Novak Djokovic cruised past Pablo Andujar to reach the quarter-finals of the Tel Aviv Open on Thursday, showing no signs of rustiness on his first Tour-level outing since July.

Djokovic had not featured in an ATP-level match since his final victory over Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon, having been forced to miss the US Open due to his COVID-19 vaccination status.

But the Serbian needed little time to find his feet in Israel, winning the first seven games of the match and breaking the Spaniard's serve four times en route to a 6-0 6-3 victory.

Speaking on court afterwards, Djokovic said: "Fantastic atmosphere here tonight, thank you very much. I like the court, it's very intimate and it's very loud. 

"The crowd here is very passionate about the sport, about tennis and I'm really, really happy to be here and to perform here in front of you, so thank you for your support."

The 21-time grand slam winner will face Canada's Vasek Pospisil in the last eight after he beat home hopeful Edan Leshem 6-3 6-2.

Two of Djokovic's fellow seeds fared less well, however, with Diego Schwartzman and Botic van de Zandschulp both being ousted after three-set contests.

Third seed Schwartzman failed to capitalise on a third-set match point in his 6-3 2-6 7-6 (9-7) loss to Arthur Rinderknech, while Britain's Liam Broady teed up a clash with Marin Cilic by beating Van de Zandschulp 6-4 4-6 6-3.

The Sofia Open also saw a couple of seeds fall to surprise defeats on Thursday, although Jannik Sinner avoided any drama in his 6-3 6-4 win over Nuno Borges.

Sinner now has a perfect 10-0 record at the event, which he won in both 2020 and 2021, and will face Australia's Aleksandar Vukic for a place in the final four.

Holger Rune also progressed to the last eight, though he was forced to rally after losing the opener against Lorenzo Sonego, but Pablo Carreno Busta and Oscar Otte were both dumped out.

Second seed Carreno Busta fell to a 6-3 3-6 6-2 reverse against Switzerland's Marc-Andrea Huesler, who will face Poland's Kamil Majchrzak in the quarter-finals after he came back to beat Otte 4-6 6-2 6-4.

A tearful Roger Federer bid goodbye to a 25-year career with defeat at the Laver Cup in a doubles contest that went past midnight in London.

Federer teamed with long-time rival Rafael Nadal against American duo Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock as Team Europe face Team World at the O2 Arena.

After winning the first set, the Swiss and the Spaniard were faced with a spirited fightback from Tiafoe and Sock, who won a second-set tie-break before also clinching the match tie-break to seal victory 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9.

There had been a great atmosphere in London on Friday for the fifth edition of the three-day competition.

Federer, 41, had not played a match since he was knocked out of Wimbledon by Hubert Hurkacz at the quarter-final stage last year due to knee injury.

There were huge cheers when Federer and Nadal came onto the court and loud roars for the Swiss great when he came up with his first winner.

There was a sensational moment in the first set when Federer appeared to have won a point after his shot hit the top of the net and bounced in, only for a replay to show the ball had somehow been hit through a small hole between the net and the post, meaning Team Europe lost the point, despite the remarkably unlikely event of the ball passing through such a gap.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were among Federer and Nadal's team-mates offering some tactical input between games, and the legendary duo had to save a first break point of the match before the Spaniard held to put them 5-4 up.

It was two of the all-time greats that took a tight opening set when Sock put a volley into the net, prompting Team World captain John McEnroe to tell his doubles pair they appeared to be getting "caught up in the hoopla." 

A determined Team World managed to level it up after a back-and-forth second set went to a tie-break, with Tiafoe and Sock coming out on top with their superior power and pace.

That took it to a dramatic deciding match tie-break, with every point keeping fans holding their breath, including some trademark Federer magic at 6-7 when he diverted a Sock shot across court for a crowd-pleasing winner.

It looked like the dream script was being followed as Federer served at match point for himself and Nadal, but the former could only hit a shot into the net, before Sock and Tiafoe won the next two points to secure the win for Team World.

It was then hugs all round as respect was paid to the 20-time grand slam winner at the conclusion of a phenomenal career. 

