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Novak Djokovic will almost certainly finish the year at the top of the ATP world rankings for a joint-record sixth time after he claimed a hard-fought win over Borna Coric at the Vienna Open. 

Djokovic needed to win just two matches in Austria to guarantee he will end the year as world number one, unless Rafael Nadal takes up an unlikely wildcard for the Sofia Open. 

After defeating Filip Krajinovic in the first round, Djokovic took a vital step towards cementing his name in the record books with a 7-6 (13-11) 6-3 victory over Coric on Wednesday. 

Pete Sampras is the only previous player to have claimed the year-end number one spot on six occasions, doing so between 1993 and 1998. 

Djokovic is tied with fellow modern greats Rodger Federer and Nadal, who the Serbian lost to in the French Open earlier in October, and Jimmy Connors, but is now set to nose ahead of his rivals, having previously secured top spot in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018. 

His latest win did not come easy, though, with the 33-year-old made to work by world number 24 Coric. 

The pair traded blows in an epic opening set which lasted just under two hours – Djokovic eventually coming out on top in a thrilling tie-break after Coric dropped serve for a third time. 

A first break in set two handed Djokovic the advantage and he then held his nerve to take the eighth game with some wonderful shots in an exhilarating rally, making it 5-3. 

Djokovic's sublime volley close to the net set the tone in the next game and while Coric saved two match points, it was only a case of delaying the inevitable.

Earlier, Stefanos Tsitsipas opted to switch his shoe in the third set of his match with Jan-Lennard Struff, though the third seed ultimately came through the contest to tee up a tie with Grigor Dimitrov. 

With the third set tied at 1-1, Nitto ATP Finals champion Tsitsipas changed his footwear and subsequently broke serve, going on to record a 6-7 (7-3) 6-3 6-4 triumph. 

Daniil Medvedev, meanwhile, is enjoying the hospitality in Austria as he eased past Jason Jung 6-3 6-1 in his first-round match. 

"It's great. The hotel is good, the food is amazing, maybe the best of the year," said the world number six. 

"These small things make tennis players happy all the time. The most important is to play good on the tennis court, so the organisation is very good."

Novak Djokovic battled to a straight-sets win over compatriot Filip Krajinovic in the opening round of the Vienna Open. 

The world number one, competing in the Austrian event for the first time since winning it in 2007, saved a set point in a tie-break during the opener on his way to a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 triumph. 

He had to work hard as Krajinovic, who lost to Djokovic in last month's Italian Open at the last-16 stage, twice broke serve in a tight opener, helping establish a 5-3 lead at one point. 

Djokovic hit back in the 10th game to break his opponent for a second time as the opener went to a tie-break, which he edged 8-6 after Krajinovic failed to convert an opportunity when 6-5 up. 

The second set was far more straightforward for the 33-year-old, however, as he held serve throughout and broke Krajinovic once to progress through.

"We practiced a few times [together] before coming to Vienna," Djokovic revealed in his on-court interview. 

"The draw was tough for us to face each other, but there is always extra pressure and importance to a match when you play someone that you know very well."

Borna Coric is up next for Djokovic after the world number 26 beat Taylor Fritz on the opening day of action. 

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Grigor Dimitrov held off fellow top-20 player Karen Khachanov 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in a competitive match, while Hubert Hurkacz beat Attila Balazs in straight sets. 

Dan Evans also advanced to the last 16, where Jurij Rodionov awaits, after Aljaz Bedene withdrew with a thigh complaint when a set down.

Andrey Rublev's quest for a third title since the US Open began in solid fashion as he comfortably saw off Norbert Gombos in straight sets on day one of the star-studded Vienna Open.

Fifth-seed Rublev, victorious in Hamburg and St Petersburg in recent weeks, was the highest-ranked player in action on Monday and never looked in any danger of being on the wrong end of an upset, coming through 6-3 6-2.

He broke Gombos in the second game of the match and did not have to save any break points in return across the entire contest.

Gombos dropped his serve again early in the second and that effectively doomed him, as Rublev – who is closing in one of the last two spots at the ATP Finals – cruised to victory. Casper Ruud or Jannik Sinner await in the last 16.

