Alexander Zverev's miserable season took another turn for the worse with a defeat to lucky loser Nicolas Jarry in the second round of the Barcelona Open on Tuesday.

The world number three has now lost five of his last seven matches after the 81-ranked Jarry came from a set down to win 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5).

Jarry saved a match point in a tense final set that swung one way and the other before the Chilean outsider held it together in a decisive tie-break to claim the biggest win of his career.

Zverev, who turned 22 on Saturday, took a wildcard for the tournament in an attempt to discover some form, but made yet another stunning early exit after being given a first-round bye.

Jarry led 3-0 in the final set and was a break up at 4-3 after second seed Zverev fought back, before finally toppling the German despite losing the first three points of the breaker. 

David Goffin, the 10th seed, also crashed out with a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 defeat to Jan-Lennard Struff, but Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas reached round three with straight-sets victories over Diego Schwartzman and Marton Fucsovics respectively.

Jaume Munar upset 14th seed Frances Tiafoe in the second round, while Kei Nishikori made it through to the last 16 at the expense of Taylor Fritz.

Elsewhere, last year's runner-up John Millman eased to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round of the Hungarian Open.

Fifth seed Laslo Djere was made to work for a 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-2) win over Ernests Gulbis, while Robin Haase advanced to a second-round meeting with Borna Coric by beating Thomas Fabbiano.

Justin Gimelstob's role as a player representative on the ATP board will be reviewed after he pleaded no contest to one misdemeanour count of battery with serious bodily injury on Monday.

The 42-year-old American, a winner of two grand slam mixed doubles titles, was sentenced to three years of summary probation in a Los Angeles court on Monday.

Broadcaster Gimelstob, who used to coach John Isner, was also given 60 days of community labour and a week of anger-management classes after an alleged attack on his former friend Randall Kaplan last October.

The ATP response says a decision will be made on Gimelstob's future now a verdict has been reached.

"Justin Gimelstob holds an elected position as one of the three player representatives on the ATP board of directors and under our organisation's by-laws his position is therefore a matter of review for the ATP player council and/or the ATP board." a statement from the governing body said.

"The decision was taken to let the judicial process run its course before any judgment was made on his future, so with that process complete this is now a subject for review by the board and/or the player council.

"As a related matter, the election for the role of the next Americas player representative on the ATP board - the position currently held by Gimelstob - will take place as scheduled on Tuesday May 14, in Rome."

World number six Kevin Anderson will miss the clay-court season as he continues to be troubled by an elbow injury.

Anderson withdrew from the Monte Carlo Masters last week due to an issue which also kept him out of the hard-court events in Acapulco and Indian Wells.

The 32-year-old South African, runner-up at Wimbledon last year, revealed on Tuesday that he will focus on getting fully fit for the grass-court season.

"I wanted to let you all know that I will unfortunately be missing the clay season this year," he tweeted.

"After discussing with my doctors and team, we thought the best decision is to rest and rehab my elbow injury for a few more weeks. I will keep working hard each day to get healthy again in time for grass.

"I'm very disappointed to be missing Estoril, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros - all incredible events that have been so great to me and I love going back to - but I know this is the right decision for the long term in my career."

Anderson has played in only three tournaments this year, winning the first one he entered in Pune.

Fernando Verdasco prevailed in the all-Spanish clash on the opening day of the Barcelona Open as he saw off compatriot Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-3. 

Lopez, playing in the round of 64 after being granted a wildcard, came off second best throughout the battle between two powerful left-handers, with his serve failing to fire. 

The 37-year-old won only 59 per cent of points on his first serve and Verdasco, 35, was able to close out a straight sets triumph, as he did when they met at last year's US Open. 

Verdasco edges ahead 6-5 in their career head-to-head and takes on Grigor Dimitrov in the next round. 

Arguably the most pleasing performance for the home crowd came earlier in the day as the 21-year-old world number 57 Jaume Munar came from a set down to defeat Portuguese qualifier Pedro Sousa 2-6 6-4 6-0. 

Argentina's Leonardo Mayer dropped a second-set tiebreak against Romania's Marius Copil but prevailed 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 to book a round-two meeting with Rafael Nadal. 

