Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov, the first and third seeds, crashed out of the Auckland Open in their opening matches on Wednesday.

World number 12 Fognini was facing Feliciano Lopez, the oldest player in the draw at 38 who had already won a match earlier in the day as the tournament schedule caught up following weather delays.

Lopez beat Pablo Andujar in three close sets before coming from behind to prevail against Italian Fognini, winning 3-6 6-4 6-3 in just under two hours.

"The first match was tough for me, but I think it was very helpful because it was my first singles match of the season," said Lopez after his day of double duty.

"Without that match, I don't think I would have played the way I did against Fabio."

Australian John Millman recovered from a set down to oust Russian Khachanov 4-6 6-3 6-3.

Denis Shapovalov is the highest seed left in the draw, having defeated fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Defending champion Tennys Sandgren is out after another former winner of the event, John Isner, triumphed 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 in an all-American round-of-16 encounter.

Seeds Benoit Paire and Hubert Hurkacz made it to the quarter-finals, as did Kyle Edmund and Ugo Humbert, who will now play Shapovalov.

At the Adelaide International, Felix Auger-Aliassime won his first match against wildcard James Duckworth, a 6-3 7-6 (7-0) win sending the second seed into the last eight.

Auger-Aliassime said: "Now I'm at a point where I was top 20 in the world. I reached three finals. Now every tournament I play, I play to win. I come, I want to reach the final. I want to give myself a chance to win titles."

Qatar Open champion Andrey Rublev continued his momentum with a 6-3 6-3 win over Sam Querrey and fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta also progressed in straight sets.

There was a shock, though, as seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff was beaten 6-3 6-4 by wildcard Alex Bolt.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas joined Bolt in the quarter-finals, as did qualifiers Lloyd Harris and Tommy Paul.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have made a joint donation of 250,000 Australian dollars to the bushfire relief fund.

World number one Nadal announced the decision while taking part in the star-studded Rally4Relief event, which also included the likes of Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.

"Talking with Roger we decided to give 250,000 Australian dollars to the fire relief together," Nadal said when he was addressing the crowd.

"Hopefully that keeps inspiring the people to support this terrible disaster we are going through and helps to recover all the things that we need."

Players have announced a range of ways to support the bushfire relief efforts ever since Nick Kyrgios declared he would pay $200 for every ace he hits during the Australian summer, as well as calling on Tennis Australia to organise Wednesday's event.

Nadal, Federer and the other players involved took part in a series of matches and challenges while wearing a microphone to entertain the Melbourne crowd.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Coco Gauff and Petra Kvitova all took part.

Williams donated all of her Auckland Open winner's earnings and each of the dresses she had worn during the tournament after her victory in New Zealand last week, while Djokovic has also made a contribution.

The event came after Australian Open organisers imposed a two-hour delay on the start of qualifying matches due to the "very poor" air quality.

Bushfires across Australia have resulted in the deaths of at least 28 people, while an estimated 10 million hectares of land has been burned since July 1.

The Rally4Relief helped the overall fund reach just under $5million

Federer said: "Incredible number, so much needed, hope it keeps going. The Australian Open is only just around the corner now and hopefully much more money will come together. This was definitely an incredible kick off.

"This country all comes together for other people and that is a true inspiration for other countries around the world who are watching this now."

Australian Open organisers imposed a two-hour delay on the start of qualifying matches on Wednesday due to the "very poor" air quality from the ongoing bushfires in the country.

Hazardous conditions put back the first qualifying matches on Tuesday, with Dalila Jakupovic falling to her knees and experiencing breathing difficulties that forced the Slovenian to retire from her meeting with Stefanie Voegele.

Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria said the "very poor" conditions were forecast to improve with the chance of a storm.

Play was consequently set to begin at 13:00 local time (02:00 GMT).

"Practice has been suspended until 11am this morning due to air quality concerns, and play won’t start before 1pm," read a statement from Tennis Australia. 

