23 of each. 

The Russian will lament missed opportunities, as he converted just four of 14 break point chances before watching Paul break him twice in the final set to prevail. 

Paul moves on to face 21st seed Cameron Norrie, who beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 5-7 6-3.

 

MEDVEDEV NOTCHES 50TH WIN

Medvedev had to work a bit to get past 27th seed Filip Krajinovic 6-2 7-6 (7-1), improving to 38-5 on hard courts in 2021. Only Stefanos Tsitsipas (52) has more victories overall this year. 

The Russian had 25 winners and 18 unforced errors while winning 70 per cent of points on his first serve. 

He next faces 23rd seed Grigor Dimitrov, who downed 16th seed Reilly Opelka 6-3 6-4. 

 

KARATSEV UPSETS SHAPOVALOV

Playing at Indian Wells for the first time, 19th seed Karatsev upset Shapovalov 7-5 6-2, saving the only break point he faced in the match.

Casper Ruud, seeded sixth, rallied past Lloyd Harris 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 as he seeks his sixth tournament title this year. 

He will face 11th seed Diego Schwartzmann, who beat 18th seed Daniel Evans 5-7 6-4 6-0 to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells for the first time.

Eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz had little trouble with Frances Tiafoe, rolling past the American in straight sets.

Jannik Sinner, the 10th seed, advanced via walkover when John Isner withdrew from the tournament to fly home and be with his wife Madison with their third child expected to arrive ahead of schedule on Tuesday. 

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