Andy Murray has been handed a tricky draw for his singles return at the Cincinnati Masters.

The former world number one is making his comeback in singles just over six months after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery and having returned in doubles.

Having accepted a wildcard into the ATP Masters 1000 event, Murray – a three-time grand slam champion – is facing a tough run.

Murray will face Richard Gasquet in the opening round and he holds an 8-3 win-loss record over the Frenchman.

If the two-time Cincinnati champion can win his opener, Murray will face fourth seed Dominic Thiem, while the Brit is in the same quarter as Alexander Zverev and half as Rafael Nadal.

Murray last played singles at the Australian Open, losing to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round, and at the time suggested he was facing retirement.

However, Murray described his latest operation, which has left him pain-free, as "life-changing" and he is now on the brink of completing a remarkable return to top-level singles action.

Last year's finalists, champion Novak Djokovic and runner-up Roger Federer, are returning to action for the first time since Wimbledon at the tournament.

Rafael Nadal moved into the Rogers Cup semi-finals as Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem crashed out on Friday.

Nadal was pushed early before getting past Fabio Fognini in their quarter-final clash in Montreal, where the Spanish great stayed on track in his title defence.

Rain saw the day's final match – between Gael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut – pushed back, but not before Thiem and Zverev made straightforward exits.

 

NADAL SURVIVES FOGNINI TEST

Nadal, the 18-time grand slam champion, was troubled early before proving too good for Italian seventh seed Fognini 2-6 6-1 6-2.

The Spaniard has now won 12 of 16 meetings between the pair, impressively losing just 12 points on serve in the final two sets.

But Nadal must wait to find out his semi-final opponent after the rain arrived in Montreal.

Monfils and Bautista Agut had played just two points when their clash was stopped and pushed back to Saturday.

 

RUSSIAN DUO CAUSE UPSETS

Thiem and Zverev, the second and third seeds respectively, bowed out with straight-sets losses.

Daniil Medvedev had lost his previous two meetings with Thiem, but the Russian needed less than an hour to crush the Austrian 6-3 6-1.

He will face compatriot Karen Khachanov, who rushed past 2017 champion Zverev 6-3 6-3.

Serena Williams is the last seed standing at the Rogers Cup as defending champion Simona Halep made a quarter-final exit on Friday.

Williams was in impressive form as she powered past Naomi Osaka in their first meeting since last year's controversial US Open final.

The American great is the only seed into the last four, with Halep's title defence coming to an end at the WTA Premier tournament.

 

WILLIAMS WONDERFUL AGAINST OSAKA

Williams has apologised for her meltdown at Flushing Meadows last year and the 23-time grand slam champion produced a brilliant display against Osaka.

Osaka had won her previous two matches against Williams in straight sets, but the 37-year-old secured a 6-3 6-4 victory over the Japanese star on Friday.

Williams may have been expecting to face Halep in a rematch of their Wimbledon final, but the Romanian bowed out against Marie Bouzkova.

The Czech qualifier continued her run, winning the first set 6-4 when Halep retired injured.

PLISKOVA, SVITOLINA STUNNED

Karolina Pliskova also exited in the quarter-finals, suffering a 6-0 2-6 6-4 loss to Canadian Bianca Andreescu.

That result meant Osaka, who later lost to Williams, will replace Ashleigh Barty atop the world rankings.

Andreescu will face Sofia Kenin after the American upset Ukrainian sixth seed Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

At 37, Williams is by far the oldest player left in the draw, with the others – Bouzkova (21), Andreescu (19) and Kenin (20) all under 22.

Rafael Nadal kept his Rogers Cup title defence alive with a three-set victory over Fabio Fognini in their quarter-final on Friday.

The top seed struggled to deal with Fognini early before coming from behind to secure a 2-6 6-1 6-2 win against the Italian seventh seed in Montreal.

Nadal lost to Fognini at Monte Carlo earlier this year, but his win at the ATP Masters 1000 event marked his 12th in 16 meetings between the pair.

