Brandon Nakashima has been one of the ATP Tour's hottest players throughout the hardcourt season, and he kept rolling Monday before a hometown crowd. 

The 20-year-old Nakashima rallied to defeat Italian veteran Fabio Fognini 6-7(5), 6-1, 7-5 in the first round at the San Diego Open, setting up a second-round matchup with top seed Andrey Rublev. 

After qualifying for the main draw at Wimbledon earlier this summer, Nakashima reached finals at Los Cabos and Atlanta in successive weeks, falling to John Isner in the latter finale. He then knocked Isner out of the US Open in the first round in straight sets. 

Monday, he won 80 per cent of the points on his first serve, dialling up eight aces to just one for Fognini, who also double faulted 11 times. 

Another Southern California native, Taylor Fritz, also advanced Monday, beating qualifier Salvatore Caruso 6-4 7-6 (2) to earn a second-round meeting with fourth seed Denis Shapovalov.

It was a welcome reprieve for the world number 39, who had lost five of his previous six matches dating to a quarter-final win over Reilly Opelka in Atlanta. 

Earlier, world number 24 Aslan Karatsev opened the day's action by defeating Federico Delbonis 6-1 7-5. 

Roberto Bautista Agut crashed out to Arthur Rinderknech in the second round of the Swiss Open Gstaad on Wednesday, while fifth seed Federico Delbonis also failed to progress.

Rinderknech, who is ranked exactly 100th in the world, picked up the biggest win of his career in style as he dispatched of second seed Agut with a comfortable 6-2 6-4 victory

In another upset, world number 155 Hugo Gaston laid down an early marker with a first-set demolition of Delbonis, who lost out to eventual winner Pablo Carreno Busta in the Hamburg European Open semi-finals last week, before he triumphed in three sets, 6-0 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-3).

Fourth seed Cristian Garin cruised past Marc Polmans 6-3 6-0 to wrap the match up in less than an hour and seal his fifth ATP quarter-final of 2021.

Another semi-finalist in Hamburg, Laslo Djere survived a second-set scare to eliminate Zizou Bergs with a 6-2 4-6 6-2 win, which sets up a last-eight tie with Rinderknech.

At the Croatia Open in Umag, fourth seed Richard Gasquet battled past qualifier Alessandro Giannessi to secure a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 victory.

Top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas also progressed, winning 7-5 6-4 to eliminate Duje Ajdukovic on his home turf.

Fresh off the back of semi-final appearances at the Hamburg European Open, Federico Delbonis and Laslo Djere coasted through their respective first-round matches on the second day of the Swiss Open Gstaad, which included no upsets at the round-of-32 stage.

Delbonis, who is seeded fifth and lost to eventual winner Pablo Carenno Busta last week in Hamburg, cruised to a 6-3 6-3 victory against Leandro Riedi as the Swiss player struggled to make home advantage count.

Seventh seed and loser of the other semi-final in Germany last week, Djere continued his good form and wasted no time in thrashing Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild 6-4 6-3.

The other game on day two saw Dennis Novak dispatch of Kacper Zuk 6-4 6-4 and that straight-sets victory means the Austrian will next face the number three seeded player Casper Ruud, who won the Nordea Open last week to secure his third ATP title and second of 2021.

Alongside Ruud, the three other top four seeds - Denis Shapovalov, Roberto Bautista Agut and Cristian Garin - will now enter the draw, after benefiting from byes in the first round of the competition.

There was a surprise at the Croatia Open in Umag, though. Fifth seed Aljaz Bedene went down 6-1- 6-4 to Marco Cecchinato, who will now challenge fellow qualifier Damir Dzumhur to set up a potential quarter-final clash with Richard Gasquet if the Frenchman makes it through his round-of-16 tie.

Gael Monfils missed out on a place in the Belgrade Open quarter-finals as the second seed was stunned by qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-4).

World number 15 Monfils would have been expected to breeze through against Carballes Baena, whose lone ATP title came back in February 2018.

But Monfils was trounced in the first set and, despite coming back from a break down to win the second, he could not avoid a shock loss as Carballes Baena reversed a 4-1 deficit in the decisive tie-break on Wednesday.

Carballes Baena's triumph sets up a last-eight clash with eighth seed Federico Delbonis, who beat Thiago Monteiro 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-4 at the ATP 250 event in Serbia.

Dusan Lajovic also moved through to the quarters after easing past Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-4, with Andrej Martin the fifth seed's opponent after upsetting third seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-4).

Elsewhere, top seed Lorenzo Sonego suffered a second-round exit at the Emilia-Romagna Open as Sebastian Korda claimed a surprise win.

Korda entered the tournament with just one clay-court win to his name in 2021 but followed up a first-round success over Andreas Seppi with a 6-1 7-5 defeat of Sonego.

