Andrey Rublev claimed the first ATP Tour title of 2020 by defeating Corentin Moutet 6-2 7-6 (7-3) in the final of the Qatar Open.

Moutet, 20, beat Milos Raonic in the second round and on Friday overcame Fernando Verdasco and top seed Stan Wawrinka in three sets to reach his first final at this level.

However, getting the better of Rublev - the runner-up in 2018 - proved too much of a challenge, with the promising 22-year-old kicking off his season by claiming a third ATP Tour title of his career that will send him into the top 20 for the first time.

Rublev did not drop a single set throughout the tournament and after taking a 6-1 lead in the second-set tie-break against Moutet he did not look like missing out on the trophy.

"It's amazing. For the moment I have no words. I'm always really happy to play here and to win a title here is something special for me. It's an amazing start to the season and I can hope to continue the same level," Rublev said in his on-court interview.

"There's still much to work on, but I'm happy to become a top-20 player. I still have huge room to improve and I want to try to my maximum and see what happens."

Serbia and Spain both prevailed in the ATP Cup to set up a dream final that could see Novak Djokovic face Rafael Nadal.

Having won all three matches of their quarter-final tie with Canada in the quarter-finals, Serbia again remained unbeaten versus Russia, while Spain dispatched hosts Australia with successive singles wins.

Reigning Australian Open champion Djokovic came through an engrossing three-setter with US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic had lost his last two meetings with Medvedev, who threatened a comeback in Sydney after he recovered from a hugely disappointing first set to force a decider.

The world number two struck the ultimately decisive break in the fifth game of the third. However, typically obdurate to the end, Medvedev had three break-back points before Djokovic finally took his second match point.

It finished, fittingly, with the type of lengthy baseline rally that defined a captivating contest, Medvedev firing a cross-court forehand into the net to give Serbia an unassailable 2-0 lead with a 6-1 5-7 6-4 victory.

Earlier Dusan Lajovic beat Karen Khachanov 7-5 7-6 (7-1), and Serbia also came through in the dead rubber doubles clash as Nikola Cacic and Viktor Troicki defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili and Konstantin Kravchuk.

Paying tribute to Medvedev, Djokovic said of the match: "[It was] exciting, exhausting, joyful, dreadful all at once. At one point we both refused to miss from the baseline, so it was a lot of rallies and it was very exhausting. A very physical battle, but also a mental battle.

"He showed why he's one of the best players in the world, why he's top five. This kind of consistency and this kind of solid game from back of the court, big serves, got him to where he is. He deserves to be there.

"[It was] definitely one of the most exciting matches I have played against him or any other top player in the last few years."

World number one Nadal was similarly tested by Alex de Minaur, whose energy and intensity had the home crowd in Sydney on their feet as he took the first set in his quest to level the tie after Roberto Bautista Agut easily beat Nick Kyrgios 6-1 6-4.

US Open champion Nadal did not have a break point until the 12th game of the second, but he took it to force a decider and subsequently raced away to claim a 4-6 7-5 6-1 success.

Wary of the obvious threat posed by Djokovic and Serbia in the final, Nadal said on court: "It's going to be a super tough final against Serbia.

"Novak likes to play here and Serbia has a great team and is playing very well. But Roberto played an amazing match this afternoon and we have a good team, so we are ready for it."

World number two Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Adelaide International.

The 16-time grand slam champion was scheduled to play at the inaugural edition of the event ahead of the Australian Open, but his withdrawal was announced on Saturday.

Djokovic, 32, has been in action for Serbia at the ATP Cup, winning all five of his singles matches to help his nation into the final.

Adelaide International tournament director Alistair MacDonald said: "We understand his decision and wish him the very best of luck for the remainder of the ATP Cup and the upcoming Australian Open."

A record seven-time Australian Open champion, Djokovic will again enter the tournament in Melbourne as one of the favourites.

The Australian Open begins on January 20.

Juan Martin del Potro will miss the upcoming Australian Open as he continues his recovery following knee surgery.

Del Potro, 31, is yet to return to the ATP Tour since undergoing surgery in June last year in the latest setback of an injury-ravaged career.

The 2009 US Open champion's comeback will not come at Melbourne Park, with his withdrawal from the year's first major confirmed on Saturday.