A four-time champion at the tournament, the Spanish great – who now has 40 wins this year – was in trouble early as Fognini made a flying start.

Nadal, an 18-time grand slam winner, sent a forehand long to fall 2-1 behind as Fognini raced out to a 5-1 lead before claiming the opening set.

However, that drew a response from Nadal, who won the first nine points of the second set, Fognini unable to recover from a 3-0 deficit.

A break in the opening game of the decider set up Nadal, who dropped just five points on serve during the set to secure his spot in the last four.

Serena Williams produced a brilliant display to claim a straight-sets win over Naomi Osaka in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals on Friday.

In the first meeting between the stars since last year's controversial US Open final, Williams was in impressive form, recording a 6-3 6-4 victory in Toronto.

Williams' meltdown at Flushing Meadows during the decider in 2018 overshadowed what was Osaka's first grand slam success.

The 23-time grand slam champion has since apologised and, in their first meeting since, Williams delivered an impeccable performance at the WTA Premier tournament.

Impacted by slow starts this week, Williams made a better opening to her clash with Japanese star Osaka, who had to dig out of a hole at 2-3.

However, Osaka – playing more tentatively in windy conditions – sent a forehand long to give Williams, a three-time winner of the tournament, a break in the eighth game.

Williams took the set with a big serve and then broke again in the third game of the second set as Osaka, who will return to top spot in the rankings, struggled to find answers.

The American had lost her previous two meetings with Osaka, but managed to close out what was an impressive victory.

Former world number one Andy Murray has announced he will make his singles comeback in the Cincinnati Masters, which starts in Ohio on Sunday.

Murray suggested he was facing likely retirement during an emotional news conference at Melbourne Park in January, but the Briton has gradually offered a more optimistic outlook since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery and making a successful return as a doubles player.

Just five months on from his major operation, the 32-year-old won the men's doubles at Queen's Club in June alongside Feliciano Lopez.

He then also featured in the men's and mixed doubles at Wimbledon, partnering Serena Williams in the latter, before playing in the Citi Open alongside brother Jamie and teaming up with Lopez again at the Rogers Cup.

Murray has now determined he is ready to try his hand at competitive singles action once again, confirming on Facebook that he had accepted a wildcard into the Cincinnati Masters.

"That feeling when you accept a wildcard for the singles in Cinci," Murray posted on his official Facebook page, together with the hashtags "#LetsDoThis" and "#HereWeGo".

The announcement is sure to fuel speculation over Murray's potential participation in the US Open, a tournament he won in 2012 to claim the first of his three grand slam titles to date.

He went on to win Wimbledon twice after that breakthrough success at Flushing Meadows, his first triumph in 2013 ending a 77-year wait for a British men's singles champion at the grass-court slam.

Murray reached the top of the world rankings in November 2016 before his long-term hip issues became more debilitating.

After undergoing hip surgery in January 2018, Murray struggled on his comeback and cut a disconsolate figure in Melbourne this year when he suggested his illustrious career was coming to an end.

However, Murray described his latest operation, which has left him pain-free, as "life-changing" and he is now on the brink of completing a remarkable return to top-level singles action.

Rafael Nadal set a record on his way to the Rogers Cup quarter-finals, while Alexander Zverev battled through on Thursday.

Nadal, the defending champion, surpassed Roger Federer for most ATP Masters 1000 wins after brushing past Guido Pella in Montreal.

Zverev, the winner in 2017, was pushed to a final-set tie-break before edging past Nikoloz Basilashvili.

All eight quarter-finalists are seeds, who dominated to move into the last eight.

 

NADAL SURPASSES FEDERER WITH PELLA POUNDING

Top seed Nadal made it four wins from as many meetings with Pella thanks to a 6-3 6-4 victory.

The win was his 379th at ATP Masters 1000 level, moving past Federer's tally of 378.

Nadal will next face Fabio Fognini after the seventh seed got past Adrian Mannarino 6-2 7-5.

The Spanish great has been troubled by Fognini in the past, losing to the Italian in Monte Carlo earlier this year.

