Kei Nishikori's comeback surprised the former world number four, who survived a major scare to advance at the Barcelona Open.

Nishikori trailed 6-4 4-2 and was forced to break serve as Guido Pella attempted to close out the match in the second set, before sensationally rallying to a 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win on Monday.

A two-time champion at the ATP 500 tournament on the Barcelona clay, Nishikori broke serve on three occasions in the final set en route to the second round.

"He had the match today at 6-5, serving [for the match]," said Nishikori. "He was much better in the first and second [sets] and 3-0 up in the tie-break. I don't know how I fought through. [In the] third set, I was playing much better.

"I was making so many unforced errors in the first and second [sets]. Maybe he got a little bit tired and I was playing strong in the third set. I want to take that to the next round… The way I fought today and the way I played in the third set was good."

Next up for 2014 US Open finalist Nishikori is 13th seed Cristian Garin.

Ilya Ivashka topped Tallon Griekspoor 6-3 6-1 and the qualifier's reward is a showdown with top seed and 20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal.

Cameron Norrie, Pablo Andujar, Jeremy Chardy, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Jaume Munar, Federico Gaio, Egor Gerasimov and Bernabe Zapata Miralles all advanced to the last 32.

At the Serbia Open, seeds Filip Krajinovic and John Millman booked their spots in the round of 16.

With the ATP 250 tournament being staged for the first time since 2012 and headlined by world number one Novak Djokovic, Serbian fifth seed Krajinovic overcame Stefano Travaglia 7-5 5-7 6-3 in a Belgrade rollercoaster.

Millman – the Australian seventh seed – took down local wildcard Danilo Petrovic 7-5 6-4 as Marco Cecchinato and Nikola Milojevic won through.

Roger Federer has confirmed he will grace the clay courts at the French Open and Geneva Open.

The 20-time grand slam champion made his comeback at the Qatar Open last month after a long absence following knee surgery.

Federer was beaten by Nikoloz Basilashvili at the quarter-final stage in Doha before opting against playing in Dubai and Miami.

The 39-year-old Swiss on Sunday announced he will feature on home soil in a Geneva Open event that gets under way on May 16.

World number seven Federer will also be in the draw for the second grand slam of the year at Roland Garros, where he reached the semi-final two years ago in his first appearance at the Paris major since 2015.

He tweeted: "Hi everyone! Happy to let you know that I will play Geneva and Paris.

"Until then, I will use the time to train. Can't wait to play in Switzerland again."

Rafael Nadal will be a strong favourite to surpass Federer's tally of grand slam titles in Paris, where he has won the French Open a record 13 times.

Stefanos Tsitsipas landed the first Masters 1000 title of his career as he scored a thumping 6-3 6-3 win over Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo.

The Greek star had lost his previous two finals at this level, with Rafael Nadal denying him in Toronto and Novak Djokovic beating him in Madrid.

However, he had the measure of Russian Rublev on the Monte Carlo clay on Sunday, breaking his opponent's serve three times and giving away nothing on his own delivery.

Tsitsipas, who lives in Monte Carlo, said he had experienced an "unbelievable week", declaring it was the pinnacle of his career to date.

"I can't describe the feelings right now," he said on Amazon Prime. "I'm overwhelmed by so many different emotions.

"It's incredible I'm able to be in the position I am, and I think we both deserved being in the final and put on an amazing fight and an amazing show.

"Generally I would consider it the week of my life so far. I knew he was going to be a very difficult opponent to face and there were a lot of nerves coming into that match.

"I've played him in the past, he always wants to bring the best out of us when facing each other."

Rublev beat 11-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal in the quarter-finals, but the 23-year-old could not hit the heights of that performance in the title match.

Tsitsipas, 22, said: "I'm just proud of the way I managed to behave and to be out on the court today.

"The clay-court season couldn't start better and it's the best thing right now, winning my first Masters 1000, and it's even more special doing it here on home soil in Monte Carlo and doing it on clay which is my favourite surface."

Andrey Rublev reflected on an "amazing feeling" as he booked a Monte Carlo Masters final appearance against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Russian has had a remarkable week at the Masters 1000 event that included a stunning win over 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

Rublev continued his fine run with a 6-3 7-5 win over Casper Ruud on Saturday to ensure he will do battle against Tsitsipas in his first final at this level.

Tsitsipas comfortably saw off Dan Evans – who had beaten Novak Djokovic earlier in the tournament – winning his semi-final 6-2 6-1.

Rublev had 21 winners in his 80-minute victory over Ruud and has a record of 24-4 this season, the ATP Tour's best.

"It is an amazing feeling - it is my first [Masters] final, so I am really happy," said Rublev. 

"We will see what is going to happen [in the final]. I will try to do my best.

"Casper is a really amazing player, especially on clay. Since the beginning he put a really high intensity [on the court] and was really tough. 

"I knew that I needed to raise my level if I wanted to fight against him, because if I [did] not raise the level I [would] lose for sure."

Rublev defeated Tsitsipas in straight sets on his way to winning an ATP 500 title in Rotterdam last month.

Six of his eight ATP titles have come since the start of last year.

It took Tsitsipas, who has not won a tournament for 14 months, only one hour and nine minutes to see off the challenge of Evans, forcing 11 break points to the Briton's one.

"I am indeed pleased with the performance," Tsitsipas said, with the Greek yet to drop a set in Monte Carlo.

"I found ways to play at my best. It was really difficult to maintain my level of consistency and I am really happy I managed to deal with all the different moments during the match.

"I'm feeling good. I'm feeling energised. I still have plenty of gas and energy left in me. I was able to have all of my matches done in two sets, so that is a big plus. 