Benoit Paire advanced at the expense of Juan Ignacio Londero, while Nicolas Jarry sent Marcel Granollers packing.

At the Hungarian Open, Mikhail Kukushkin and Bernard Tomic suffered straight-set defeats to Matteo Berrettini and Aljaz Bedene respectively. 

Radu Albot and Filip Krajinovic made it through to round two in Budapest.

Fabio Fognini battled through injury issues to beat Dusan Lajovic in straight sets in Monte Carlo as the man who eliminated Rafael Nadal clinched his first ATP Masters 1000 title.

The Italian inflicted a rare clay-court defeat on 11-time champion Nadal in the semi-finals, having also beaten world number three Alexander Zverev earlier in the week, and he was confirmed as the Monte Carlo Masters champion on Sunday courtesy of a hard-fought 6-3 6-4 triumph.

Fognini recovered from going a break down early in the first set, reeling off four games in a row to take the opener in 45 minutes.

The 31-year-old opened up a two-game advantage midway through the next set and, though he required lengthy treatment on both his ankle and hamstring, he sealed the victory to become the first Italian to win the tournament since 1968.

It did not start well for Fognini, who displayed unnecessary power when firing a forehand long to hand Lajovic an early break and a 2-1 lead.

Fognini initially squandered a chance to hit straight back – testing his hamstrings when doing the splits as he failed to return – but a forehand volley winner made it 2-2 and he broke again when Lajovic sent a simple forehand into the net.

Lajovic had a break point when Fognini served for the set but the Italian held firm and drilled a brilliant backhand down the line for his 12th winner to wrap up the opener.

Neither man could hold in their first service game of the second set and it looked like Fognini's afternoon had taken a turn for the worse when he aggravated a hamstring problem in bringing up break point at 2-2.

That was converted when Lajovic whipped a makeable forehand wide and Fognini used the change of ends to get strapping on his ankle and right hamstring.

While his mobility was restricted, Fognini was still on top, winning the first point back with a delicious sliced backhand and then benefitting from a stroke of fortune when Lajovic inexplicably crashed an overhead smash into the net.

And Fognini got over the line to record the biggest tournament win of his career, with his success in Monte Carlo ensuring he will be a career-best 12th in the world rankings on Monday.

Rafael Nadal described his performance against Fabio Fognini as one of his worst on clay in 14 years after a surprise semi-final exit at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The Spaniard suffered his first defeat at the tournament since 2015 as he was beaten in straight sets by an inspired Fognini, who will face Dusan Lajovic for the title on Sunday.

Nadal had led 3-1 early in the first set but then lost 11 of the next 14 games, Italian Fognini producing some inspired tennis to stun the 11-time champion after one hour and 36 minutes on court.

The result ended the second seed's 18-match winning streak in Monte Carlo - he had not even dropped a set there since his clash with Kyle Edmund in the second round two years ago.

After a rare setback on clay, an honest Nadal praised Fognini while admitting "everything" had gone wrong for him.

"The vision was clear, but I played a very bad match against a good player, so in that situation, you have to lose," he told the media

"That's what I did this afternoon. It was a tough day and he was a difficult opponent.

"It was this kind of day that everything went wrong. I probably played one of the worst matches on clay in 14 years. Today I deserved to lose because I played against a player that was better than me."

Nadal was returning to action on the ATP Tour in Monte Carlo after having to withdraw from his semi-final against Roger Federer in Indian Wells midway through March due to a knee issue.

While disappointed to lose to Fognini, the left-hander acknowledged injury problems take a toll, both mentally and physically.

"I am coming from low moments in terms of injuries, and in terms of the mental side it has not been easy to accept all the things that have been going on," he added.

"The problem is that sometimes we are used to being very, very solid all the time, and even coming back from injuries, winning and winning and winning, and things are not that easy.

"It is more difficult to hold the same level every single day when you don't have confidence in tournaments in a row or matches in a row. And that's what I needed."

Fabio Fognini ended Rafael Nadal's 18-match unbeaten run at the Monte Carlo Masters with a sensational 6-4 6-2 win in their semi-final on Saturday.

Fognini had lost the previous six meetings with the second seed but caused an astonishing upset, in the process ending Nadal's seemingly inevitable march towards a 12th title in the event.