ZVEREV SURVIVES MAJOR TEST

Zverev, the third seed, was pushed by Basilashvili, fighting his way to a 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7-5) victory.

The German served 15 aces and 14 double faults but also created 18 break points, converting five.

Basilashvili edged Zverev in a final-set tie-break in Hamburg last month.

Zverev faces another test in the last eight, with Karen Khachanov awaiting after the Russian sixth seed overcame Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (7-9) 7-5 6-3.

TREMENDOUS THIEM POWERS THROUGH

Second seed Dominic Thiem booked his spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 victory over Croatian Marin Cilic.

Thiem will face Daniil Medvedev, the Russian eighth seed having cruised past Cristian Garin 6-3 6-3.

Gael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut will also meet after wins over Hubert Hurkacz and Richard Gasquet respectively.

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will go head-to-head for the first time since the controversial 2018 US Open decider after the pair reached the Rogers Cup quarter-finals.

Osaka prevailed against childhood hero Williams last year at Flushing Meadows, where the 23-time grand slam champion's epic meltdown contributed to her defeat.

Williams was issued a code violation for what umpire Carlos Ramos deemed to be coaching from Patrick Mouratoglou, irritating the former world number one who insisted she was not a cheat.

A point penalty for racquet abuse led to her branding Ramos a "liar" and a "thief" and she was then docked a game, after which she called for the match referee and alleged she was being treated differently to male players.

Osaka's maiden major was overshadowed by Williams' behaviour. Now, the two players are set for a rematch in Toronto.

 

SERENA SURVIVES ALEXANDROVA TEST

The 37-year-old American star was pushed by Ekaterina Alexandrova in a 7-5 6-4 victory on Thursday.

Williams trailed the Russian qualifier 3-0 in the first and 3-1 in the second, however, the eighth seed produced when it mattered most to advance at the WTA Premier event.

A three-time champion, Williams – playing for the first time since Wimbledon – said: "I definitely feel like it takes a while to get back into the rhythm, because we've had a long season of just clay and then grass, and now we're on hard courts. So it definitely feels different, especially for me now. Usually I don't feel that huge of a difference, but for whatever reason I do this year."

 

OSAKA ON TRACK TO RECLAIM TOP RANKING

Australian Open champion and second seed Osaka overcame teenager Iga Swiatek 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in the last 16.

Osaka rallied from a break and two set points down to eventually prevail against the Polish 18-year-old.

The Japanese star is on track to return to the WTA's summit on Monday ahead of Karolina Pliskova, who must beat Bianca Andreescu to have any chance of claiming the top ranking.

Pliskova accounted for Anett Kontaveit 6-3 7-5, while Andreescu outlasted Kiki Bertens 6-1 6-7 (7-9) 6-4.

 

HALEP'S TITLE DEFENCE ALIVE

Defending champion Simona Halep eased past Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 6-1 in just 67 minutes.

Halep – the fourth seed – was a class above as she reached the Rogers Cup quarters for the fifth time.

Next up for Halep is qualifier Marie Bouzkova, who stunned former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-2.

Sixth seed Elina Svitolina and Sofia Kenin also moved through to the last eight.

Former world number one Serena Williams battled past Ekaterina Alexandrova to book her spot in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals.

Williams – the eighth seed – was far from her fluid best but saw off her Russian opponent 7-5 6-4 in Toronto on Thursday.

A three-time champion of the WTA Premier event, Williams will face either second seed Naomi Osaka or teenager Iga Swiatek in the last eight.

Williams has made slow starts throughout her campaign in Canada this week and the 23-time grand slam winner continued that theme against Alexandrova.

The 37-year-old found herself trailing 3-0 in the first set, a netted forehand in the opening game setting the tone as she was broken twice.

However, Williams reeled off four successive games and won seven of nine to gain momentum against Alexandrova, who fended off three set points at 4-5.

Williams eventually closed out the set thanks to a double fault – Alexandrova's eighth – but just as the American star threatened to go on a roll, she was halted.

