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Andrey Rublev boosted his hopes of reaching the ATP Finals as he came from behind to defeat Denis Shapovalov, setting up a St Petersburg Open final with Borna Coric. 

Rublev trailed Denis Shapovalov by a set but fought back to prevail 4-6 6-3 6-4 and ensure there will be a home hope in the final. 

He saved five of six break points in the process of earning victory over the Canadian, the win moving Rublev ahead of Diego Schwartzman into eighth place in the battle to qualify for the season-ending tournament in London. 

His opponent will be 2019 finalist Coric, who will be looking to go one better than last year after he staged a turnaround of his own. 

Coric, beaten by Daniil Medvedev in his previous appearance in the final, saw off Milos Raonic 1-6 6-1 6-4.

Alexander Zverev progressed to his second final since the resumption of the ATP Tour at the Cologne Indoors. 

Zverev overcame Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5 7-6 (7-3) but was full of praise for the NextGen ATP Finals contender. 

"He played much better tennis and I think he's somebody who is going to go up the [FedEx ATP] Rankings very quickly," Zverev said. 

"For me he's a great guy as well. He's very talented, extremely good with the hands. I think he's somebody who's going to find his way up and it's going to be interesting to see what the future weeks [hold for him] this year and next year as well." 

The German will meet Felix Auger-Aliassime, who recorded a 6-3 1-6 6-3 triumph over Roberto Bautista Agut. 

At the Sardegna Open, Marco Cecchinato routed Danilo Petrovic 6-1 6-0 and will face Laslo Djere in the final after Lorenzo Musetti retired in the third set with a right elbow injury. Djere was leading 2-6 6-2 4-1. 

ATP Finals hopefuls Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov will meet in the semi-finals of the St Petersburg Open after claiming straight-sets victories on Friday. 

Rublev holds the final automatic qualification spot for the season-ending tournament in London next month following a 6-2 6-1 win over Cameron Norrie. 

The third seed was a cut above Brit Norrie, improving his record to 32 victories and just seven defeats this year, which has included three titles. 

Shapovalov, meanwhile, beat Stan Wawrinka 6-4 7-5 in a battle between youth and experience, the 21-year-old Canadian winning 84 per cent of his first-service points. 

Milos Raonic defeated fellow seed Karen Khachanov 6-1 7-6 (7-1) and will face Borna Coric in the other semi-final, the Croatian having ousted Reilly Opelka in straight sets.

Top seed Alexander Zverev moved into the last four of the Cologne Indoors on home soil, beating South African qualifier Lloyd Harris 6-4 3-6 6-0. 

Zverev will come up against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his third semi-final of the year after the unseeded Spaniard got past Dennis Novak 6-3 2-6 6-3. 

Roberto Bautista Agut and Felix Auger-Aliassime will do battle for a place in the final following wins over Hubert Hurkacz and Radu Albot respectively. 

Marco Cecchinato and Lorenzo Musetti will be hoping to contest an all-Italian Sardegna Open in their homeland after advancing to the last four on Friday, along with Serbian duo Laslo Djere and Danilo Petrovic.

 

A furious Daniil Medvedev suffered his fourth defeat in five matches as he crashed out of the St Petersburg Open to Reilly Opelka in his homeland on Thursday.

The top seed had ended a dismal losing streak with victory over Richard Gasquet in the first round and looked to be on course to advance again when he took the first set against Opelka.

But the 6ft 11in American responded to prevail 2-6 7-5 6-4 after successfully defending four Medvedev break points in the third set.

The world number six, who reached the US Open semi-finals before embarking on this desperate run, is the biggest scalp of Opelka's career.

"It is always a tough match, playing one of the best players in the world in general but especially at home," the victor said. "[It is] a great win for me.

"It was ugly for the first set and a half. I felt like I barely won any points on his serve, but part of that is just because of my opponent. Daniil is an absolute nightmare to play."

Medvedev smashed his racket into the court at the end of another frustrating contest.

Russia's other big names will at least fly the flag, as Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov progressed.

Rublev's comeback win over Ugo Humbert was a big one for the third seed, who is closing on a place in the ATP Finals. Canada's Denis Shapovalov is also in the running and remains in the hunt for the title this week.

Alexander Zverev eased through at the Cologne Indoors, beating Fernando Verdasco in straight sets, but Marin Cilic exited at the hands of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Cilic led by a set and a break, then had two opportunities to break back in front at 5-5 in the second, before losing 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

At the Sardegna Open, Casper Ruud was the victim of the day's biggest upset.

