Rafael Nadal wants the comparisons between himself and Carlos Alcaraz to stop as he hopes his compatriot will not come under too much pressure.

Alcaraz defeated Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev to win the Madrid Open last week.

The 19-year-old has a 28-3 record for the 2022 season and has risen to world number six in the ATP rankings, having won four tournaments this year.

His incredible form has drawn plenty of comparisons to Nadal, who was a teenager when he burst onto the scene in the mid-2000s.

Nadal bounced back from his defeat to Alcaraz by defeating John Isner at the Internazionali d'Italia on Wednesday.

The 21-time grand slam champion is going for an 11th title in Rome, but he could not avoid fielding questions about Alcaraz in his post-match news conference.

"I do not know. And I won't be able to talk every day about who will be or who is stronger that day, will I? I forgot what I was like," Nadal replied when asked who he thought was a better player at the age of 19 out of himself and Alcaraz.

 

"The only thing we can do is enjoy the career of an extraordinary player like Carlos. But stop comparing him to me. 

"If he manages to win 25 grand slams, it will be fantastic for him and for our country. But let him enjoy his personal career. I have enjoyed my personal career.

"Probably in 2005, I wouldn't have said about myself that I was great, but I thought I was good enough. That's all. Different moments. Different careers. A different way of approaching things because times are changing.

"But let's enjoy it. We don't [need to] put further pressure on him. Don't ask me every time, because I'll always tell you the same thing. 

"It's good for our sport. Honestly, in a selfish way, as a viewer, to have someone like Carlos who will enjoy their career for the next few years is fantastic.

"But now I'm still playing. I am focused on trying to do the things I have to do. That's all."

Rafael Nadal conceded Spanish tennis fans have a new star to support after Carlos Alcaraz continued his remarkable season with success at the Madrid Open.

Alcaraz breezed past Alexander Zverev in just 62 minutes in the Madrid final on Sunday as he became the second-youngest player to win two ATP Masters 1000 titles, after also triumphing in Miami in March.

The 19-year-old is also the youngest five-time ATP Tour winner since Nadal won seven titles by the same age in 2004-05.

Alcaraz had already made more history en route to the final in the Spanish capital as he achieved a new feat, becoming the first player to defeat Nadal and Novak Djokovic in consecutive matches.

Record 21-time grand slam winner Nadal acknowledged that Alcaraz's meteoric rise to success has caused somewhat of a changing of the guard within Spanish tennis.

"First, I think he is young, he is new and all the new things are much more interesting than older things. Without a doubt, when you see a new car, it always looks better," Nadal told reporters.

"When you see a new phone, they always look better than the old ones. It's something that is normal in this life. I can't complain at all about that.

"At the same time, I am happy to have somebody like him from my country achieving all the things that he is achieving."

Alcaraz opted to sit out of the Internazionali d'Italia this week to recover from an ankle injury, with the upcoming French Open at Roland Garros his next target for more success.

Nadal has had his injury problems as well, only recently returning from a rib injury that kept him sidelined for six weeks, while he continues to struggle with foot issues.

"Of course, at my age, when you start having more problems than what you can manage, of course it is tough," 35-year-old Nadal added. 

"Body issues, pains, you can manage that. The problem is when you start to feel that with all the things that are going through your body, you can't be competitive enough to fight for the things that really keep exciting you."

For now, though, Nadal remains content with how he is competing as he seeks improvements in Rome, where he faces either John Isner or Francisco Cerundolo in his opening match.

"I like what I do, honestly. I am not playing anymore for things outside of my happiness and for things outside of my personal motivation," he continued.

"For the moment I am happy. It is true that I went through, again, a tough period of time. But I am here to enjoy and to give myself a chance to play well here in Rome.

"I need to keep improving. In terms of movement, in terms of being more fitter, in terms of reading again the game. In general terms, [it was] not a negative week in Madrid, even if the tournament is probably the most difficult for me."

Carlos Alcaraz declared he would be going to the French Open with the title in his sights after the teenage sensation stormed to Madrid Open glory.

The 19-year-old swatted aside a weary Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-1 in an hour and two minutes in Sunday's final.