"Our two-time quarter-finalist Juan Martin del Potro has withdrawn from #AusOpen 2020 as he continues to recover from a knee injury," the tournament announced via its official Twitter account.

"Wishing you all the best with your recovery @delpotrojuan. We hope to see you back in Australia soon."

Del Potro has played just one Australian Open since 2015, reaching the third round two years ago.

He missed three of the four grand slams last year, having looked to be nearing his best again in 2018, when he reached the US Open final, French Open semis and Wimbledon quarters.

The 2020 Australian Open starts on January 20.

Rafael Nadal aimed a verbal volley at ATP Cup organisers by saying Spain were dealt a rough hand for their Final 8 clash with Belgium.

The world number one suffered a shock 6-4 7-6 (7-3) defeat to David Goffin in the second singles rubber, after Roberto Bautista Agut overcame Kimmer Coppejans in the opener.

Nadal and Bautista Agut later scrambled a 6-7 (7-9) 7-5 10-7 doubles victory over Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen to carry Spain through to the semi-finals.

The inaugural ATP Cup saw its pool matches split between Sydney and Brisbane on the Australian east coast, and Perth on the west coast, which is where Spain were initially stationed.

The tournament's final stages are being held in Sydney, though, and that meant a long journey for Spain, and a quick turnaround once they arrived in Australia's largest city.

Nadal paid Goffin a compliment by saying: "David played a great match, better than me."

But the 19-time grand slam winner made it clear he was not happy, saying the humidity inside the Ken Rosewall Arena should have been taken into account, pointing to the ventilation technology available to make conditions more comfortable for players.

"I was suffering a lot physically today," Nadal said.

"It was big humidity, but at the same time it’s fair to say we were in the worst position to play the Final 8, because we came from Perth. That is a three-hour time change, different weather conditions, playing against a team that have been here for the last 10 days and we are the only team coming from Perth and playing until the last day of Perth.

"And arriving here at two in the evening with jetlag, with everything, and today we had very heavy conditions out there.

"So probably we had the worst situation possible to play this tie."

Spain survived though, setting up a clash with hosts Australia in the final four on Saturday.

Andrey Rublev doubled up to reach the final of the Qatar Open, where he will meet qualifier Corentin Moutet who also completed a highly impressive brace of victories on Friday.

Rain on Thursday in Doha complicated the schedule for the remaining players in the draw, but Rublev and Moutet were each able to win both their quarter-final and semi-final matches on the same day.

Rublev, one of the more promising young players on the ATP Tour, showed why he is so highly thought of, the second seed beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-3 before easing past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3 6-1.

While Rublev's strong performance may have been anticipated, few could have expected Moutet's extraordinary run this week.

The 20-year-old had never previously reached a Tour level final but, after stunning Milos Raonic in the round of 16, he came through successive three-setters with Fernando Verdasco and Stan Wawrinka.

He overcame Verdasco 6-4 4-6 6-4, and his meeting with top seed Wawrinka was similarly frenetic.

Wawrinka had earlier overcome Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-4 but, despite making a strong start to his semi-final, the three-time grand slam winner could not hold back Moutet.

The French youngster won the first three games of the third set, in which he did not face a break point as he closed out a 3-6 7-5 6-3 triumph.

Rafael Nadal made up for losing his singles rubber to David Goffin by helping Spain clinch a vital doubles victory over Belgium, ensuring they joined Novak Djokovic's Serbia in the ATP Cup semi-finals.

Spain took a 1-0 lead after Roberto Bautista Agut overcame Steve Darcis' replacement Kimmer Coppejans 6-1 6-4, but Nadal was unable to seal the deal against Goffin.

Goffin claimed just his second success over the 19-time major champion, producing an efficient attacking display to take a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) triumph.

Nadal returned to Ken Rosewall Arena for the decisive doubles match alongside Pablo Carreno Busta, but they failed to convert a set point before surrendering the opener to Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.

Spain forced a match tie-break after a video review showed Vliegen struck the ball before it crossed the net and with momentum on their side, Nadal and Carreno Busta surged to victory.

Nadal found the corner with a tremendous forehand from the baseline for the first mini-break and a double fault from Gille gave them a second. A double fault from Vliegen sent Spain through to a showdown with Australia on Saturday.