The third seed's prior five defeats since the ATP Tour returned in August had come against top-20 players, but he went down 6-2 6-1 to 101st-ranked Yannick Hanfmann.

Daniil Medvedev came from behind to win against Richard Gasquet at the St Petersburg Open, avoiding what would have been a third consecutive first-round defeat.

The Russian top seed won 3-6 6-3 6-0 on Wednesday, having lost at the first hurdle in Hamburg and at the French Open prior to this ATP 500 event.

Medvedev fired in 22 aces to just three double faults and converted four of his six break points against Gasquet, who had also suffered an early exit at Roland Garros.

World number six Medvedev, the winner of this tournament last year, will face American Reilly Opelka next after winning in 97 minutes. 

Opelka was also involved in a battle, recording 26 aces as he eventually saw off qualifier Nino Serdarusic 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Second seed Denis Shapovalov is through, too, having had a more comfortable outing in his 6-2 6-3 win over Viktor Troicki to book a last-16 tie against Ilya Ivashka.

Shapovalov converted all four of his break points and only needed 62 minutes to progress.

"Always great to get the first win, especially against a player like Viktor," said Shapovalov. "We have had a lot of battles before and they have been really long matches, so I'm really happy to get a straight-sets win.

"Indoor tennis is just natural for me. It is what I grew up playing on. It is difficult to have those transitions really quickly from clay court to hard court, but we are having to adapt to these situations quickly now."

Stan Wawrinka, meanwhile, is already in the quarter-finals after ending the challenge of home hope Evgeny Donskoy with a 6-1 3-6 6-3 triumph.

At the Cologne Indoors tournament, sixth seed Hubert Hurkacz saw off Mischa Zverev to reach the quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-3 win, while Dusan Lajovic was one of three seeds to fall at the Sardegna Open.

Second seed Lajovic went down 6-4 7-5 to fellow Serbian Laslo Djere, with Lorenzo Sonego and Pablo Andujar also crashing out.

Andy Murray suffered another disappointing defeat as he lost to Fernando Verdasco in the first round of the Cologne Indoors tournament.

A 6-4 6-4 loss came against a player he once led 13-1 in their career head-to-head, a gap which has now closed to 13-4 after a hat-trick of wins for Spanish left-hander Verdasco.

Following victories for Verdasco at the US Open and Shenzhen Open in 2018, the Madrid man again got the better of the two-time Wimbledon champion, beating the Scot on an indoor hard court for the first time after five previous defeats.

It was a tough draw for Murray, who also struck unlucky at the French Open last month when he was paired with former champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round and also lost in straight sets.

The former world number one had entered the Cologne event, a low-level ATP 250 tournament, in the hope of building up match practice and registering the wins he needs to improve his ranking, which stands at 115 after his battle with injury in recent seasons.

Marin Cilic and Gilles Simon won through to the second round earlier in the day at the German event.

At the St Petersburg Open, Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka survived an on-court meltdown to beat French player Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-6 (8-6) in the first round.

Trailing 3-2 in the second set, Ivashka insisted on taking a toilet break and was penalised a game on his return to court, for delaying the match.

Ivashka explained to the chair umpire he had asked for a medical timeout because he "wasn't able to stand on court", only to be told such a break could not be used for a toilet trip.

The red mist descended as a seething Ivashka shouted: "That is not possible. It is not possible."

The punishment meant the 26-year-old fell 4-2 behind in the set, but he managed to turn around the situation to progress to the last-16 stage, where Denis Shapovalov or Viktor Troicki will await.

At the same tournament, Russian Andrey Rublev began his first week as a top-10 player by scoring a comfortable 6-2 6-4 win over Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

Milos Raonic, who skipped the French Open where Rublev reached the quarter-finals, fired 21 aces in a 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 win against JJ Wolf.

In Italy, home player Lorenzo Sonego followed up his run to the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-2 7-6 (7-4) opening win over 18-year-old compatriot Giulio Zeppieri at the Sardegna Open.

Sam Querrey has withdrawn from the St Petersburg Open after the ATP confirmed a player tested positive for COVID-19.

The ATP released a statement on Monday saying an unnamed player is now isolating after testing positive for the virus and a contact-tracing process is underway to notify people who may have come into contact with him.