That followed hard-fought three-set wins for Alcaraz over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, two of the pillars of men's tennis this century, and it points to a glorious future.

If the present moment seems good, then thoughts are already turning to what remarkable feats Alcaraz might achieve across his career.

He is widely considered a multiple slam winner in waiting, but must first knock off that first major.

The Spanish teenager has won a tour-leading four titles already in 2022, and he said on Tennis TV: "Yes, I think I'm ready to win a grand slam. I think I'm ready to go for it.

"This is a goal for me this year, try to get my first grand slam. I'm going to work for it and let's see what is going to happen at Roland Garros."

The French Open begins on May 22, and Alcaraz will skip the Internazionali d'Italia to ensure he is rested and focused on the tournament in Paris.

He reached the third round last year, but the Alcaraz of 12 months ago was not the winning machine he has become, a powerful striker of the ball who should fear nobody on the French clay.

Alcaraz has become the second-youngest player to win two Masters 1000 titles, after the 18-year-old Nadal in 2005, having added Madrid to his Miami triumph, and is the youngest, also since Nadal, to scoop five ATP Tour titles.

Alcaraz has a perfect record in title matches, becoming the sixth man in the Open Era to win his first five finals at tour level, and he has strung together seven consecutive wins against opponents ranked inside the top 10.

On Monday, he will jump three places to sixth in the ATP rankings, a new career high. Yet the teenager says there is plenty of scope for growing his game, as the likes of the 'Big Three' have shown.

"I think that I have to improve everything still," he said. "I have always said that you can improve everything. You never reach a limit.

"Look at Rafa, Djokovic, [Roger] Federer, all of them improve and they have things to improve. They keep on working and improving.

“That's what I want to do. I want to keep on progressing."

He added, quoted on the ATP official website: "I have really good shots. I don't say that I don't have them, but I know that I can improve them and they can be even better.”

In Madrid, Alcaraz became the youngest player to beat three top-five stars at the same tournament since the ATP Tour launched in 1990, by taking out top-ranked Djokovic, world number three Zverev and Nadal, who sits fourth in the rankings.

He leads the way for wins in the 2022 season as his 10th straight triumph takes him to 28 match victories for the campaign, one more than Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Alexander Zverev slated ATP chiefs after a punishing defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid Open final, but described his Spanish conqueror as "the best player in the world" and predicted he would win a stack of grand slam titles.

German star Zverev was fuming over his court scheduling this week, claiming late-night contests meant he came into the title match in no fit state to compete as he described tournament bosses as "an absolute disgrace".

He claimed he had only been able to get to bed at 5.20am after a late-night semi-final victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday.

While Zverev had warm words for 19-year-old sensation Alcaraz, he felt he had cause to feel aggrieved at his handling by tennis organisers after his 6-3 6-1 final reverse. 

"I want to congratulate Carlitos," he said in an on-court interview. "Right now, you are the best player in the world. It is great for tennis that we have such a new superstar that is going to win so many grand slams, that is going to be world number one, and I think is going to win this tournament many more times."

Later, in a news conference, Zverev said Alcaraz had been "playing amazing".

"But one thing I have to say is that the ATP's job was an absolute disgrace this week," Zverev said, according to tennismajors.com. "Two days ago I went to bed at 4:00, 4:30am. Yesterday I went to bed at 5:20am. If any normal person goes to bed one night at 4:00am, the next night at 5:00am, it will be a tough time just to be awake for them.

"And for me to play a final against Carlos Alcaraz, who for me is the best player in the world right now, in a Masters 1000 event, the next day, it is difficult."

There is little doubt Alcaraz, who will now skip the Internazionali d'Italia to rest before the French Open, is only going to keep progressing.

After beating Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic this week before overcoming Zverev in the title match, he will leap three places to sixth in the ATP rankings on Monday, having followed up last month's triumph in Miami with his second Masters 1000 title.

"It feels great to be able to beat these players," Alcaraz said. "To beat two of the best players in history and then Zverev, the world number three. 