The veteran started the second set just like she did in the first, dropping serve and to love after sending a forehand wide in the opening game before falling 3-1 behind.

Alexandrova was a menace throughout, saving three match points but the 24-year-old was unable to prevent Williams – who was willing herself on – from advancing to the quarters.

Rafael Nadal surpassed Roger Federer for most ATP Masters 1000 wins with a comfortable victory over Guido Pella in the Rogers Cup third round on Thursday.

The defending champion eased to a 6-3 6-4 victory over Pella for his 379th win at ATP Masters 1000 level, going past Federer's tally of 378.

Nadal was in control throughout against a player he had beaten in straight sets in each of their previous three meetings.

The 18-time grand slam champion was untroubled, winning in one hour, 41 minutes to reach the quarter-finals in Montreal.

A mishit forehand from Pella handed Nadal the only break of the opening set in the second game and it was all the Spaniard needed.

Nadal broke again early in the second set, a brilliant forehand setting up an overhead at the net as he took a 2-1 lead.

However, Pella responded by breaking back in the sixth game, only for Nadal to restore his lead.

Nadal took a 4-3 lead by breaking to 15 when Pella sent a forehand well long, as he eased into the last eight and past Federer for most ATP Masters 1000 victories.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have joined fellow legend Novak Djokovic on the ATP player council.

Jamie Murray, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Robin Haase stepped down from the council following a meeting at the All England Club prior to Wimbledon.

Djokovic also acknowledged he considered joining the walkout but decided to stay on to try and resolve unfinished business.

The world number one will now be joined by fellow stars Federer and Nadal, who along with Jurgen Melzer, have replaced Stakhovsky, Murray and Haase.

"They will begin their roles with immediate effect and will serve until the end of the existing term which runs through to Wimbledon 2020," an ATP statement read.

"The position of coach representative, following the resignation of Daniel Vallverdu, is to be determined in due course."

Top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal dug deep to make a winning start at the Rogers Cup, while Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a shock defeat in Montreal.

Nadal – a four-time winner of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament – shook off rust to overcome Dan Evans in straight sets on Wednesday.

The outcome was not as good for fourth seed and last year's runner-up Tsitsipas, who was stunned by Hubert Hurkacz.

Tsitsipas was not the only seed to fall, with Kei Nishikori, Borna Coric, John Isner and Milos Raonic also departing.

 

NADAL ON TRACK FOR RECORD-EXTENDING MASTERS TITLE

World number two Nadal survived to beat Brit Evans 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 en route to the round of 16.

Nadal trailed 5-2 in the first-set tie-break but won six of the final seven points to take control and eventually the match.

Contesting his first match since losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semi-finals, Nadal claimed his 35th Rogers Cup victory and 378th Masters win – tying the Swiss superstar on the all-time leaderboard.

Nadal, who has won a record 34 Masters crowns, will face Guido Pella for a spot in the quarter-finals after the Argentinian beat Radu Albot 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-2).

 

TSITSIPAS OUSTED, CANADIAN PAIR FOLLOW

This time last year Tsitsipas reached the final, however, the 2018 runner-up was a surprise casualty on Wednesday following a 6-4 3-6 6-3 loss to Hurkacz.

Hurkacz saved nine of 10 break points against the world number five, who failed to convert any of his four chances in the third set.

Canadian duo Denis Shapovalov and Raonic, meanwhile, were sent packing.

Shapovalov was beaten 6-4 3-6 6-3 by second seed Dominic Thiem and Raonic retired due to a back injury, with countryman Felix Auger-Aliassime benefiting after the match was even at 6-3 3-6.

Thiem will meet 14th seed Marin Cilic, while sixth seed Karen Khachanov awaits Auger-Aliassime after topping Stan Wawrinka.

 

MURRAY'S DOUBLES CAMPAIGN ENDS

Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez said goodbye in Montreal, upstaged by Roland Garros finalists Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin.

A five-match winning streak was ended following a 2-6 6-3 10-8 loss in the second round of the tournament.