Gael Monfils' hopes of reaching the season-ending tournament took a hit, however, as injury forced him to bow out while 6-1 2-0 down to Pablo Carreno-Busta, who is also in with an outside chance of qualifying.

Eighth-seed Denis Shapovalov crashed out 6-4 7-5 to wildcard Jurij Rodionov, while Borna Coric beat Taylor Fritz 6-4 6-4. He will face either world number one Novak Djokovic or Filip Krajinovic.

Among the other big names competing in Austria are Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem.

Alexander Zverev sealed his second ATP title in the space of a week as the German overcame Diego Schwartzman in the Cologne Championships final.

World number seven Zverev beat Felix Auger-Aliassime to claim the Cologne Indoors title on October 18 and continued his fine form in the city with a 6-2 6-1 triumph on Sunday.

Schwartzman had denied Auger-Aliassime the chance to avenge his previous defeat but was never a match for in-form Zverev, who hit nine aces – to his opponent's zero – and saved the only break point he faced.

After an even start, Zverev nosed himself ahead with a break of Schwartzman's serve in the fifth game of the opener, with another concession from the Argentine following.

Zverev swiftly wrapped things up with his first set point, though Schwartzman rallied to gain a break point in the opening game of the final set.

It was an opportunity the world number nine failed to grasp, however, and Zverev made him pay with some clinical shots, rounding off the victory – and his second title of 2020 – with a supreme forehand down the line.

Ugo Humbert captured his second ATP Tour title by defeating Alex de Minaur 6-1 7-6 (7-4) in the European Open final.

After saving four match points to book his place in the final, world number 38 Humbert charged to victory in an hour and 38 minutes against the eighth seed.

The Frenchman joined Jiri Vesely, Reilly Opelka and Novak Djokovic as the only players in 2020 to have won a title after staving off a match point in the tournament.

Humbert produced a spectacular forehand on the run before claiming his second break of the first set, which he sealed despite facing two break points.

De Minaur saved two break points at 4-4 in the second but paid the price for losing four straight points in the tie-break after taking a 3-1 lead, with Humbert sealing the win courtesy of a brilliant volley.

"It is one of my biggest wins," said Humbert. "I am super happy to win my second title this year against a really great player. I was aggressive like the previous matches and I am super happy to do it.

"Tennis is completely crazy sometimes. I don't know what happened today, it was a really nice level, a great match."

Alexander Zverev defeated Jannik Sinner in straight sets in Saturday's Cologne Championships semi-final to remain on course for a second ATP title in the space of a week.

The 23-year-old lost to Sinner at the last-16 stage of the French Open earlier this month but was too strong for the wildcard entrant in this latest match, prevailing 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Zverev, who carried a hip injury into the contest, lost serve in the fourth game but responded well and converted his first match point with a blistering serve.

He held throughout the second set and will now face Diego Schwartzman, who beat last week's beaten Cologne Indoors finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime in the other semi.

Second seed Schwartzman came out on top 6-4 5-7 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes to reach his third final of 2020, converting four of five break points.

Ugo Humbert saved four match points against Dan Evans on the way to reaching the European Open final in Antwerp, meanwhile, battling to a 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 victory.

The opportunities for Evans all came the Briton's way in a second-set tie-break, with Humbert coming back from 6-3 behind and then 7-6 in the breaker to keep his hopes alive.

He found a way to level the match before edging the decider, with the 22-year-old French left-hander sealing his place in a second final of 2020 after winning in Auckland back in January.

It took him three hours and 14 minutes to complete the task, but at least Humbert had the evening off as Alex de Minaur and Grigor Dimitrov battled it out to join him in the final.

And it was eighth-seeded Australian De Minaur who claimed the victory in a tight match that lasted two hours and 48 minutes.

De Minaur held his nerve to triumph 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 to reach his first tour-level final in 12 months, losing to Roger Federer on the previous occasion at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Diego Schwartzman took a big step towards qualifying for the ATP Finals with a "crazy" comeback win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the Cologne Championships quarter-finals. 

The Argentinian was staring down the barrel of defeat when he lost the opening set and trailed 5-2 in the second, with Davidovich Fokina unable to convert a match point. 