Yoshihito Nishioka is his next opponent after the Japanese saw off Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-2.

Jaume Munar and Richard Gasquet also progressed, as did Jan-Lennard Struff, Norbert Gombos, Marco Cecchinato and Tommy Paul.

 

Novak Djokovic's Internazionali BNL d'Italia quarter-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas was halted by persistent rain on Friday with the world number one a set and a game down.

Reigning champion Djokovic, who is seeking a sixth triumph in Rome, struggled to get going against Tsitsipas and trails 6-4 2-1 ahead of the scheduled resumption of play on Saturday.

The top seed lost serve in the first game and continued to make some uncharacteristic errors that saw him trail 4-1 at one point.

While Djokovic did earn a first break in the sixth game, Tsitsipas stood firm to take the opening set and was in total control when again breaking his opponent early in the next set.

However, soon after the Greek had opened up a 2-1 advantage, the worsening conditions led to a pause in proceedings and organisers were eventually forced to bring the day's play to an end.

Djokovic, who converted just one of his six break point opportunities, will return to the court on Saturday and will need to improve if he is to join Rafael Nadal in the final four.

Nadal exacted some revenge on Alexander Zverev earlier on Friday to reach the semi-finals for a 12th time.

The Spaniard lost to Zverev at the same stage of the Madrid Open seven days ago but responded to questions over his form by easing through this latest encounter.

Nadal, who saved two match points before beating Denis Shapovalov on Thursday, raced 4-0 ahead in the first set against Zverev and had little trouble seeing the job through.

Aiming for a record-extending 10th title in the Italian capital, Nadal saved all eight break points he faced in the second set to advance 6-3 6-4 in two hours.

"I played more solid than Madrid. Conditions are different," he said in his post-match interview. "Here the conditions are a little more normal. I was able to control a little bit more."

"I'm happy. I played a very solid match with not many mistakes, playing the way that I have to. It's an important victory for me against a great player."

Nadal will face Reilly Opelka for a place in the final, the American beating qualifier Federico Delbonis 7-5 7-6 (7-2) to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.

Opelka entered the tournament on a six-game losing streak, but he kept his good run going in Rome by earning the only break of the opening set in the 12th game.

Both players held throughout the second set and it was big-serving Opelka who prevailed 7-2 in the tie-break.

The day's other quarter-final between Lorenzo Sonego and Andrey Rublev also fell victim to the bad weather and will get under way on Saturday.

Rafael Nadal's bid to win a 12th Monte Carlo Masters title got off to an emphatic start as the Spaniard swept Federico Delbonis aside after Novak Djokovic had also booked his passage to the third round.

Nadal, 34, has won the competition more times than anyone else in its history and looked in good shape as he returned to the court for the first time since losing to Stefano Tsitsipas in the Australian Open quarter-finals on February 17.

He needed just 81 minutes to get past the Argentinian qualifier 6-1 6-2 as he improved his record in the tournament to 72-5, breaking Delbonis' serve five times and only dropping his own once.

He is not getting carried away, however, with Grigor Dimitrov likely to provide a sterner test in the next round after beating Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

"It was solid match, I think. Of course, a very positive result. He's a good player on clay. [It was a] positive start for me," Nadal said in his post-match interview.

"I think I just really played a solid match. Nothing unbelievable, but nothing wrong. Just a solid match, a positive start. I think I did what I had to do."

On Dimitrov, Nadal added: "We've had some great matches. In Melbourne, of course... we played another great match in Beijing, another one in Shanghai. He's a good friend, a good guy, and a great player. It's going to be a tough test in my second round.

"It's going to be his third. I need to be ready for it. I hope to be ready for it. I am just excited to play a tough match very early in the tournament."

A little earlier in the day, world number one Djokovic was in a similarly unforgiving mood as he overcame the potentially tricky obstacle of Jannik Sinner, the Serbian and two-time Monte Carlo champion winning 6-4 6-2.

Like Nadal, Djokovic was back in action for the first time since the Australian Open – which he won – and appeared fresh as he gave the promising young Italian something of a lesson in game management, reaching 10 matches unbeaten at the start of a season for the sixth time.

"It feels great [to be back and] also playing in Monaco, where I reside," Djokovic said. "I have used this club as a training base for almost 15 years, so it feels like playing at home."

Despite the rather commanding nature of his win, Djokovic was keen to pay tribute to the 19-year-old Sinner, adding: "It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match [and] a big challenge for me. Jannik is in form. He played the final [in] Miami and has been playing well. I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time.

"He has got a lot of talent and he has proven that he is the future of our sport. Actually, he is already the present of our sport. He played a final [in an] ATP Masters 1000 [tournament] already. He is making big strides in professional tennis."