Earlier in the day, Casper Ruud drew first blood for the Team Europe, beating Sock 6-4 5-7 10-7, before Stefanos Tsitsipas doubled their advantage with an emphatic 6-2 6-1 defeat of Diego Schwartzman.

There was drama after the first set of that second singles match when a protester, wearing a T-shirt with the message, "END UK PRIVATE JETS" on, set their arm alight on court before being escorted out by security. 

Alex de Minaur then got Team World on the board with a 5-7 6-3 10-7 success over home favourite Murray before the late-night main event under the lights.

Carlos Alcaraz was made to come from a set down but finally overcame Nicola Kuhn in the first round of the Hamburg European Open.

The highly rated Spanish teenager eventually downed the German wildcard 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3).

Kuhn, ranked 259 in the world, was aggressive early on against Alcaraz, and was rewarded with the first set.

But the 19-year-old – playing as top seed in an ATP Tour event for the first time – rallied to ease through the second set, before being made to work much harder to clinch the win on a tie-break.

Alcaraz will now play Filip Krajinovic in the second round after the Serbian also won in a third-set tie-break against Sebastian Baez 6-1 4-6 7-6 (8-6).

Three seeded players crashed out on Tuesday in straight sets, with third favourite Diego Schwartzman losing against Emil Ruusuvuori 7-5 6-4, sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili beaten by Aslan Karatsev 6-4 6-0, and eighth seed Holger Rune going down 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 to Tallon Griekspoor. 

Fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta eased through against Luca Nardi 6-2 6-1, while there were also wins for Fabio Fognini, who sealed his 400th career victory, as well as Daniel Elahi Galan, Borna Coric and Francisco Cerundolo.

At the Swiss Open in Gstaad, sixth seed Cristian Garin lost 6-3 6-4 to Yannick Hanfmann and seventh favourite Hugo Gaston fell to Dominic Thiem despite winning the first set, losing 1-6 6-1 7-6 (9-7).

Elsewhere, Frenchman Richard Gasquet beat Roberto Carballes Baena 7-5 6-4, while his compatriot Benoit Paire retired hurt when a set and a break down against Elias Ymer.

A tight game between Swiss pair Dominic Stricker and Marc-Andrea Huesler saw the former prevail 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4, and an all-Spanish affair was similarly close as Jaume Munar defeated Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-3 3-6 7-5.

There were also wins for qualifiers Juan Pablo Varillas and Nicolas Jarry against Lorenzo Sonego and Thiago Monteiro respectively.

Alexander Bublik beat Andy Murray to reach the semi-finals of the Hall of Fame Open, while Dominic Thiem was knocked out of the Swedish Open on Friday.

Bublik and Murray have now beaten each other two times apiece this year after the third seed won 7-5 6-4 in Newport.

The Kazakh overpowered the three-time grand slam champion to move into the last four, winning 80 per cent of his first-serve points and breaking three times.

Murray hit back straight after being broken at the start of the second set, but the former world one trailed 4-3 after failing to hold for a third time and Bublik did not give him another look-in.

Bublik will do battle with Jason Kubler for a place in the final after he defeated fellow Australian James Duckworth 7-5 7-6 (7-3).

Sebastian Baez ended Thiem's encouraging run to the quarter-finals with a 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 win in Bastad.

Thiem, who has endured an injury nightmare, won his first match 14 months by beating Emil Ruusuvuori in the first round and followed that up by getting the better of Roberto Bautista Agut, but the former US Open champion will go no further.

Argentinian Baez will now come up against Andrey Rublev after the second seed from Russia saw off Laslo Djere 7-5 6-4.

Pablo Carreno Busta blew Diego Schwartzman away in a 6-1 6-0 thrashing, while Francisco Cerundolo got past Aslan Karatsev in straight sets.

Casper Ruud was a surprise second-round loser as the Swedish Open defending champion fell to Francisco Cerundolo, while the favourites battled through at the Hall of Fame Open.