While they did not confirm Querrey was the player in question, the American no longer features on the draw and his first-round opponent, Denis Shapovalov, is now scheduled to play lucky loser Viktor Troicki.

On court, meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka saved three match points to overcome Dan Evans 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-5, wildcard Aslan Karatsev saw off Tennys Sandgren 7-5 3-6 7-5 and Cameron Norrie edged past eighth seed Taylor Fritz 6-4 4-6 6-3.

In Cologne, Oscar Otte beat Jan-Lennard Struff in an all-German clash, while Steve Johnson saw off Filip Krajinovic – the fifth seed – in a deciding set.

At the Forte Village Sardegna Open in Italy, teenager Lorenzo Musetti boosted his burgeoning reputation by beating Pablo Cuevas in straight sets, while Jiri Vesely overcame Kamil Majchrzak.

Rafael Nadal took his chance to equal Roger Federer's haul of 20 grand slams by winning the French Open on Sunday.

The Spaniard demolished Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 in the final at Roland Garros for his 13th French Open title and 20th major success, tying the record held by Federer for most won by a man.

Nadal has dominated in Paris and he did so once more despite some questions heading into the tournament.

The 34-year-old capitalised on a dream run – one of the easiest of his career at grand slams.

Nadal brushed aside Egor Gerasimov, Mackenzie McDonald, Stefano Travaglia, Sebastian Korda, Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman before meeting Djokovic.

But you can only beat what is in front of you. We take a look at how the opponents compare to his previous major wins.

Dream run opens up

While Nadal is almost unstoppable at Roland Garros, he was playing just his second tournament back from the coronavirus-enforced break.

There were perhaps meant to be a few trickier early encounters, but Fabio Fognini, Kei Nishikori and John Isner, who almost stunned Nadal at the French Open in 2011, fell early.

It seemed Nadal's biggest test to reach the final would be Dominic Thiem in the semis, but the in-form Schwartzman stunned the Austrian in the last eight.

The average ranking of Nadal's opponents at this year's tournament was 99.4. Only at Roland Garros in 2010 (116.6) has that figure been higher on his way to grand slam success.

But 10 years ago, he faced wildcard Gianni Mina – then ranked 655th in the world – in the first round, skewing that number. The median ranking of opponents he met this year was 75, which is the highest number of any of his major successes, eclipsing the 2017 US Open (59).

It meant Nadal faced just two top-50 players in Paris in Djokovic and Schwartzman, the same as at Flushing Meadows three years ago. The Spaniard's highest-ranked opponent on his way to that US Open title was world number 28 Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals before he crushed Kevin Anderson in the decider.

Nadal can only beat what he is presented, but none of Federer and Djokovic's grand slams have been won after defeating only two top-50 players.

Capitalising on the opportunity

Somehow, despite a French Open win-loss record that he improved to 100-2 in 2020, there were still questions over Nadal heading into a tournament he has owned. Had he had enough match practice? How would the colder weather impact him?

With the draw softened, Nadal claimed the trophy without dropping a set for the fourth time in his career, following on from 2008, 2010 and 2017. They are the four occasions he has won a major without losing a set.

In fact, he lost just 53 games. Only twice has he lost fewer – at the 2017 French Open (35) and 2008 French Open (41) – on his way to a grand slam title.

It may have been an easier passage, but Nadal again showed why he is the 'King of Clay'.

Rafael Nadal is unsure whether he will play again this year as he basks in the "beautiful" feeling of sharing the record for men's grand slam singles titles with Roger Federer.

Nadal produced another masterclass at Roland Garros on Sunday, beating old foe Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 to win his favourite tournament for an astonishing 13th time.

The Spanish great also moved level with Federer's tally of 20 major triumphs, outclassing world number one Djokovic in Paris.

Nadal skipped the US Open, as he was not comfortable travelling to New York amid the coronavirus pandemic, before making his return to the ATP Tour in Rome in September following an absence of seven months.

The 34-year-old will soon turn his attention to deciding when he will next be in action, following another sublime performance on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Novak Djokovic insists he had no fitness complaints during the French Open final and simply lost to a "perfect" performance from Rafael Nadal.

World number one Djokovic lost a completed match for the first time this year as he remarkably went down 6-0 6-2 7-5.

Nadal dominated Sunday's match to claim his 13th Roland Garros title and 20th grand slam championship in total, equalling Roger Federer's record.