"Conditions at Melbourne Park are being constantly monitored and further decisions will be made using the onsite data and in close consultation with our medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists from EPA Victoria. 

"The on-site data and measurements early this morning were similar to yesterday, when practice and play were suspended and delayed. Conditions yesterday were forecast to improve throughout the day, which is what occurred. 

"Play and practice at tournaments in Traralgon and Bendigo, along with a junior event at Royal Park in Melbourne have also been suspended."

Bushfires across Australia have resulted in the deaths of at least 28 people, while an estimated 10 million hectares of land has been burned since July 1.

Robert Farah, the world's number one ranked male doubles player, tested positive for a banned substance in October.

A winner of Wimbledon and the US Open alongside Colombian compatriot Juan Sebastian Cabal in 2019, Farah and the ITF confirmed the positive out-of-competition test on Tuesday.

Farah had already pulled out of the Australian Open, citing "personal reasons".

"The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme can confirm that Robert Farah provided an Out-of-Competition sample on 17 October 2019, which returned a positive finding for Boldenone," a tweet from the ITF's media account read. 

"This case will follow the procedures set out in Article 8 of the TADP."

Farah blamed the positive sample on contaminated meat. Boldenone is a steroid banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but it is frequently used by Colombian farmers to boost growth in cows.

"I'm sure that's what generated the result from the test in question," Farah said in a statement released on his social media accounts.

"I'm going through one of the saddest moments of my life and, without a doubt, the saddest of my sporting career.

"With my team and a group of advisers we're looking into the steps to take in a process in which we hope to show that I've never used any products that violate fair play and ethics."

News of Farah's positive test comes after the ITF revealed Nicolas Jarry, the world number 78 in singles, failed a test at the Davis Cup in November, his sample containing traces of Ligandrol and Stanozolol.

Nicolas Jarry says there is "no doubt" he is innocent after the world number 78 was provisionally suspended for an anti-doping violation.

The International Tennis Federation on Tuesday announced the 24-year-old Chilean tested positive for non-specified substances Ligandrol metabolite and Stanozolol metabolite.

Jarry was charged as a result of a urine sample which was taken during the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid last November, but he denies any wrongdoing.

"Last November, while I was playing [in the] Davis Cup for Chile, I underwent two urine tests," Jarry posted on Instagram.

"The first one was clean but the second one detected two banned substances. The levels of these substances are so incredibly low that they are equivalent to trillionths of a gram, levels so low that neither substance could have provided me any performance-enhancing benefit.

"I would like to let you know that I have never deliberately or intentionally taken any banned substance in my career as a tennis player, in fact I am completely opposed to doping.

"Therefore, I dedicate these next days and weeks fully to determine where these substances came from so my legal team and I can clarify the situation completely.

"This has caught me and my loved ones by absolute surprise and what I would like to do beyond proving my innocence (no doubt about that) is to in future use what is happening to me as an example for all young athletes, so that cases like this never happen again.

"I say this because it strongly looks like a cross-contamination cause [from] the use of multi-vitamins made in Brazil, which my doctor recommended I take since they were guaranteed to be free from banned substances.

"My legal team and I will be working very strongly to prove my innocence and for this I have offered my full cooperation to the International Tennis Federation (ITF)."

Seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff moved safely through to the last 16 of the Adelaide International, while Dan Evans reached the quarter-finals.

Struff was the only seed in action on Tuesday at the first edition of the tournament and he defeated lucky loser Salvatore Caruso 6-4 6-2.

Like Struff, Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas won his first-round match, as did qualifier Tommy Paul and wildcard Alex Bolt.

Evans, meanwhile, is the first man into the last eight after he saw off Alexander Bublik 7-5 6-2.

Inclement weather heavily affected proceedings at the Auckland Open, though there was still time for John Millman to reach the last 16 with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over qualifier Michael Mmoh.