Ruud, a French Open finalist and defending champion in Bastad , lacked his usual composure as world number 39 Cerundolo broke him three times to win 6-4 3-6 7-5 on Wednesday.

That marked a first top-10 career victory for Cerundolo after defeating world number five Ruud, guiding him to his first quarter-final appearance at the tournament.

"I'm feeling amazing, I'm really happy," said Cerundolo, whose previous best result was beating world number 24 Gael Monfils. "It's amazing getting my first Top 10 win. It's been the best year so far in my career.

"He's a French Open finalist and was the defending champion here, so it was a big challenge for me and I'm happy to go through."

Aslan Karatsev awaits in the quarter-finals Cerundolo after downing Frenchman Hugo Gaston 6-2 6-4.

Fifth seed Pablo Carreno Busta survived a first-set scare to defeat 2016 champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-5.

The victory was Carreno Busta's 250th tour-level triumph and he will next face third favourite Diego Schwartzman, who overcame Elias Ymer in straight sets.

Third seed Alexander Bublik was made to work for a 6-3 3-6 6-2 second-round victory over Jack Sock in Newport and Andy Murray edged past Wimbledon doubles champion Max Purcell.

Murray needed almost two-and-a-half hours to get the better of Purcell, eventually triumphing 4-6 6-2 6-1 to tee up a last-eight meeting with Bublik.

Fourth favourite Maxime Cressy had little trouble in beating fellow American Mitchell Krueger 6-3 6-4 and will next face Steve Johnson, who progressed past seventh seed Jiri Vesely with a walkover.

Benjamin Bonzi, ranked as fifth seed in the United States, eased past Christopher Eubanks in straight sets, while James Duckworth triumphed 7-5 3-6 6-2 over Quentin Halys.

John Isner joined the list of favourites who made the third round in routine fashion, beating Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets 6-3 7-6 (8-6), before top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime faced some adversity against Jason Kubler following the Australian's strong run into the fourth round of Wimbledon.

Auger-Aliassime has a slight advantage, leading 6-4 3-6 6-5 before play was suspended due to poor light. When play resumes, Kubler will serve with a chance to force a third-set tiebreak.

 

 

Daniil Medvedev eventually mastered the windy conditions as he came from behind to keep his Mallorca Championships defence alive, but Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman crashed out in Eastbourne. 

World number one Medvedev fought back from a set down to defeat Aslan Karatsev 3-6 6-4 6-2 and advance to a quarter-final against fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who was granted a walkover after Nick Kyrgios pulled out with an abdominal issue. 

The Russian got just 48 per cent of his first serves in during a blustery opening set before improving to 68 per cent in the second and controlling the decider as Karatsev struggled with injury. 

"It was tough to play [in] rhythm. It felt like many points were just whoever managed to put the ball in the court was going to win the point," Medvedev said of the tricky conditions. 

"It was not easy but I'm happy to win because that's the most important [thing]. 

"Last year was amazing. I played great tennis. Hopefully I can do the same this year. I like it here in Mallorca, so hopefully I can stay as long as possible in the tournament." 

Alongside Medvedev and Bautista Agut, Stefanos Tsitsipas is the only other seed left in the draw after he overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4. 

Denis Shapovalov was a 6-4 6-1 loser against Benjamin Bonzi, Pablo Carreno Busta went down 6-3 6-4 to Antoine Bellier and Sebastian Baez's meeting with Daniel Altmaier ended in a 6-2 2-6 6-4 defeat for the Argentine. 

At the Eastbourne International, second seed Sinner suffered a 6-3 3-6 6-3 loss to Tommy Paul as he made his return from a knee injury sustained at the French Open.

World number 13 Sinner remains without a grass-court win in his ATP Tour career, while Paul will next face defending champion Alex de Minaur, who overcame Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 in a repeat of last year's final. 

Jack Draper defeated fourth seed Diego Schwartzman 7-5 7-6 (7-3) to advance to the quarter-finals and Cameron Norrie cruised past Brandon Nakashima in straight sets.

There were also wins for Maxime Cressy, Alexander Bublik and Taylor Fritz. 