After his opponent failed to capitalise, Schwartzman recovered to win 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 to set up a semi-final with either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Yoshihito Nishioka. 

Schwartzman is aiming to secure one of the final two spots for the ATP Finals and occupies the final qualifying berth. 

"Tennis sometimes is crazy," said Schwartzman after the match. "Maybe today I got lucky to be here answering questions.  

"But that is why I am here as well with this ranking, because I am always trying to find a way to win the matches. Today was not the exception to the rule." 

Home favourite and top seed Alexander Zverev came through in three sets, beating Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4. He meets Jannik Sinner, who recovered from losing eight straight games to defeat Gilles Simon 6-3 0-6 6-4, in the other last-four match. 

At the European Open, Dan Evans saved match point en route to ousting third seed Karen Khachanov 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 and will go up against Ugo Humbert in the semi-finals after the Frenchman beat Lloyd Harris in straight sets. 

Alex de Minaur hammered Marcos Giron 6-3 6-0 in under an hour and faces Grigor Dimitrov next, with the Bulgarian handed a walkover after Milos Raonic withdrew before the match due to an abdominal strain. 

Diego Schwartzman eased to a straight-sets win over home hope Oscar Otte but there was a shock in store for Denis Shapovalov at the Cologne Championships.

Second seed Schwartzman, ranked ninth in the world, needed just 81 minutes to seal a 6-3 6-2 victory, setting up a third-round meeting with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

It was a less happy outing for third seed Shapovalov in Germany, the Canadian succumbing to a 6-1 4-6 6-2 loss against Gilles Simon.

The result represented a measure of revenge for Simon after the Frenchman lost to world number 12 Shapovalov in the first round of the French Open.

"I am really happy with the way I played, with the focus I had over all of the match," Simon said in his on-court interview. 

"I am really happy to beat him, because it is a very, very good win. I had a tough match with him at Roland Garros. I lost it unfortunately, so I am happy that I am the winner this time."

Jannik Sinner awaits for Simon after he defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert, while Yoshihito Nishioka also made it through.

At the European Open in Antwerp, top seed and home favourite David Goffin suffered a stunning 6-3 7-5 defeat to American qualifier Marcos Giron.

Giron's surprise victory put him in the last eight of a ATP Tour event for the first time and he saved 10 of 13 break points he faced for a maiden victory over a top-20 opponent.

Milos Raonic was not to be denied a place in the quarter-finals, though, and a 7-5 7-6 (7-4) defeat of Cameron Norrie means he will now meet Grigor Dimitrov.

Alexander Zverev started his quest to win back-to-back ATP tournaments in Cologne with a battling victory over John Millman.

Zverev was crowned Cologne Indoors champion last weekend and the US Open runner-up moved into the quarter-finals of the Cologne Championships on Wednesday.

The top seed beat Australian Millman 6-0 3-6 6-3, despite double-faulting 10 times, and has now won 11 of his last 12 matches on hard courts.

Zverev saved six of the seven break points Millman earned and won 79 per cent of points behind his first serve, setting up a last-eight meeting with eighth seed Adrian Mannarino.

Mannarino was a 6-3 6-3 winner against Miomir Kecmanovic, while Alejandro Davidovich Fokina advanced to the quarter-finals following a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory over Steve Johnson.

Felix Auger-Aliassime, beaten by Zverev in the final on Sunday, rallied past qualifier Egor Gerasimov 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4).

Pablo Carreno Busta slumped to a surprise defeat at the European Open in Antwerp, Ugo Humbert beating the second seed 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Frenchman Humbert was joined in the quarter-finals by Grigor Dimitrov, Alex De Minaur and Dan Evans, while Milos Raonic and Taylor Fritz progressed to the round of 16.

Jannik Sinner raced past lucky loser James Duckworth in the first round of the Cologne Championships, where John Millman booked a meeting with top seed Alexander Zverev. 

French Open quarter-finalist Sinner took just 61 minutes to seal a 6-1 6-2 victory against Duckworth, who replaced Hubert Hurkacz after the Pole withdrew due to food poisoning. 