Dan Evans awaits Djokovic after an impressive 6-4 6-1 win over Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz, while Alexander Zverez and Andrey Rublev – the fifth and sixth seeds – moved into the next round with respective straight-set victories over Lorenzo Sonego and Salvatore Caruso.

There were mixed fortunes for the other two top-10 seeds in action on Wednesday, as Pablo Carreno-Busta defeated Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-3, but Diego Schwartzman was sent packing by Casper Ruud, the Norwegian winning 6-3 6-3.

Novak Djokovic will tackle teenage rising star Jannik Sinner for the first time in a tantalising clash of tennis generations on Wednesday at the Monte Carlo Masters.

World number one Djokovic is returning to action this week, having taken time away from the tour since banking an 18th grand slam title by winning the Australian Open in February.

He received a first-round bye, but waiting for him in the last 32 is Sinner, who on Tuesday saw off 2017 Monte Carlo runner-up Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 6-4, again illustrating the 19-year-old Italian's great potential.

World number 22 Sinner is the only teenager ranked inside the top 80 in the men's game and is coming off his first run to a Masters final, at the Miami Open.

The switch from hard courts to clay is one that Sinner is having to deal with, and seeing off a specialist on the surface in round one represents an impressive start, although facing two-time former champion Djokovic will be a step up.

"It's always good for me to see what I can do on clay," Sinner said, quoted on the ATP website. "Obviously, I am not in the best form on clay now for the first week.

"But I think today was a solid match from my side. It was not easy. He's not giving [away] one point, so you have to stay there the whole match. I think I played a good match from my side."

Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the last 16 with a 6-3 6-4 win over Russian Aslan Karatsev, but there was disappointment at the same stage for Italian eighth seed Matteo Berrettini, beaten 7-5 6-3 by Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Those were the only second-round matches of the day.

Surprise Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz made a winning start, battling to a 6-3 3-6 6-3 first-round success against Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano to reach round two.

Roberto Bautista Agut, Grigor Dimitrov, Pablo Carreno Busta and Fabio Fognini each booked places in round two thanks to straight-sets wins.

Qualifier Federico Delbonis was a 7-5 6-1 victor over France's Adrian Mannarino, meaning the Argentinian faces the ultimate test in clay-court tennis next, a tussle with Rafael Nadal, the 11-time former champion in Monte Carlo.

Nadal has won all four of their previous matches, and their fifth encounter will immediately follow the Djokovic-Sinner match on Wednesday.

Federico Delbonis eased through to the last 16 and Soonwoo Kwon held off a strong fight from Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune in Monday's Andalucia Open action.

Eighth seed Delbonis lost serve twice in the first set against Roberto Carballes Baena but recovered well to claim a 7-5 6-1 victory in Marbella.

He will take on Norbert Gombos, who recovered to beat Juan Ignacio Londero 6-7 (3-7) 6-1 6-3, for a place in the quarter-finals of the clay-court event.

Kwon was made to do things the hard way against junior tennis world number one Rune, who took the match all the way.

Despite trailing 3-1 in the third set, seventh seed Kwon held his nerve to force a tie-break and prevailed 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-4).

Ricardas Berankis is also through thanks to a 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 victory over Lucas Pouille in just under three hours.

Meanwhile, seeded pair Tommy Paul and Guido Pella fell at the first hurdle in the Sardegna Open to Yannick Hanfmann and Egor Gerasimov respectively.

Eighth seed Paul recovered after squandering a 4-1 lead in a first-set tie-break but fell 7-6 (10-8) 5-7 6-3, while seventh seed Pella lost 6-4 6-0 in straight sets to Gerasimov.

Elsewhere in Cagliari, Aljaz Bedene rallied past teenager Giulio Zeppieri 1-6 7-5 7-6 (7-3) and Laslo Djere eliminated Italian wildcard Federico Gaio 6-4 6-2.

Cristian Garin continued his quest for Chile Open glory as another upset in the other half of the draw paired two Argentinians in the semi-finals.

Top seed Garin is aiming to win an ATP Tour event on home soil for the first time in Santiago.

The 24-year-old was made to work by Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas in the last eight on Friday, but he prevailed 6-4 6-4.

Garin was broken first in either set yet responded instantly on each occasion.

"I would love to be able to do something important in this tournament," the Chilean said. "It is special and I hope I can continue to win.

"I am playing better, in a semi-final and I am excited to do better, but I prefer to go step by step, game by game."

Daniel Elahi Galan is up next, while the highest remaining seed besides Garin is Argentina's Federico Delbonis, the number eight.

That is because Facundo Bagnis set up a meeting with his compatriot by defeating fourth seed Laslo Djere.

Bagnis, who had already claimed the scalp of fifth seed Frances Tiafoe, dropped the first set but recovered to advance 4-6 6-3 6-3 at the ATP 250 tournament.

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