Top seed Casper Ruud suffered a shock first-round exit at the Queen's Club Championships, going down in straight sets to British ATP Tour debutant Ryan Peniston in west London.

The French Open runner-up struggled to get going as he fell to a 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2) defeat to the world number 180, who was backed by a boisterous home crowd throughout.

Ruud struggled from the off as Peniston forced four break points in the Norwegian's first service game, and his miserable outing was rounded off when his opponent raced into a 5-1 lead before serving out a second-set tie-break.

After claiming the scalp of the world number five, Peniston told the BBC: "I can't really believe it. It feels like a dream. It doesn't feel real.

"I think I've been playing well. Casper is an unreal player and he did so well at the French Open, so I knew it was a tough ask. Four or five years ago I was sitting in the crowd just watching so to be here now is just unreal."

Ruud was not the only big name to fall at the first hurdle, with fifth seed Diego Schwartzman going down 6-1 6-4 against big-serving Sam Querrey to become the fourth of the top five seeds to fail to reach the round of 16.

Second seed and defending champion Matteo Berrettini is the exception after faring much better against another home favourite, cruising past Dan Evans 6-3 6-3, while Stan Wawrinka downed Francis Tiafoe 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5), and Denis Shapovalov's clash with Tommy Paul was suspended by darkness at one set apiece. 

Elsewhere, world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas progressed through his opening match at the Halle Open, beating Benjamin Bonzi 7-6 (7-1) 1-6 6-3 to set up an enticing last-16 clash with Nick Kyrgios, who bested Daniel Altmaier 6-3 7-5.

Fourth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime also progressed after being taken to three sets, beating Marcos Giron 6-3 5-7 6-3.

Meanwhile, defending champion Ugo Humbert will face a tough round-of-16 match against fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz after the Pole overcame Maxime Cressy 6-4 4-6 6-4. 

Novak Djokovic says previous failures at the French Open add "more significance" to his quest for Roland Garros glory.

Djokovic has not dropped a set in each of his last nine matches, dating back to his Internazionali d'Italia win, after cruising to a 6-1 6-3 6-3 victory over Diego Schwartzman on Sunday.

The world number one has reached a record 16 quarter-finals at the Paris major, while only Roger Federer (58) has reached the last eight at grand slams more times than Djokovic (51).

But Djokovic has not always enjoyed success in the French capital, losing three finals against Rafael Nadal (twice in 2012 and 2014) and Stan Wawrinka in 2015 before defeating Andy Murray the next year.

The Serbian added a second French Open crown to his trophy haul in 2021 by edging out Stefanos Tsitsipas.

As Djokovic looks to defend his title, the 35-year-old explained he has an added incentive given his previous struggles in the tournament.

"It took me years and years to win the title here," he told reporters. "Of course I had some big heartbreaks on the court here, many finals lost and semi-finals, thrilling marathon matches, mostly against Rafa prior to 2016.

"It was very special, very emotional to clinch that title in 2016. It was a huge relief more than anything.

"So in the years to come, I was still continuing to play consistently well here then luckily got another title last year, somehow winning a title here is always probably the hardest of any slam for me.

"Last year the second week that I had here was just probably the toughest four matches, toughest seven days I had to win any slam in my career. So it gives it a little bit more of a significance, so to say."

Djokovic also suggested he is having to make adjustments based on the scheduling times, with top seeds either playing in the early afternoon or in the evening session, which can go later into the night.

"As top players, we do have requests, but those requests are not always accepted," he added. "The tournament director, along with TV, broadcasters, I think at the end of the day that's who decides.

"TV, whether they want your match, day or night, you just have to adjust to that. Obviously, depending on who you play, sometimes it's favourable to play night, sometimes day.

"There is no standard or no formula that works always. Even though I historically played very well and won a lot of matches under the lights on different slams, particularly in Australia."

Novak Djokovic is on course to face Rafael Nadal in the French Open quarter-final after defeating Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-3 6-3.