"I would say this is the best week of my life. I am 19 years old, which I think is the key to be able to play long and tough matches in a row. I am feeling great physically.

"It is a great moment for me. It is the first tournament I watched, so lifting the trophy today is so emotional."

Emma Raducanu is "managing" a back problem ahead of her first-round Internazionali d'Italia clash with Bianca Andreescu.

The reigning US Open champion exited the Madrid Open at the last-16 stage, going down in three sets to Anhelina Kalinina after struggling with an injury which she admitted had been "taking its toll".

Raducanu said in the aftermath of that 6-2 2-6 6-4 defeat that she would only have given herself a "five per cent chance" of advancing after suffering the injury, and expressed doubt over her ability to compete in Rome.

However, the 19-year-old now insists she will be able to cope on the clay in Italy, saying she needs to adapt to the intensity of top-level matches after suffering from several injury problems this year.

"I think it's just coming from a lot of intensity and overload" Raducanu said. "My back, I'm managing it.

"It's fine. But it's just trying to adapt again to the long matches, to the intensity. I think that all of the small sort of niggles I'm getting, they're all related and connected to each other, when something is overcompensating perhaps."

Raducanu's first assignment in Rome will see her face Canadian Andreescu, who also won the US Open as a teenager when she shocked Serena Williams with a straight-sets final victory in 2019.

That contest will mark the first head-to-head meeting between the two players, and Raducanu was looking forward to facing the former world number four as she highlighted the contrast between conditions in Rome and Madrid.

"Of course, we are both pretty good players," Raducanu said. "It's going to be a good match-up. She's a great athlete and obviously a champion. She's got a really good attitude. I think it's going to be interesting.

"I think here is completely opposite [to Madrid]. It's quite heavy and slow, so there's going to be a lot longer points. It will be interesting to see what the differences are. But I can already feel them on the court tennis-wise."

Carlos Alcaraz secured his fifth ATP Tour title and second Masters 1000 crown by cruising past defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-1 at the Madrid Open.

Alcaraz became the first player to ever defeat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in consecutive matches en route to the final in the Spanish capital, while Zverev edged out Stefanos Tsitsipas to make the showpiece.

Zverev, a two-time winner in Madrid in 2018 and 2021, boasted a 2-0 head-to-head record over Alcaraz on the ATP Tour heading into the clash on Sunday, but it was the 19-year-old who seized the early initiative.

Alcaraz struck first with a break to go 4-2 up after a dipping backhand evaded the reach of Zverev, who could not muster a response as the Spaniard served out a dominant first set.

The teenager continued in commanding fashion in the second set, delivering a deft drop shot to break Zverev, who missed two straightforward volleys and produced a double fault to fall 4-1 down.

World number three Zverev managed to save three match points, but a double fault then handed Alcaraz victory in just 62 minutes, becoming the youngest five-time tour winner since Nadal won seven titles by the same age in 2004-05.

Alcaraz leads the way for wins in the 2022 season as his 10th straight triumph – and seventh consecutive victory over top-10 ranked players – takes him to 28 for the campaign, one more than Tsitsipas.

Alcaraz is also the second-youngest player to win two ATP Masters 1000 titles, after triumphing in Miami in March, and will rise to second in the Race to Turin as he seeks his debut at the prestigious end-of-season event in November.

Alexander Zverev avenged his Monte Carlo semi-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, booking his place at the Madrid Open final with a 6-4 3-6 6-2 win on Saturday.

Zverev was dominant on serve, giving up only two break points for the match with a 73 per cent first-serve rate, while winning 40 of a total 48 points on his first serve.

The German will now aim to defend his title in Sunday's final when he faces Carlos Alcaraz, who defeated world number one Novak Djokovic earlier on Saturday.

The second seed will be seeking his sixth ATP 1000 title, with Sunday's final against the home favourite to be his 10th at that level.

"I'm just extremely happy to be in the final here," Zverev said post-match. "I know it's going to be an extremely tough match tomorrow but I hope I can manage to play my best and give myself a chance.

"It's going to be his [Alcaraz] court for the next 15 years probably. It has been Rafa's [Nadal] court for the past 15 years and it's going to be his court for the next 15 years.