Millman will play Karen Khachanov in round two, with Vasek Pospisil – a winner over Joao Sousa – set to face rising star Denis Shapovalov in an all-Canadian encounter.

Kyle Edmund defeated wildcard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 4-6 6-3 in a back-and-forth contest.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley insisted players would not be put in danger amid air quality concerns in Melbourne.

Play was delayed on the opening day of qualifying on Tuesday due to poor air quality caused by bushfires in Australia.

While organisers faced criticism for allowing play to begin, Tiley said players would not be put at risk.

"We reiterated with the players that we're making a decision based on advice, based on expert advice," he told a news conference.

"We're not going to put them in harm's way or make any decision that's going to negatively impact their health and wellbeing.

"We have a track record of that when it comes to extreme heat. I think we're one of the few major events that has to manage extreme heat like we do.

"But this is a new experience for all of us, how we manage air quality and therefore we've got to rely on those experts that advise us on how best to continue."

Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic retired during her qualifier against Stefanie Voegele when leading 6-4 5-6, with reports suggesting she was struggling with her breathing.

Australian Open qualifying was delayed on Tuesday due to poor air quality as smoke from bushfires in Australia impacted Melbourne.

Play was due to get underway at 10:00 local time (23:00 GMT), but thick smoke blanketed Melbourne, leading to it being pushed back by an hour.

Bushfires have ravaged Australia in recent months and there have been concerns over player and spectator welfare at the year's first grand slam, with the main draw beginning on Monday.

The poor air quality has already impacted the event, with the Australian Open announcing practice had also been suspended during the morning on Tuesday.

"Practice was temporarily suspended this morning due to poor air quality," a statement read.

"Qualifying matches will begin at 11am. Conditions onsite are improving and are being constantly monitored.

"Further decisions will be made using onsite data and in close consultation with our medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists from EPA Victoria.

"As always the health and safety of our players, our staff and our fans is our priority."

Air quality in Melbourne has been in the 'hazardous' and 'very poor' range since midnight local time (13:00 GMT) in readings provided by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria.

Benoit Paire held off a fighting challenge from rising star Jannik Sinner to move into the second round of the Auckland Open, while top seed Alex de Minaur withdrew from the Adelaide International.

At the first edition of the ATP tournament in Adelaide, sixth seed Cristian Garin fell to Lloyd Harris, the South African qualifier winning 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-4.

Jeremy Chardy defeated fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon in straight sets, with Dan Evans, Sam Querrey and home hope James Duckworth the other players to progress.

The action came as top seed De Minaur pulled out of the event after aggravating an abdominal injury while representing Australia at the ATP Cup.

"I have seen the physios, I have seen the doctors and I will be continuing to do that for the whole of the week and hopefully I will be ready to play in Melbourne," De Minaur said ahead of the Australian Open.

In Auckland, Italian Sinner – winner of the Next Generation ATP Finals in November – took number five seed Paire to a final set but the Frenchman eventually prevailed 6-4 2-6 6-4 in one hour and 55 minutes.

Defending champion Tennys Sandgren started his campaign with a routine 6-4 6-3 triumph over wildcard Michael Venus.

But last year's beaten finalist Cameron Norrie was knocked out in straight sets by qualifier Thiago Monteiro, with American Frances Tiafoe also being eliminated at the hands of qualifier Mikael Ymer.

Hubert Hurkacz and Ugo Humbert saw off Lorenzo Sonego and Casper Ruud respectively in Monday's other matches.

Novak Djokovic believes there is no clear favourite for the men's singles at the Australian Open and says the 'big three' will be challenged at the opening slam of the year.

The last 12 majors have been shared between Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, with Stan Wawrinka the last man other than the trio to win a slam at the 2016 US Open.

Djokovic impressed during the inaugural ATP Cup last week, scoring wins over Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Kevin Anderson en route to helping Serbia to glory.