"It was tough for us it was a big change from Perth to here with not much time to adapt and the conditions today were very heavy," said Nadal after the 6-7 (7-9) 7-5 10-7 success.

"They [Belgium] have been here for 10 days, for us it's the first day. Well done to them, a great level of tennis ... We are super happy to be in the semi-finals."

Dusan Lajovic got Serbia, who received raucous backing from the crowd in Sydney, off to a great start by claiming a 6-4 6-2 victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime in an hour and 39 minutes.

Canada were consequently relying on Denis Shapovalov beating Djokovic in the second singles rubber to remain in the competition and hopes were high when he took the opening set of a heated encounter.

The world number two had to save three break points to avoid falling behind early in the second set, but his hold of serve kick-started a run that saw him reel off five straight games to force a decider.

Shapovalov received a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after reacting to boos from the crowd by swearing, though chair umpire Carlos Bernardes later told spectators who continued to jeer the Canadian to "go home".

The 20-year-old showed tremendous character to fight back and take the match to a final-set tie-break after Djokovic jogged to the stands to provide an unwell fan with water while serving for the victory.

Djokovic raced into a 6-1 lead in the tie-break and got the job done at the fourth attempt, completing a 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) triumph.

Serbia finished off a 3-0 victory when Nikola Cacic and Viktor Troicki defeated Peter Polansky and Adil Shamasdin 6-3 6-2 in just 58 minutes. They face Russia in the semi-finals.

A confident David Goffin shocked Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to set up a decisive doubles rubber between Belgium and Spain in the ATP Cup quarter-finals on Friday.

After Roberto Bautista Agut beat Steve Darcis' replacement Kimmer Coppejans 6-1 6-4 in the first singles match, a win for Nadal would have sent Spain through to the semi-finals in Sydney.

However, Goffin got the better of the 19-time major winner for only the second time in his career with a fine attacking display.

The Belgian was unable to consolidate his first break of the opening set but, after staving off a trio of break points in game eight, he did not fail at the second attempt.

Goffin continued that momentum with a break early in the second, before Nadal fought back to force a tie-break.

However, the world number one double faulted at 5-2 down to give Goffin four match points and he only needed two attempts to convert and take the tie the distance.

"I felt my tennis the other match against Grigor [Dimitrov]…the confidence came back and I was ready for the fight tonight," Goffin said on court.

"From the first point until the end it was not easy, I was up a set and a break and I had to hold my nerves until the end. I played a very good tie-break, some tough games towards the end of the second to hold my serve but at the end I'm so happy for Belgium to have a decisive doubles.

"I knew Rafa had to take the ball a little bit early, maybe to take some more risks because I was in the court trying to dictate all the time and he had to find a solution. He finds a solution most of the time so I had to stick to my line and continue to move forward."

Miomir Kecmanovic's fine start to 2020 continued before rain stopped play at the Qatar Open in Doha.

Having defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round, Kecmanovic – who enjoyed a run to the semis at the Next Gen ATP Finals last year – cruised past Marton Fucsovics in 56 minutes on Thursday.

Kecmanovic's 6-2 6-0 triumph puts him into the last four, though he will not find out his fellow semi-finalists until Friday after the rain arrived.

Kecmanovic will face either Andrey Rublev or Pierre-Hugues Herbert, while Corentin Moutet faces Fernando Verdasco and Stan Wawrinka goes up against Aljaz Bedene.

Herbert and Rublev were locked at 1-1 in the opening set when rain stopped play.

Andrey Rublev saw off Mikhail Kukushkin to book a quarter-final clash against Pierre-Hugues Herbert on a day where other seeds struggled at the Qatar Open.

Second seed Rublev, a Doha finalist in 2018, eased to a 6-4 6-2 victory in 69 minutes on Wednesday.

They key moment of the match came late in the first set when he immediately broke Kukushkin back after the Kazakh had battled back to level the opening set at 4-4.

"I'm really happy that I could win in straight sets," Rublev said. "It was first match of the season, first match since two months, and, of course, I was a little bit nervous."

World number 23 Rublev will meet Herbert next after the Frenchman impressively knocked out number five seed Laslo Djere 6-1 6-3.