"I just hope I can give him some trouble and I hope I can manage to win tomorrow."

Tsitsipas was similarly strong on his first serve but had a much lower rate at only 56 per cent for the match. Zverev simply had more looks at his opponent's second serve, winning 15 points compared to Tsitsipas' eight, but with each holding a 44 per cent success rate.

The defending champion at Caja Magica capitalised when it mattered, though, claiming the opening three games in the deciding set to set up the eventual win.

Ons Jabeur became the first player representing an African country to land a WTA 1000 title as she fended off Jessica Pegula in the Madrid Open final.

The Tunisian beat her American opponent 7-5 0-6 6-2, regrouping well after a major dip in the second set to scoop the biggest title of her career.

The history-making victory means Jabeur will jump from 10th to seventh in the WTA rankings on Monday, matching a career high, and she earns €1,041,570 in prize money.

After losing to Belinda Bencic in the Charleston Open final last month, Jabeur's run on the Spanish clay shows she is becoming increasingly resilient, and comes as a timely boost ahead of the French Open getting under way in two weeks' time.

"We've lost a lot of finals, but today I'm happy I pulled out the win," Jabeur said at the end of the match, addressing her support team.

"It was very tough, especially last time in Charleston, so thank you guys for always believing in me and pushing me forward."

Jabeur came from 4-1 behind to take the opener, and she now holds a 17-0 match record when winning first sets this year.

Pegula broke in the fourth game, having fended off three break points in the opening game of the contest. Jabeur hit back and soon had the match back on serve, before saving a set point with a thumping backhand.

The 28-year-old Pegula, daughter of Buffalo Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, has carved out a successful career at the top level in tennis, reaching back-to-back Australian Open quarter-finals this season and last.

She was in trouble when she lost her serve in the 11th game though, and Jabeur capitalised to snatch the opener.

Pegula made a flying start to the second set, establishing a swift double break, and a flat Jabeur found no way back. A drop shot into the net on set point summed up her drastic drop in level.

Jabeur stopped the rot by breaking serve at the start of the decider. Pegula immediately got back on level terms, but another break for Jabeur saw her pull away, on her way to victory in an hour and 54 minutes, a tour-leading 12th win of the season on clay.

The impressive Jabeur is also the first Arab winner of a tournament at this lofty level.

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Novak Djokovic for the first time with a battling 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-5) triumph to book his place in the Madrid Open final.

World number one Djokovic breezed past Pole Hubert Hurkacz to reach the final four in Madrid for the seventh time, while Alcaraz battled past compatriot Rafael Nadal to make the semi-finals.

That made 19-year-old Alcaraz the first teenager to beat record 21-time grand slam winner Nadal on clay on the ATP Tour, and the Spaniard again raced out of the blocks as he immediately broke Djokovic.

However, the experienced Serbian returned the favour to level at 4-4, before eventually claiming the first set with a tie-break win after an hour-and-two-minute battle.

Neither relented in the second set, with both holding their first five service games before Alcaraz eventually broke the top seed – the first set Djokovic had dropped in Madrid – to send the match to a decider.

Alcaraz, buoyed on by a vociferous home crowd, had won three consecutive three-setters before the last-four meeting, and had the chance to follow suit, only for Djokovic to deliver an ace at match point.

Another tie-break was required to separate the pair, with Alcaraz eventually triumphing after three hours and 35 minutes to record his sixth straight win over top-10 ranked players.

Teenage star Alcaraz became the first player to defeat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back, while he is the youngest player to defeat a world number one in 17 years.

Alcaraz, who has won his last nine matches, will now await the result of the other semi-final between Alexander Zverev and Stefano Tsitsipas to see who he will face in the final on Sunday in the Spanish capital.

Rafael Nadal acknowledged Carlos Alcaraz can be considered a "replacement" after losing to his teenage rival at the Madrid Open.

Alcaraz is one of the most exciting rising stars on the ATP Tour and only enhanced his growing status with a three-set defeat of the 'King of Clay' in the Spanish capital to set up a mouth-watering semi-final showdown with Novak Djokovic.