The result - achieved after one hour and 36 minutes on court - sees the Italian through to his first ATP Masters 1000 final, where he will take on Dusan Lajovic.

Nadal had not lost in Monte Carlo since 2015 but there had been worrying signs for the Spaniard in his victory over Guido Pella on Friday, as he had to rally from 4-1 down before crucially breaking serve when trailing 6-5 in the first set.

However, this time he was unable to find a way to avoid dropping a set for the first time in Monte Carlo since his second-round clash with Kyle Edmund two years ago.

Fognini recorded a break in the opening game of the contest and while Nadal immediately hit back, the former forged into a 5-4 lead to earn a chance to serve out the set.

He seized the opportunity, albeit only after a fortunate flick off the net put him 40-30 up, as a confident volley plunged Nadal into unfamiliar territory.

Few, though, would have expected the second-set procession that followed. 

Fognini reeled off five successive games in a hurry, though his charge stalled with the finishing line in sight, three match-point opportunities going begging as a break kept Nadal alive.

The left-hander held in the next game to put the pressure back on his rival, but Fognini delivered on serve at the second attempt, becoming just the fourth player to beat the 'King of Clay' in the principality.

Dusan Lajovic reeled off 10 games in a row to come from behind and retain his flawless record at this year's Monte Carlo Masters with a 7-5 6-1 victory over Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals.

Medvedev claimed the biggest win of his career by defeating world number one Novak Djokovic in the last eight but crumbled against another Serbian on Saturday as Lajovic rallied from 5-1 down in the opener to make it 10 sets in succession.

By reaching his first ATP Tour final, where he will face 11-time champion Rafael Nadal or Fabio Fognini, unseeded 28-year-old Lajovic guaranteed he will crack the top 25 of the rankings for the first time.

Medvedev looked to be cruising as he moved to within one game of the opening set with a second break of serve, but Lajovic managed to stage a phenomenal comeback.

There was no let up from the Serbian in the second set and Medvedev only held at the third time of asking.

The Russian never looked like replicating his opponent's feat and forcing a decider, though, with a wayward backhand ensuring Lajovic's sensational run will continue through to the showpiece.

Novak Djokovic believes he can hit top form at the French Open despite a surprise loss at the Monte-Carlo Masters on Friday.

The world number one bowed out in the quarter-finals at the ATP 1000 tournament, suffering a 6-3 4-6 6-2 defeat to Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic has struggled after winning his 15th grand slam at the Australian Open, holding a 5-3 win-loss record since the tournament in Melbourne.

But the 2016 champion at Roland Garros still feels he can get back to his best before the major begins in Paris on May 26.

"The French Open is the ultimate goal on clay for sure," Djokovic told a news conference.

"It's expected in a way, for me to peak at that tournament and that's what I'm aiming for.

"This is only the first tournament on clay and it's a long season so let's see how it goes."

Djokovic is next expected to be in action at the Madrid Open, which begins in early May.

Novak Djokovic offered words of praise for the ever-improving Daniil Medvedev after the top seed suffered a shock loss at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Medvedev booked a spot in the semi-finals with a deserved 6-3 4-6 6-2 triumph, capitalising on a slew of unforced errors from his opponent to claim what he admitted afterwards to be the biggest win of his career to date.

The Russian had lost the past three meetings between the pair, including a last-16 clash at this year's Australian Open.

Djokovic went on to win the grand slam in Melbourne but has struggled for form since. The Serb was not helped by conditions but refused to use that as an excuse for the loss, instead pointing to how much Medvedev has improved in the past 12 months.

"He's got a very solid backhand. He doesn't make many mistakes from the backhand. He hits it very low with depth," he said in quotes that appeared on the ATP Tour website. 

"A windy day like today, conditions are changing every single game. It's kind of tough to find the rhythm, and he doesn't give you much rhythm.

"He improved his movement a lot since last year. He definitely deserves to be where he is."

Still, despite the unexpected result, the world number one is not in danger of losing top spot in the rankings. 

Nearest rival Rafael Nadal made it through to the final four but even if the Spaniard goes on to retain his crown, Djokovic will extend his advantage having gone a round further in the tournament than he did in 2018.
 