The 19-year-old Italian reached a career high 46 in the rankings following his exploits at Roland Garros and cruised past Duckworth after fending off two break points in a 12-minute game at 2-2 in the second set. 

Sinner will go up against qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert in round two after the Frenchman defeated Tennys Sandgren 6-3 3-6 6-3 at the ATP event on Tuesday. 

Zverev defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final of last week's tournament in Cologne and will begin his bid for a second straight title against Millman after the Australian overcame Fernando Verdasco 6-4 6-2. 

At the European Open in Antwerp, Alex De Minaur came from a set down to defeat veteran Richard Gasquet 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3. 

When serving for the set in the second set, Gasquet produced an unforced error following a reactive backhand from De Minaur. He then double faulted at 5-5 in the tie-break and the Australian eighth seed dished out the ultimate punishment. 

Federico Coria stepped in after Kei Nishikori withdrew due to a right shoulder injury and the Argentinian was comfortably beaten 6-2 6-3 by Pablo Andujar. 

Frances Tiafoe shrugged off his first-round loss at the Sardegna Open with a successful hard-court return, beating sixth seed Dusan Lajovic at the European Open.

The American had lost to Corentin Moutet on the clay in Italy but was back to form in Antwerp in only his second meeting with the Serbian.

Lajovic won their previous encounter at Indian Wells in 2017 but Tiafoe saved two set points in the second set to prevail 6-3 7-6 (8-6) and progress to the second round.

Tiafoe was not the only player to knock out a seed on the ATP Tour on Monday, as his compatriot Steve Johnson claimed victory over Marin Cilic at the Cologne Championships.

Johnson spurned four set points as the opener was sent to a tie-break. However, he prevailed in the shoot-out and then broke the ninth seed to love in the first game of the second.

Cilic never threatened to break back as the 2014 US Open champion slipped to a surprise defeat.

Andrey Rublev earned an early birthday present as a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 triumph over Borna Coric at the St Petersburg Open final ensured he will move to a career-high ranking on Monday.

The Russian earned a fourth ATP title of a fine 2020 season on home court and will be ranked eighth in the world when the new standings are released.

That will come just a day before Rublev, who climbed into the qualification spots for the ATP Finals with his victory against Denis Shapovalov in the semi-finals, turns 23.

It was certainly a hard-fought win for Rublev, now a six-time ATP singles champion, given he was 5-2 down in a first-set tie-breaker.

But five straight points caught Coric cold and the Croatian surrendered the only break of the match in game five of the second set to leave Rublev celebrating.

Andy Murray has withdrawn from the upcoming ATP tournament in Cologne due to injury.

The former world number one was listed on the official draw as being absent due to a hip problem.

That is reported to be an inflammation of a psoas muscle, which Murray did not want to aggravate.

Cologne is staging back-to-back tournaments on the men's tour, with Alexander Zverev picking up the title from the first of those on Sunday.

Murray had been due to play the Cologne Championships, which starts on Monday, and had been drawn to play Serbian world number 166 Danilo Petrovic in round one.

On paper, that represented a more favourable draw than his recent first-round tussles, which have seen him lose early in the French Open to Stan Wawrinka and then at the Cologne Open to Fernando Verdasco.

Murray, however, will not compete and will hope to recover full fitness in time to play the Paris Masters, where the main draw begins on November 2.

Alexander Zverev won his first title of the year with a comprehensive victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Cologne Indoors.

Zverev, beaten by Dominic Thiem in his first grand slam final at the US Open last month, was knocked out of the French Open in disappointing fashion in the fourth round by Jannik Sinner.

The world number seven has responded impressively on home soil this week, dropping just one set en route to Sunday's final.

He followed up with an impressive performance against Auger-Aliassime, winning 6-3 6-3 in just under 80 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime, who is 0-3 against Zverev, has now lost each of his six Tour finals without winning a set.

Zverev, who won 80 per cent of points behind his first serve, assumed control after breaking the Canadian in the opening game and again to lead 5-2.

He handed a break back with consecutive double-faults but secured the first set in the next game and moved 4-2 up in the second to break Auger-Aliassime's resistance.

A heavy forehand from his 20-year-old opponent handed Zverev victory on his first match point, as he secured a 12th Tour title.

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