Miomir Kecmanovic defeated third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (11-9) 6-1, ending the Frenchman's hopes of repeating his 2012 title success.

Serbian Kecmanovic will next play Marton Fucsovics after the qualifier's straightforward win over wildcard Cem Ilkel.

Fernando Verdasco's three-set triumph over Filip Krajinovic means he will play Corentin Moutet, who recorded a straight sets victory against former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic.

Number one seed Stan Wawrinka, a loser in the doubles with partner Frances Tiafoe, takes on Aljaz Bedene in the last eight on Thursday.

Argentina, Belgium and Canada claimed the last spots in the ATP Cup Final 8 with Croatia, Japan, South Africa and France among the teams to miss out on a dramatic day six.

The Group E winners were confirmed as Argentina after a 3-0 win over Croatia which saw Guido Pella and Diego Schwartzman impressively defeat Marin Cilic and Borna Coric respectively in straight sets.

They joined Serbia, Spain, Great Britain, Russia and hosts Australia as the six group winners, leaving two spots for the best runners-up available to be claimed.

As it happened, results meant Belgium and Canada, the two teams who held the spots coming into Wednesday's action, were able to hold on to the positions without playing.

While Argentina were already through with a 2-0 lead over Croatia, the doubles win by Andres Molteni and Maximo Gonzalez over Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic ensured Canada, rather than Croatia, progressed as the second-best runner-up team.

The Final 8 stage begins with Australia v Great Britain and Argentina v Russia on Thursday, while Serbia will meet Canada as Belgium take on Spain a day later.

Canada could have also been denied by either France or South Africa, who needed a 3-0 clean sweep against the other to progress.

But after Gilles Simon defeated Lloyd Harris, Kevin Anderson fought back from a set down to defeat Benoit Paire 2-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-5) and end France's hopes.

Paire, standing in as France number one after Gael Monfils withdrew, was serving for the match at 5-4 up in the second and third sets but could not convert either of those opportunities, Anderson also saving a match point on his own serve.

South Africa then won the doubles to triumph 2-1 and narrowly miss out on progression.

Poland beat Austria 2-1, with Hubert Hurkacz winning a final set tie-break against Dominic Thiem, the world number four's second defeat of the week, as neither nation progressed to the knockout stage.

Georgia defeated Uruguay 2-1 in a tie between two other teams who will go no further, with Pablo Cuevas unhappy to receive a warning for a lack of effort during his defeat to Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Japan won their first two matches at the tournament but a 3-0 loss to Spain earlier on Wednesday had removed them from contention.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic ensured they ended the group stages with 100 per cent winning records after victories on day six of the ATP Cup.

Spain and Serbia are safely into the Final 8 and are not among the nations fighting it out to be one of the two best runners-up who join the six group winners in the knockout stage, which will be played in Sydney.

Nadal overcame his toughest test yet with a battling 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 win over Yoshihito Nishioka, following up singles wins in earlier ties against Nikoloz Basilashvili and Pablo Cuevas.

The world number one, playing in the heat of the day session for the first time in Perth, was not at his best and made 36 unforced errors.

But Nadal claimed the first set in a tie-break as he recovered from being broken twice, before improving slightly in the second where a solitary strike on Nishioka's serve in game nine proved decisive.

Nadal then played doubles for the first time in the tournament, teaming up with Pablo Carreno Busta in a 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 10-6 win over Ben McLachlan and Go Soeda.

Soeda had earlier lost to Roberto Bautista Agut as Spain, who also won the Davis Cup in November, won their third consecutive tie by a 3-0 scoreline.

"It was the first experience with the heat here in Australia, so we played under heavy conditions and it was tough," said Nadal.

"I played against a player who has started the season on fire, so it was an important victory for me and the team."

Djokovic also made it three wins out of three in singles play with a 6-3 6-3 win over Chile's Cristian Garin in Brisbane.

Serbia won the tie 2-1 and Djokovic, who also beat Kevin Anderson and Gael Monfils earlier in the event as well as winning a doubles encounter against France, will lead his side against one of the best two runners-up in the Final 8.

Djokovic insisted he relished having to play against so many other top players at an early stage of the season.