Djokovic had been battling neck and shoulder issues in the quarter-finals earlier in the week, wearing tape, repeatedly stretching out his left arm and also receiving treatment as he beat Pablo Carreno Busta.

The Serbian had no desire to look for excuses against Nadal, though, and instead paid tribute to his opponent.

"No, no, I was fine. Everything was okay," Djokovic told a news conference. "I was ready for this match.

"It's just that I was outplayed. I was beaten by a guy who was just perfect today - especially the first two sets. That's all there is to it.

"I will absolutely not find any other justification for this loss. He was just better.

"Straight-sets victory, yeah. It's a grand slam final, but playing Rafa on clay, you play Rafa, who is playing the way he's playing, it's tough to get a set off him.

"I thought third set was a chance, but I just didn't use it."

Despite Nadal's incredible record at the French Open, where he has not lost in more than five years, Djokovic admits he was surprised by his standard.

"I felt well throughout the entire tournament. I thought I was in a great form," he said. "Certainly I could have played better, especially in the first two sets.

"But he did surprise me with the way he was playing, the quality of tennis he was producing, the level. He's phenomenal."

Roger Federer hopes both he and Rafael Nadal can kick on from 20 grand slam titles after the Spaniard joined his rival on the landmark number.

Federer has long led the way for men's singles championships, yet a two-year drought allowed Nadal to close the gap.

The world number two then won the French Open final on Sunday against Novak Djokovic - a dominant 6-0 6-2 7-5 success - to match Federer's record tally.

It was a 13th triumph at Roland Garros, too, and Federer said he was only too happy to welcome Nadal to the top of the standings.

"I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion," Federer wrote in a message posted to his Twitter page.

"As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players. Therefore, it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th grand slam victory.

"It is especially amazing that he has now won Roland Garros an incredible 13 times, which is one of the greatest achievements in sport.

"I also congratulate his team, because nobody can do this alone.

"I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us. Well done, Rafa. You deserve it."

Federer will end 2020 without winning an ATP Tour event as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Rafael Nadal brushed away talk of his record-equalling haul of grand slam triumphs as he focused on his Roland Garros "love story" after another French Open win.

Nadal thrashed world number one Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 to match Roger Federer's total of 20 men's singles titles at the tennis majors.

It was the Spaniard's 13th success on the red clay of Paris, raising his own benchmark further, and his long relationship with the crowd in France was at the forefront of the champion's mind.

"To win here means everything to me," Nadal said. "It's not the moment - honestly not for me - to think about the 20th, equalling Roger or this great number.

"For me, today is just a Roland Garros victory. Roland Garros means everything to me.

"I spent the most important moments of my tennis career here. I just want to say thank you very, very much to everybody here.

"For me, just to play here is a true inspiration. The love story I have with this city and this court is unforgettable."

So dominant was Nadal's latest win on Court Philippe-Chatrier that he apologised to rival Djokovic, who had not lost a completed match up to this point in 2020.

"Congrats to Novak for another great tournament," Nadal said. "Sorry for today. In Australia, he killed me a couple of times ago. Today was for me.

"That's part of the game. We've played plenty of times together - one day one wins, another day the other. So all the best for the future, Novak."

Djokovic acknowledged he had been completely outclassed.

"I want to say a huge congratulations to Rafa and your team and your family, of course," the top seed said in his post-final speech.

"What you are doing on this court is unbelievable - but not just this court. Throughout your entire career, you've been a great champion.

"Today you showed why you're king of the clay. I experienced it with my own skin.

"It was a very tough match for me today - obviously I am not so pleased with the way I played - but I was definitely outplayed by a better player today on the court."

Rafael Nadal equalled Roger Federer's record of 20 grand slam men's singles titles with his latest stunning French Open victory over Novak Djokovic on Sunday.

Nadal's remarkable record of Roland Garros success continued courtesy of an astonishing 6-0 6-2 7-5 win against the world number one on Philippe Chatrier.

Thirteen of the Spaniard's major triumphs have come on the red clay in Paris, where he has lost only twice - never in a final and not at all since the last eight in 2015 against Djokovic.

A 999th top-level victory and 100th at this event never looked to be in doubt as Nadal seized control from the outset to win the French Open without dropping a set across the tournament for the fourth time.

This was just Djokovic's second defeat of the season but came in a far more clinical manner than the first, when he was defaulted from the US Open for striking a line judge with the ball.