In doing so, Alcaraz became the first teenager to beat Nadal on clay and he has now won five straight matches against top-10 opponents.

Given both men hail from Spain, the comparisons are sure to be made and Nadal can see why many would see Alcaraz as the many to take up the mantle.

"It is evident that he is a replacement because one is 19 years old and the other 36, if it is from today or not I don't know, we'll see," Nadal said.

"Above all I'm happy for him, he has been better than me in several facets of the game and I need to improve, as I have been saying."

Nadal, though, says nothing changes in his determination to extend his record of 21 major titles for a male player when he attempts to win a 14th French Open title – his 13 also representing a benchmark tally.

"[There is] nothing that will not enter into logic and is accepted naturally, calmly and with the certainty that there is a path to follow for another two and a half weeks, to arrive with real options to generate opportunities for myself," he added.

"In that sense it is an easy defeat to digest, although I do not take any credit from Carlos.

"The first thing is to congratulate the rival but from there I have to do my self-criticism and understand what needs to be improved to arrive with options next week and especially in two. 

"I have to improve and it improves with games, you have to follow the path with the right determination, you have to analyse things and look forward, there is a goal ahead that overcomes anything."

Novak Djokovic labelled Carlos Alcaraz as "special" and praised the Spaniard for "breathing new life into the world of tennis".

Serbian Djokovic defeated Pole Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 6-4 to reach his seventh Madrid Open semi-final, where he will meet Alcaraz, who overcame Rafael Nadal 6-2 1-6 6-3 on Friday.

Victory made 19-year-old Alcaraz the first teenager to beat record 21-time grand slam winner Nadal on clay on the ATP Tour.

Alcaraz has won his last five matches against top-10 opponents and next faces world number one Djokovic for a place in the final in the Spanish capital.

Djokovic was quick to hail Alcaraz, who will play in his third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final on Saturday.

"There are many things that are special about him," Djokovic said in a news conference.

"In the last decades, we have had some incredible champions [as teenagers] like Michael Chang. But, nowadays, we're not used to seeing someone who is a teenager and already breaks into the top 10 and plays at such a high level.

"His growth, his improvement and his trajectory, especially in the last six months, have been incredible.

"He is a very nice guy off the court. I had the opportunity to train with him and spend a little time off the court with him here in Madrid, and I must say that on all fronts, he is great on and off the court."

Quoted by Spanish media, Djokovic said of Alcaraz: "I love watching him play, like many other players on tour. I praise his game without a doubt. It's fantastic for our sport, without a doubt.

"I think it's fantastic that we have a young player who is doing so well and who is breathing new life into the world of tennis."

Alcaraz expressed personal delight after defeating clay-court great and compatriot Nadal, battling back from an injury worry in the second set.

"It means a lot to me. All the hard work I put in every day has paid off," he said in the aftermath of his victory. "To beat Rafa, the best player in history on clay, it means a lot.

"The fall in the second set affected me a lot. When I lost the set I went to the bathroom and thought I would be able to come back to do my best and try everything.

"I wanted to fight until the last ball and that was the key."

Carlos Alcaraz withstood an injury scare and a fightback from Rafael Nadal to beat his countryman and set up a semi-final with Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open.

The 19-year-old had lost his previous two encounters with Nadal, but he came out on top 6-2 1-6 6-3 in Friday's match in the Spanish capital.

It made him the first teenager to beat the record 21-time grand slam winner on clay on the ATP Tour.

Alcaraz has now won his last five matches against top-10 opponents and will next take on world number one Djokovic, who earlier defeated Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 6-4, for a place in Sunday's final.

Nadal, who had won his previous 25 matches against fellow Spaniards, struggled to handle the intensity of his opponent's game in a first set that saw him lose serve three times.

Alcaraz struck 19 winners in the opening set in total and took three games in a row to edge ahead, though the youngster lost his footing at 1-1 in the second set and required a medical time-out.

After having his ankle strapped up, Alcaraz struggled to match his levels from the first set and Nadal – competing in a record-extending 99th Masters 1000 quarter-final – went through the gears, taking 20 of the final 22 points to level the contest.