"I've never minded to face tough adversity from the blocks and have high-intensity matches from day one," he said with the defence of his Australian Open title ahead later this month.

"I had Kevin Anderson who was playing some extraordinary tennis. I thought it was the toughest match I've played here in Brisbane.

"And again against Monfils, even though it was straight sets, it was still a lot of rallies and it was quite long and exhausting.

"I am really happy with the challenges that I've had in the last six, seven days here, and hopefully that can allow me to build my form for Sydney and Melbourne later."

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley insisted the year's first grand slam would go ahead "as scheduled", but the air quality in Melbourne will be monitored.

Bushfires have ravaged Australia in recent months, leading to a smoky haze covering Victoria's capital on certain days.

But Tiley expects the year's opening major to go ahead as planned, beginning on January 20, while organisers keep an eye on air quality.

"Everything is going ahead as scheduled," he told a news conference on Wednesday.

"We will continue to work closely with not only the Bureau of Meteorology but also medical experts to ensure what we've always said – that the safety of the players, our fans and our staff are of the utmost importance and our primary objective each time.

"The one thing I will remind everyone is we do have three stadium roofs where we have a controlled environment so play will always continue.

"It will come under our extreme heat policy approach and what will be new is we'll also have some real-time monitoring on-site.

"You currently can get air quality monitoring just generally over a 24-hour period just by going to a website, but we'll be more detailed with it and bring it on site."

Tennis stars have rallied to raise funds for those impacted by the bushfires, while an exhibition event will be held in Melbourne on January 15.

Tiley revealed Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams were among those who had agreed to play at the event.

"Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Nick Kyrgios, Stefanos Tsitsipas have all agreed to participate on Wednesday night," he said.

"We will be, over the course of the coming days, announcing additional players. We're going to try and get more out onto the court and for about two and a half hours we're going to be showcasing the game but also coming together as a community to play our part in the relief effort."

Stan Wawrinka claimed a comfortable 6-3 6-4 victory over Jeremy Chardy to reach the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open on Tuesday.

In his first match of 2020, top seed Wawrinka saved six of the seven break points he faced and came from 0-3 down in the second set to book a meeting with Aljaz Bedene, who overcame Alexander Bublik 6-3 7-5.

Laslo Djere defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-1 3-6 6-2 and Mikhail Kukushkin downed Malek Jaziri 6-0 6-3, earning a clash with second seed Andrey Rublev in round two.

Wawrinka's doubles partner Frances Tiafoe – seeded eighth in the singles – lost 6-4 4-6 6-4 to Marton Fucsovics, while Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Cem Ilkel also progressed.

Stefanos Tsitsipas joked he is set to be grounded by his parents after injuring his father Apostolos during his defeat to Nick Kyrgios at the ATP Cup.

The Greece player lost his cool after dropping the first set to Kyrgios, angrily swiping his racket and inadvertently hitting his father in the process. 

A shocked Apostolos was left with a bruised arm and walked away from his son at the courtside area, prompting Tsitsipas' mother, who was seated nearby, to come and give her son a public telling off.

Tsitsipas received a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct and then received a second early in the second set, leading to a points penalty, for hitting the ball away in frustration after losing a point.

Asked if he would receive a punishment at home, Tsitsipas told reporters: "Maybe, yeah, maybe I'll stay in my room for three days grounded by my father."

The world number six conceded he had lost control but insisted he had swiftly moved on from the incident.

Tsitsipas added: "It happened accidentally. I didn't mean to do it and straight away forgot about it and moved on from there. 

"It happens. I wasn't aiming to do that. It's just it went out of control, unfortunately."

Greece lost all three of their ties at the tournament, with Tsitsipas going 1-2 in his singles matches - a disappointment as he looked to build on his ATP Finals win ahead of the Australian Open.

Kyrgios' 7-6 (9-7) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) win helped to ensure hosts Australia, who face Great Britain in the quarter-finals, ended the group stage with a third straight 3-0 victory.

He was reluctant to judge Tsitsipas for his outburst, saying: "I didn't see it.

"I don't think he meant it as well. I don't think you guys should be giving it too much attention or looking too far into it, to be honest. 

"I've done some stupid things as well in the heat of the moment. It was obviously an accident."

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