Djokovic had not dropped a set in his last eight matches, dating back to his Internazionali d'Italia win, and had little trouble extending that run in the fourth round on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

World number 16 Schwartzman offered brief resistance to hold in a lengthy opening service game, but the Serbian managed to break his opponent on his next serve before going on to claim the first set with ease.

Defending Roland Garros champion Djokovic capitalised on an error-strewn Schwartzman performance in the first set, but it was the 35-year-old who faltered in the second as he went 3-0 down.

Djokovic made numerous mistakes at the net with his wayward backhand costing him, but he responded in emphatic fashion, rallying to win the next six games, and Schwartzman failed to recover.

World number one Djokovic broke to make it 4-2 in the final set, with Schwartzman left lamenting a break point squandered in the previous game.

Djokovic eased over the line to book his place in the last eight, where Nadal will be his opponent if the Spaniard defeats Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Data Slam: Djokovic reaches 16th quarter-final

Djokovic eased into a record-extending 16th French Open quarter-final, while Nadal could match that feat later on Sunday. In the overall grand slam quarter-final count, Roger Federer leads with 58, with Djokovic on 51 and Nadal on 45.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 28/31
Schwartzman – 23/45

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 3/1
Schwartzman – 1/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 6/11
Schwartzman – 1/8

Novak Djokovic hopes to have his visa reinstated so he can return to feature at the Australian Open following a change of government Down Under.

Djokovic eased to a 6-3 6-3 6-2 victory over Aljaz Bedene at the French Open on Friday to set up a last-16 clash with Diego Schwartzman.

The world number one remains on course to meet record 21-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, in what is the Serbian's first major of the year.

Djokovic was banned from playing at the Australian Open in Melbourne and was deported from the country due to his unvaccinated COVID-19 status in January.

The 34-year-old cannot be granted another visa for three years due to Australia's immigration laws, but former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously suggested he could be allowed entry sooner under the "right circumstances".

Djokovic hopes the arrival of new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will boost his visa-related hopes of featuring in Melbourne at the start of 2023.

"In terms of the government, yes, I heard the news, but, I mean, I don't know anything about whether my visa is going to be reinstated or whether I'm going to be allowed to come back to Australia," he told reporters.

"I would like to. I would like to go there and play Australian Open. I don't hold any grudges. Look, you know, it was what it was.

"If I have an opportunity to go back to Australia and play a place where I made the biggest success in my career in Grand Slams, I would love to come back."

As for the next clash with Schwartzman as Djokovic aims to equal Nadal's 21 grand slams, the Serbian is expecting a tough test in Paris.

"Well, he's one of the quickest players we have on tour, and his best results in his career came on clay, so of course he's a tough opponent without a doubt," he added. 

"I know him well. We played some really good matches on different surfaces. So playing against him, you always have to expect another ball coming back. I'm ready for the physical battle.

"I haven't spent too much time on the court. I have been striking the ball really well, so I look forward to that challenge."

Novak Djokovic cruised to a straight-sets win over Aljaz Bedene in the third round of the French Open, beating the Slovenian 6-3 6-3 6-2 to set up a last-16 clash with Diego Schwartzman.

Serbian star Djokovic, who is bidding to become the first player other than Rafael Nadal to win consecutive men's singles titles at Roland Garros since Gustavo Kuerten triumphed in 2000 and 2001, produced a ruthless display to blow away world number 195 Bedene in just one hour and 44 minutes.

Djokovic started as he meant to go on, launching an onslaught which forced Bedene to save five break points throughout his first two service games, before the Slovenian finally succumbed to a break in his third.

The top seed was virtually perfect on his own serve, winning 94 per cent of points on first serve in the opening set before picking up another decisive break just three games into the second.

Despite appearing to struggle with the glare at times on a sun-bathed Court Philippe-Chatrier, Djokovic continued his professional display to move closer to victory, recording just three unforced errors to his opponent's 13 in the second set.

To the delight of some in the crowd, Bedene forced his first and only break point of the encounter in the opening game of the third set, only for Djokovic to power a fierce volley past the 32-year-old before recovering to hold serve.