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES COST PELLA

Nadal had made serene progress in his opening two outings but found Guido Pella a tough nut to crack in their quarter-final.

Pella had three chances to take a 5-1 lead in the first set and also failed to serve out for the opener when 6-5 up, opportunities few can afford to waste against the 'king of clay'.

Eventually, Nadal triumphed 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 to remain on track to be crowned champion in Monte Carlo for a 12th time.

"I was lucky at 4-1, he had two points to be 5-1 and with 5-1 it's almost impossible," Nadal admitted. 

"I was lucky to escape that moment and then I played better. I'm very happy to be through. Being in the semi-finals again here means a lot to me."


FAB-IO COMEBACK

Next up for Nadal will be Fabio Fognini, who fought back from a set down to beat Borna Coric 1-6 6-3 6-2 in the final match on court.

The Italian, seeded 13th, has reached the last four of the tournament once previously, losing to Djokovic in 2013.

While Fognini has been this far before, Dusan Lajovic is through to a Masters semi-final for the first time.

The world number 48 followed up his victory over Dominic Thiem by beating Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets. His reward is a clash against Medvedev, with Lajovic going into the contest still yet to drop a set this week.

Rafael Nadal remains on course to win a 12th Monte Carlo Masters title after coming through a tough two-set encounter with Guido Pella 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 on Friday.

The Spaniard was pushed hard by the in-form Pella before eventually securing an 18th straight triumph in the tournament after two hours and 20 minutes on court.

After Novak Djokovic's shock exit in the previous match, an expectant crowd witnessed Nadal fall into an early hole in the opening set.

Pella recorded two breaks of serve to ease into a 4-1 lead and while his opponent hit back, taking the next four games on the spin, the Argentinian had the chance to serve out for the set when he caught Nadal out to go 6-5 in front.

However, the second seed responded to the concerning situation in impressive fashion.

After drawing level to force a tie-break, Nadal proceeded to seize control by winning the first six points, eventually sealing a see-saw set after 82 minutes.

Nadal then jumped out into a commanding lead in the next set, a pair of breaks putting him 4-1 up in a hurry.

He was forced to wait to clinch victory, though, failing to serve out for the match when 5-2 ahead. Still, it was only a minor setback as a break in the next game finally sealed a hard-fought triumph for the 'king of clay'.

Nadal - who has now won an astonishing 25 sets in a row in Monte Carlo, a run stretching back to his opening encounter against Kyle Edmund in 2017 - will face either Borna Coric or Fabio Fognini for a place in the final.

Daniil Medvedev continued a stunning week at the Monte Carlo Masters by claiming the biggest win of his career in a three-set triumph over Novak Djokovic, which booked a semi-final berth.

The Russian came into this tournament having won 17 of his 23 matches this season, that run including a title success in Sofia, and defeated Joao Sousa, Radu Albot and Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up a quarter-final with Djokovic. 

And he played with the confidence of a man in excellent form, taking advantage of a Djokovic performance in which he committed 47 unforced errors to prevail 6-3 4-6 6-2.

Djokovic has now failed to go beyond the last eight in three successive Masters 1000 events and looked below his best just over a month out from the French Open.

Medvedev will now face Dusan Lajovic in the semi-finals and will hope for the same fast start he made on Friday.

He broke Djokovic in the opening game and held on to that advantage as 21 of the world number one's unforced errors came in the opening set.

Under pressure throughout the opener, Djokovic saved three break points in the fifth game. However, Medvedev ensured he would not have to serve out the set by securing the double break to move within six games of victory.

Medvedev continued to go blow for blow with Djokovic from the baseline but his progress was stymied as he dropped serve in the third game of the second, which featured a terse exchange with the chair umpire after he was given a warning for kicking an advertising box.

An exquisite lob from Djokovic gave him an advantage he did not give up but it was his composure that slipped in the decider as he continued to struggle in the windy conditions.

Medvedev received treatment on his thighs throughout the third, but that did not stop him surging into a 5-1 lead as Djokovic faded badly, a lofted backhand long surrendering the double break.

And his first win over the 15-time grand slam champion was completed as he broke Djokovic for a third time in the set with a scorching cross-court backhand.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal progressed at the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday, but Dominic Thiem, another potential contender, fell short of the quarter-final stage.