That gave Nadal momentum heading into the deciding set, yet it was Alcaraz who earned the only break of serve in the fourth game with some powerful hitting before seeing out a statement victory.

Ons Jabeur became the first player representing an African nation to reach the final of a WTA 1000 tournament as she set up a clash with Jessica Pegula at the Madrid Open.

Tunisian Jabeur, who beat Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic and two-time grand slam winner Simona Halep to reach the semi-finals, needed just an hour and one minute to secure a routine last-four win over Ekaterina Alexandrova.

The world number 10 dominated her Russian opponent in a 6-2 6-3 win, before setting her sights on victory in what will be her sixth career final on the WTA Tour but first at such a high tier.

"I'm going to put a positive here. I want to win this final," Jabeur said after her win. "I'm going to put my heart, my favourite drop shot, my forehand in.

"I'm just going to really give my best. I don't want to regret [anything]. The main important thing for me, I know it's winning the title, but [also] knowing that I gave it all during the match and not regretting that. I know if this one [title] is not coming, then there is another one.

"I keep pushing myself to do better. The proof is that from Charleston [where Jabeur lost the final to Bencic last month], I worked really hard to be in the finals here. Like I said, I'm going to leave my heart on the court on Saturday."

Jabeur will face American Pegula in Saturday's final after she registered a 6-3 6-4 triumph over Switzerland's Jil Teichmann.

The 12th seed was tested when Teichmann fought back from a break down to 4-4 in the second set, with 28-year-old Pegula managing to dig deep to break once more and reach what is also her first WTA 1000 final.

Saturday's contest will represent just the fourth final of Pegula's career, and the first since losing to compatriot Serena Williams in straight sets at the 2020 Auckland Open, but she will enter the top 10 of the WTA rankings with a win.

"I knew I was close to the top 10, but it's so hard, you have to step up and do really well to win a tournament," Pegula said on court.

"I'm just so happy to be in the final, it's my first final in a 1000. I've been knocking on the door in the last few tournaments, [but] I was able to take care of business today."

Jabeur and Pegula have met on four previous occasions with each player boasting two victories each, Jabeur winning their last meeting at the last-16 stage of this year's Dubai Tennis Championships.

Rafael Nadal saved four match points before seeing off David Goffin 6-3 5-7 7-6 (11-9) to book his place in the Madrid Open quarter-finals.

A five-time champion in the Spanish capital, Nadal is looking to match Novak Djokovic's career record of 37 ATP Masters 1000 titles this week.

Returning to action for the first time since losing to Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final, after which he discovered he had a stress fracture of a rib, Nadal was taken all the way by Goffin.

Indeed, the Belgian qualifier won four straight games from 5-3 down in the second set to force a decider, but he saw four opportunities to advance to the quarter-finals go begging.

Nadal subsequently prevailed to reach his 99th Masters 1000 quarter-final, setting up a last-eight showdown with teenage compatriot Carlos Alcaraz.

Birthday boy Alcaraz, who turned 19 on Thursday, celebrated with a hard-earned 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 victory over Britain's Cameron Norrie.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev reached his fifth successive quarter-final at this event after beating Lorenzo Musetti, who retired with a thigh injury shortly after losing the opening set, at 6-3 1-0 down.

Next up for Zverev is Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Rotterdam Open champion, who is targeting a first clay-court Masters 1000 semi-final. Auger-Aliassime won 90 per cent of points on first serve in a commanding 6-1 6-2 victory over Jannik Sinner.

Stefanos Tsitsipas also produced a strong-serving display in his 6-3 6-4 triumph over Grigor Dimitrov. Last season’s French Open runner-up hit 10 aces along the way.

The fourth seed set up a showdown with Andrey Rublev, who had eight aces as he overcame Dan Evans 7-6 (9-7) 7-5.

Meanwhile, Hubert Hurkacz will play Djokovic in the last eight after hitting 16 aces in his 7-5 6-3 win over Dusan Lajovic. Djokovic's much-anticipated clash with Andy Murray was called off, with the Briton unwell, handing his Serbian rival a walkover.

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.

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