The world number one did not look back from there, breaking to love in the fourth game before wrapping up a routine win after forcing two match points on Bedene's serve to set up a seventh career meeting with Schwartzman, against whom he boasts a 100 per cent record.

Data Slam: Dominant Djokovic wraps up another straight-sets win

The world number one looks to be hitting form at the perfect time after a troubled start to the year: Djokovic has won 19 straight sets of tennis since the start of the Internazionale d'Italia earlier this month, recording a series of perfect displays since his Madrid Open final loss to Carlos Alcaraz.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic 30/18
Bedene 23/37

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic 9/1
Bedene 4/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic 5/11
Bedene 0/1

Novak Djokovic had few issues seeing off Aslan Karatsev to reach the last 16 of the Internazionali d'Italia on Tuesday as he bids to remain world number one.

Djokovic needs to reach the semi-finals in Rome to ensure Daniil Medvedev cannot usurp him atop the ATP rankings next week, and he made a solid start with a 6-3 6-2 victory over another Russian in the second round.

Karatsev did initially pose a threat, with both players breaking at the first opportunity, but Djokovic's superiority gave him the edge in the first set and then saw him cruise in the second.

Djokovic – who will face either Stan Wawrinka or Laslo Djere next – acknowledged he undoubtedly benefited from Karatsev's wastefulness, however.

"You never know with him," Djokovic said. "If he's feeling the ball, he can be very dangerous because he stays so close to the line, puts pressure on his opponents.

"He was missing a lot of balls today, though. He gave me a couple of breaks there in the first and second sets, but I'll take this win for sure.

"It's a straight-sets win against a quality opponent, and I'm looking forward to the next challenge."

Fifth seed Casper Ruud also progressed to the last 16 but was tested by Botic van de Zandschulp, with the Norwegian eventually coming through 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4.

But Andrey Rublev, who had won six of his previous seven matches, was a surprise second-round casualty as he fell to Filip Krajinovic in straight sets, with the Serbian claiming a 6-2 6-4 win.

Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov were the other seeds to reach the last 16 on Tuesday. The former was pushed hard by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 success, while the latter could face Rafael Nadal next up.

Meanwhile, across seven first-round matches, Cameron Norrie, Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman were the biggest names to advance, though 11th seed Hubert Hurkacz was dumped out by the unseeded David Goffin.

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).

Carlos Alcaraz's incredible season continued as he saved two match points before going on to beat Alex De Minaur in their semi-final tie at the Barcelona Open.

Alcaraz, who will become the first teenager since Andy Murray in 2007 to move into the top 10 of the ATP rankings when he does so next week, was staring down the barrel of an exit in Sunday's delayed tie when his Australian opponent had two shots of sealing victory in the second set.

Yet the 18-year-old salvaged both match points and then immediately broke back to take the set to a tie-break, which he won 7-4.

Alcaraz carried the momentum into the decider, breaking twice to seal a 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 success and progress to his third final of 2022. He has won the other two showdowns, in Rio de Janeiro and Miami respectively.

He will face fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who had a rather easier time against Diego Schwartzman, winning 6-3 6-4.

The players faced a short turnaround ahead of the final, which was to be played later on Sunday.

Carlos Alcaraz will chase a first home title on Sunday at the Barcelona Open but must do it the hard way after rain held up both semi-finals.

The tussle between Spaniard Alcaraz and Australia's Alex De Minaur was locked at 2-2 in the first set when play was abandoned for the day, and it was the same score in the last-four clash between Argentinian Diego Schwartzman and Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta.

Both clay-court semi-finals at the ATP 500 tournament are due to resume at 11:00 local time (10:00 BST) on Sunday, followed by the final not before 16:00 (15:00 BST).

Eighteen-year-old Alcaraz has won ATP titles in Umag, Rio de Janeiro and Miami in the past 12 months but has yet to triumph at an event in Spain, and potentially having to play two matches on the same day complicates his task.

On Monday, the fast-rising youngster will become the first teenager since Andy Murray in 2007 to enter the ATP top 10 rankings.

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