The 16-time slam winner accepts the usual suspects will be considered favourites in Melbourne, but tipped the likes of Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem to challenge.

"I think it's really open, the Australian Open or any other slam," Djokovic told reporters.

"I don't think there are really clear favourites. You have obviously Federer, Nadal, myself because of the experience and everything and the rankings that we get to be probably named the top three favourites.

"But then you have Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem that are really showing some amazing tennis.

"They showed that they matured on the big stage, that they can challenge the best players in the world and win against them.

"So, everybody keeps on talking about a NextGen player winning a slam. It seems like it's getting closer. Hopefully not this year. We'll see."

While Djokovic and Nadal have geared up for the Australian Open by playing the ATP Cup, helping Serbia and Spain to the final respectively, Federer opted to stay home and train in his native Switzerland.

Federer insists he has no fitness concerns despite not playing a competitive match since November.

"I've trained long and hard in the off-season and I didn't have any setbacks, which is crucial," Federer said.

On the continued success he, Djokovic and Nadal have enjoyed, Federer added: "I'm aware that at 38 I shouldn't be the favourite, it should be someone probably in their 20s, but the three of us have been able to stay as the favourites, which is great for us.

"Both guys are already showing great signs. I was watching a little bit of their ATP Cup match and thought that was a great match.

"Both guys, injury free, are always tough to beat."

Rafael Nadal feels there needs to be an agreement between the ITF and the ATP to create a single "world cup" as opposed to the separate Davis Cup and ATP Cup.

ATP world number one Nadal starred in Spain's triumph at the Davis Cup - organised by the ITF - in November, but he and his country were on the losing side at the inaugural ATP Cup on Sunday, going down to Novak Djokovic's Serbia.

The Spaniard enjoyed the new tournament but suggested the two competitions were a source of confusion.

"[The ATP Cup] is a long competition. It's a tough way to start the season," Nadal said. "I don't know. I think it's a great competition but, at the same time, I can't change my mind.

"Two world cups in [just over] one month is not real. It's not possible. So, we need to find a way to fix it and we need to find a way to make a big deal with ITF and ATP to create a big world team cup competition, not two world cups in one month.

"I think that's confusing for the spectators. We need to be clear in our sport.

"And for the health of our sport and the benefit of our sport, in my opinion, it is mandatory that we fix it.

"I think it is a great competition. I am excited to be part of it, excited to represent my country.

"I enjoyed sharing the week with my friends on the team. The organisation has been fantastic, honestly, everything as good as possible. Just, in my mind, we need to create one thing and not two."

Meanwhile, Nadal was unhappy with some sections of the crowd in Sydney, where a partisan Serbian contingent roared on rival Djokovic, who beat the world number one 6-2 7-6 (7-4) in the second singles rubber, before joining forces with Viktor Troicki to beat Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-4 in the doubles decider.

"Honestly, the crowd was fantastic every single day," Nadal continued. "But, sometimes, people from some countries, they probably don't understand how tennis is.

"They think it is more like football, but the atmosphere in tennis is different. The respect for the players should be there. At some point, the respect - from a small part of the crowd - was not there."

Novak Djokovic drove Serbia to glory in the ATP Cup final, sinking Spain with a sublime singles win over Rafael Nadal and a clinical doubles performance.

Tuning up for the defence of his Australian Open title, Djokovic helped Serbia recover from the loss of the first singles rubber, when Roberto Bautista Agut scored a 7-5 6-1 victory over Dusan Lajovic.

With the pressure growing late on Sunday evening in Sydney, Djokovic rose to the occasion against world number one Nadal and landed a 6-2 7-6 (7-4) success for a 29th win in the pair's 55-match career rivalry.

That meant the inaugural edition of this event would be decided on doubles, and while Djokovic returned after a brief break to partner Viktor Troicki for Serbia, Nadal was only a spectator.

Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez lined up for Spain, but they could not resist the Serbian pairing and fell 6-3 6-4, the match ending at 01:05 local time on Monday morning.

An emotional Djokovic said of Serbia's 2-1 triumph: "I'll remember this experience for the rest of my life as it is definitely one of the nicest moments in my career."

Nadal was as intense at courtside as he can be in match action, but he was also essentially powerless to influence the outcome as Davis Cup winners Spain fell short of what would have been a famous double.

Serbia, backed by a large contingent of their supporters roaring approval inside the Ken Rosewall Arena, moved one game away from the trophy after a strong service game from Troicki.

And while Lopez and Carreno Busta staved off the immediate threat, there was never any doubting Djokovic would complete the job once he got ball in hand.

He served out to love, sank to the court, then embraced Troicki before being mobbed by the rest of the Serbia squad.

Djokovic hurled a racket into the crowd, caught by a thrilled female fan, before he and Troicki wrapped themselves in a Serbia flag.

Djokovic said on Amazon Prime: "I've been very fortunate and blessed to have an amazing career in the last 15 years, but playing for the team and playing for the country with some of my best friends for a long, long time, you just can't match that, that's too special."

Troicki explained teaming up with Djokovic had been a treat, saying: "I remember playing with him since we were nine, 10, and to share such a moment with him... I'll remember it for the rest of my life. It's unreal."

Reilly Opelka squandered three match points to join fellow American seed Taylor Fritz in suffering a first-round exit at the inaugural Adelaide International.

Eighth seed Opelka took the first set against Pablo Cuevas and passed up three opportunities in a second-set tie-break before succumbing to a 5-7 7-6 (11-9) 7-6 (7-2) defeat.

Fritz, seeded fifth, slipped to a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) loss to Alexander Bublik, who now owns a 2-0 lead in their head-to-head record having also triumphed in Chengdu last year.

In the day's other match, Laslo Djere needed three sets to defeat Alexei Popyrin.

Novak Djokovic extended his hard-court dominance against Rafael Nadal as he brought Serbia level with Spain in the ATP Cup final.

After Roberto Bautista Agut fended off Dusan Lajovic 7-5 6-1 in the opening rubber, the Sydney crowd saw the world's top two players lock horns in a critical showdown.

Djokovic took it 6-2 7-6 (7-4) for a 29th win in his 55-match rivalry with Nadal, who helped Spain win the Davis Cup last year.

And that meant the inaugural ATP Cup would be decided by a doubles showdown, which was set to get under way after 23:00 local time.

Djokovic and Nadal have played each other more times in singles than any men's tennis rival pairing in the Open era and this latest meeting went largely in keeping with recent trends.

Nadal had won three of their past five matches, but all those wins came on clay, his preferred surface, while Djokovic's successes in the mini sequence came on grass in the 2018 Wimbledon semi-finals and on hard court in last year's one-sided Australian Open final.

Djokovic was made to work harder than the scoreline suggested to take the opening set, and then the world number two withstood severe pressure on his serve in the sixth game of the second set, fending off five break points including three at love-40.

It was Nadal's turn to produce heroics in the 11th game, saving two break points - the first with a volley onto the baseline and the second when lashing a backhand clean winner down the line.

With a large Serbian contingent inside the Ken Rosewall Arena, the crowd favoured Djokovic, yet the match was still in the balance as it went to the second-set tie-break.

Djokovic gave himself a crucial mini break to lead 5-4 though, lancing a backhand out of Nadal's reach. Nadal sliced inches wide and then lashed a forehand into the net, and the rubber belonged to Serbia.

Djokovic said: "Every time I get to play Rafa, we get to play a lot of exciting points. There were some incredible exchanges today. I started off the match perfectly really, everything worked for me.

"I think my serve got me out of trouble in the second set when he was love-40. If he broke my serve at that moment, the match could have easily gone to a third set and it's anybody's game.

"I'm just really glad to hold my nerve in the end."

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."

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