Djokovic - a 17-time grand slam champion - had swiftly sought to put Nadal to work with a series of drop shots, but the defending champion responded in typically masterful fashion and raced into a two-break lead in the opener.

Although the sort of brave defence so often associated with Djokovic was again on display, prompting some staggering rallies, he could not make significant progress against the Nadal serve and subsequently collapsed from 40-0 up on his own.

The Serbian deserved better than a first-set bagel - the first in a men's major final since 2006 - yet soon trailed again in the second, sending a tired forehand into the net at the end of another draining game.

Djokovic puffed out his cheeks as Nadal refused to relent, breaking once more and coasting through the remainder of another straightforward set to bring the Musketeers' Cup firmly into view.

The top seed dug in at the start of the third and even quickly recovered to level the set after a meek break to love granted Nadal complete command.

Djokovic's renewed resilience briefly kept his opponent at bay, but a contentious double-fault proved the decisive blow and Nadal served out the championship to love with an ace to match Federer, a man five years his senior who has not won an ATP Tour event in 2020 and continues to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Margaret Court's overall record of 24 singles major championships is surely now in the king of clay's sights.


Data Slam: Stunning start sets the tone

For much of the 48-minute opening set, Djokovic gave as good as he got. But Nadal dominated in key areas - Djokovic's first serve was at 42 per cent, while he won just three of 18 short rallies - to result in a one-sided scoreline. Only twice has this rivalry produced a 6-0 set, the other coming as Nadal also raced into a lead in last year's Internazionali d'Italia final.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 31/14
Djokovic – 38/52

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 4/1
Djokovic – 1/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 7/18
Djokovic – 1/5

Rafael Nadal dominated Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 in the French Open final on Sunday to tie Roger Federer's record of 20 grand slam titles.

Novak Djokovic is relishing what he believes could be the biggest challenge in sport of facing his "greatest rival" Rafael Nadal in the French Open final on Sunday.

Top seed Djokovic overcame a Stefanos Tsitsipas fightback to win the second semi-final 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1 at Roland Garros on Friday after Nadal beat Diego Schwartzman in straight sets.

The world number one will do battle with 12-time French Open champion Nadal in a mouth-watering clash of the titans on Court Philippe-Chatrier this weekend.

Djokovic has won 29 of the 55 meetings between two of the all-time greats, while the Serb and Robin Soderling are the only players to have beaten the Spaniard in the Paris grand slam.

Nadal has never lost a final at a major he has dominated, and Djokovic is well aware of the size of the challenge he will face when he attempts to deny the 'King of Clay' a record-equalling 20th grand slam triumph.

Djokovic, a winner of 17 majors but only one at Roland Garros in 2016, said in his on-court interview: "It's his [Nadal's] home. And with all the titles he's won. But I remember I beat him in the quarter-finals in 2015.

"I hope to recover. It's the biggest challenge, perhaps in sport, to play Nadal here at Roland Garros but I am motivated to win."

Asked to elaborate on those comments in his news conference, Djokovic replied: "Well, isn't it obvious? He won this tournament so many times that I don't think any player has won that many times any tournament.

"He's lost twice in his entire career on this court. Obviously the conditions are different than the ones that we are used to playing in May and June. I think that could be a better chance for me, obviously the ball not bouncing as high over the shoulder as he likes it usually.

"Regardless of the conditions, he's still there, he's Rafa, he's in the final and we're playing on clay. Best-of-five playing him in the finals at Roland Garros, I know that feeling. I did lose to him on this court most of the matches that we played, but I also won one match in 2015 in straight sets in quarters.

"That's the match that I'll look back at and obviously try to take some positives out of it and use it tactically against him. I'm not feeling exhausted physically so much after tonight's match, obviously almost four hours. It was a great battle.

"But I feel fine. I think a day and a half will be plenty of time for me to recover. I'm really looking forward to a great battle with Rafa."

Djokovic added: "I've played him more than I played any other player in my professional career. I think our head-to-head is the biggest head-to-head ever in the history of the sport.

"He's definitely my greatest rival. Playing him in so many great matches, of course the past will have some effect in terms of respect towards each other, I guess motivation to get out on the court and play your best, knowing that we both have to be at our best in order to win against each other.

"So I think that's where the past will play its offensive line. Not more than that, to be honest, because I think we are both experienced enough to really approach matches like this focusing only what is ahead of us."

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