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka eased into the last 16 at the Rogers Cup, while Simona Halep survived a scare on Wednesday.

Williams, a three-time champion at the WTA Premier event, was in good form in her first appearance since Wimbledon, beating Elise Mertens in the second round.

Osaka moved a step closer to reclaiming the number one ranking, while Halep edged through.

 

SUPER SERENA, OSAKA CLOSE TO TOP

Williams, the eighth seed, came from a break down in each set to get past Mertens 6-3 6-3.

The American 23-time grand slam champion was in decent form against Mertens, who troubled Williams at different times.

Meanwhile, Ashleigh Barty will lose the top ranking after Osaka booked her spot in the third round.

Osaka took the first set over Tatjana Maria 6-2 before the German qualifier retired.

It means the Japanese star or Karolina Pliskova will replace Barty, who lost on Tuesday, atop the world rankings.

HALEP SURVIVES SCARE

Halep, the defending champion, moved through but only just, edging Jennifer Brady.

The Romanian fourth seed and Wimbledon champion overcame the qualifier 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) after almost two and a half hours.

It was a good day for the seeds – Pliskova and Elina Svitolina advancing with the likes of Belinda Bencic and Anett Kontaveit.

Pliskova's bid to return to the top of the rankings is alive after a 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 victory over qualifier Alison Riske.

Svitolina, meanwhile, battled past Katerina Siniakova 6-3 3-6 6-3.

 

WOE FOR WOZNIACKI

The only seed to depart was Wozniacki, who fell to 18-year-old qualifier Iga Swiatek 1-6 6-3 6-4.

Wozniacki, the 2010 champion and 2017 runner-up, led 3-0 in the final set before losing six of the final seven games to the Polish teenager.

Serena Williams powered past Elise Mertens in the second round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Wednesday.

The 23-time grand slam champion recovered from a break down in both sets to claim a 6-3 6-3 victory over Mertens midweek.

In action for the first time since her loss in the Wimbledon final, Williams – a three-time champion of the WTA Premier event – was tested.

The eighth seed was broken early in each set but rallied to claim a strong win over Mertens in the first meeting between the pair.

Williams fell 3-1 behind in the first set before reeling off five consecutive games to take the opener.

She was then broken in the second game of the second set before responding, Mertens unable to hold in the fifth game despite initially recovering from 0-40 down.

That would give Williams complete control as she moved into a last-16 clash against Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Rafael Nadal came through a testing start to his Rogers Cup defence to defeat Dan Evans 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in between the Montreal rain on Wednesday.

Nadal, playing for the first time since his Wimbledon semi-final defeat to Roger Federer, has not claimed a hard-court title since this tournament last year.

His troubles looked as though they might continue in spectacular fashion when he lost his serve in the opening game of the match, while he also fell behind in the tie-break to decide the opening set.

But world number two Nadal came roaring back - the stop-start nature of the contest due to rain scarcely slowing his progress - and will now face Radu Albot or Guido Pella in the third round.

Nadal made an extremely sloppy start, going long as he attacked with the forehand at break point on his own serve to slip behind.

There was not another point against the serve until the sixth game, but then Nadal finally outmanoeuvred Evans, drawing him out wide and capitalising to level the set.

Evans staved off a pair of set points as the opener continued in entertaining fashion until rain intervened to force the players off court.

The half-hour stoppage seemed to suit Evans as he cruised into a tie-break and zipped a backhand over the net for the first mini-break, initially protecting his advantage to set up two set points.

But sublime work from Nadal swept Evans aside to cancel out the deficit and, with the Briton under pressure for the first time, a wayward effort put the Spanish great in front.

Nadal came out flying at the start of the second, recording a dominant break before further rain halted proceedings once more.

Evans again looked to be boosted by the delay and Nadal blasted into the net to see his break wiped out, albeit his response was swift and decisive.

Evans was worn down and Nadal led once more, this time protecting his advantage to the belated finish, four and a half hours after the start time.

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