Djokovic defeated Taylor Fritz 6-3 6-0, while Nadal racked up a 70th Monte Carlo win against Grigor Dimitrov, who went down 6-4 6-1.

Yet Thiem was on the wrong end of an upset on Court des Princes, where Dusan Lajovic ran out a 6-3 6-3 winner.

 

NOVAK AND NADAL BATTLE THE ELEMENTS

Djokovic and Nadal both advanced in two sets, but the windy conditions did appear to cause all players involved on Thursday some issues.

Nadal said afterwards: "It was not an easy day. There was a lot of wind.

"Everybody prefers to play with no wind. But being from an island like Mallorca, there is some wind there, too, so I am more or less used to playing like this."

As well as the wind, Djokovic was getting to grips with the clay, adding: "It's a very unpredictable surface. There's nothing you can expect. You expect the unexpected."

CONTRASTING FORTUNES FOR CLAY APPRENTICES

Nadal is considered the clay king, but Thiem and, now, Guido Pella are garnering reputations for impressing on the red dirt, too.

There were mixed fortunes for the pair on Wednesday, though, as Thiem was dumped out by Lajovic to leave one quarter of the draw without a seed.

Lajovic led 5-0 in the opener before allowing Thiem back in. The Serbian finally sealed the set and then recovered from an early break in the second to set up a meeting with qualifier Lorenzo Sonego, who defeated Cameron Norrie.

Meanwhile, Pella has won more clay-court matches than any other player on the ATP Tour this year and his latest was a three-set upset of Marco Cecchinato. He plays Nadal next.

ZVEREV SLUMP CONTINUES

It has been a testing year for world number three Alexander Zverev, who is yet to win a title in 2019 and has battled an ankle injury and illness.

After losing a second-round contest as a wildcard to Jaume Munar in Morocco, Zverev suffered a disappointing defeat, this time in a 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 loss to the experienced Fabio Fognini.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also bit the dust in a three-set loss to Daniil Medvedev but Borna Coric was too good for Pierre-Hugues Herbert in a 6-4 6-4 victory.

Three-time defending champion Rafael Nadal made short work of Grigor Dimitrov to rack up a 70th win at the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday.

The Spaniard held a formidable 11-1 record against Dimitrov prior to the third-round contest and has now won five straight matches against the Bulgarian after a 6-4 6-1 triumph.

Nadal, seeking a 12th title in Monte Carlo, dropped just five games in a semi-final meeting with Dimitrov 12 months ago and repeated the trick in a match lasting just over an hour and a half.

Dimitrov responded to an early break with some neat touches at the net and levelled the set when Nadal tried to wrongfoot his opponent with a forehand that went long.

But, when serving to stay in the set, Dimitrov skewed a forehand wildly out and was outclassed in a one-sided second set.

Dimitrov went long with a forehand to fall behind 2-0 and, after saving a break point at 3-0, was broken again at 4-1 down when he could only put a fierce Nadal shot back into the net.

Nadal then routinely served out for the match to book a quarter-final meeting with Guido Pella.

Novak Djokovic turned in an improved display as he eased past Taylor Fritz 6-3 6-0 into the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters.

The world number one had made hard work of his opener against Philipp Kohlschreiber but, while still some way below his imperious best, he had far too much for Fritz.

Windy conditions on Court Rainier III aided neither player, yet Djokovic confidently picked off Fritz after a bright start from the American had hinted at another tough encounter.

Victory was secured in an hour and eight minutes to set up a surely trickier test against Daniil Medvedev, who dumped out Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Fritz went on the offensive early on and made Djokovic work for his holds, but this ambition led to unforced errors and the Serbian seized the first break point opportunity of the match.

A further gain followed as Djokovic dictated play and Fritz went long. There was a swift riposte, yet the 21-year-old's struggles on his serve saw him gift away the opener.

He was quickly in trouble at the start of the second, too, and immediately lost his serve as Djokovic again shifted onto the front foot and moved his opponent around the court.

Fritz was forced into the net to slip further behind and Djokovic's power was too much in the final game as he was broken once more, launching long to complete a routine win for the top seed.

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