"I am happy to be able to play that way, just take it match by match, approach each individual match with the same intensity and energy - I'm really focused for Sunday."

Rublev has won three of his six career meetings with Tsitsipas and one of their two battles on clay.

Tsitsipas will be competing in his third Masters final, having lost to Nadal and Djokovic in his two previous appearances, the last of which came two years ago in Madrid.

Overall, Tsitsipas has won just five of his 13 ATP finals.

Rafael Nadal was dumped out of the Monte Carlo Masters as Andrey Rublev completed a superb 6-2 4-6 6-2 victory in their quarter-final clash.

Nadal went into the meeting with a 73-5 record at the event but Russian Rublev was in inspired form to stun his Spanish opponent.

The 11-time champion looked set to complete a trademark comeback after taking a 74-minute second set, yet Rublev held firm in the decider to claim a memorable victory after two hours and 33 minutes on court.

"I cannot imagine being in the situation of Rafa, knowing that you are the best player on clay and you have that pressure every time," Rublev said, according to the ATP Tour website.

"I think for him it must be incredibly tough every time. I am in shock [with] the way he is playing under this pressure and that is why he is a legend."

Rublev will face Casper Ruud in Saturday's semi-final after he overcame defending champion Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-3.

Dan Evans followed up his superb victory over Novak Djokovic on Thursday with a slender win over David Goffin to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final.

World number 33 Evans, who had come into the tournament having lost his previous 10 matches on clay, overcame Goffin 5-7 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 42 minutes.

"I am proud of how I came back today, especially with what happened in the first set," he said after the match.

"I felt my concentration wasn't great and I am really happy with coming through. Yesterday would not have been worth it with a bad performance today."

Evans will face Stefanos Tsitsipas, who progressed when opponent Alejandro Davidovich Fokina retired injured in their quarter-final.

Spaniard Davidovich Fokina did not return for the second set after earlier receiving treatment during the first, which Tsitsipas won 7-5.

Novak Djokovic admitted he played an "awful" match against Dan Evans at the Monte Carlo Masters as Rafael Nadal advanced with ease to the quarter-finals.

World number one Djokovic, playing in his first tournament since winning a ninth Australian Open in February, suffered his first defeat of 2021 on Thursday.

Evans, who had never before reached the last eight of a Masters 1000 tournament, won 6-4 7-5 with a performance that belied his relative lack of success on clay.

The 30-year-old Briton will now meet David Goffin, who surprised fifth seed Alexander Zverev 6-4 7-6 (9-7).

"To be honest, this has been probably one of the worst matches and performances from my side I can recall in the last years," said Djokovic. "I don't want to take anything away from his win, but from my side, I just felt awful on the court overall. Just nothing worked. It's one of those days."

Saying he felt "completely the opposite" to Wednesday's win over Jannik Sinner, Djokovic added: "Just was obviously very, very windy, tough to play in these kinds of conditions against a guy like Evans who makes you move. He's very unpredictable with his shots. He dismantled my game."

Eleven-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal had no such problems in his match as he dismissed Grigor Dimitrov 6-1 6-1 in 55 minutes.

Nadal, who boasts a 14-1 career record against the Bulgarian, did not face a break point in either set against his off-colour opponent.

Dimitrov started the match with three double faults in his opening service game and was 4-0 down in each set.

"[I am] sorry for him. He played a bad match. That is the truth," said Spaniard Nadal. "He made a lot of mistakes. I was there. I was doing the right thing, but it is true that today was more his fault than my good tennis."

Nadal will face Andrey Rublev after the Russian battled past Roberto Bautista-Agut 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-3.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Cristian Garin 6-3 6-4, will face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina next, while Fabio Fognini's straight-sets win over Filip Krajinovic set up a meeting with Casper Ruud.

Dan Evans produced a stunning victory over Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Masters, revealing the world number one had irritated him before the match even began.

A 6-4 7-5 victory for 33rd-ranked Evans in his first career clash with Djokovic carried the Briton through to his first Masters 1000 quarter-final and inflicted a first defeat of 2021 on his opponent.

The seeds of the upset were planted before the players hit the court, Evans later revealed, with the 30-year-old having been irked at having to wait for Djokovic in the locker room.

Top seed Djokovic was playing his first tournament since winning the Australian Open in February, for his 18th grand slam title, and he found it tough against a player who has previously enjoyed little success on clay.

"I thought I did a good job to get out of my service games. He had so many break points but didn't take them, so I was a little lucky there," Evans told Amazon Prime.

"I ran around the first second serve I got, to tell him I'm not going to just stand back and rally, I'm going to try to hit his second serve a little, and I got a few doubles out there."

Djokovic served four double faults, with Evans setting the tone for the match by surging 3-0 ahead early in the opening set.

"He kept me waiting at the start of the match in the changing rooms a little bit, so it was a little annoying," Evans said. "I was ready to go from that, so that got me a little extra fired up."

Rather than being intimidated by the presence of Djokovic on the other side of the net, Evans indicated he treated the Serbian like just another opponent, there to be beaten.

"That's why we roll the balls out, it's one against one and we've got to see who wins," Evans said.

"He gave me some cheap ones today which he never normally does, so I was a little lucky there, but I'm just really happy with coming through."

Evans' win was hailed by former British number one Tim Henman, who said: "He played fantastic tennis. In difficult conditions, he was the one that really dealt with it so well.

"Those first three games where he got up a double break, that probably changed his mindset. It increased his belief and Djokovic was frustrated, but in so many critical moments it was Evans who came up with the great tennis.

"It's an unbelievable achievement. Evans has won so few matches on clay so to beat the world number one, it's an amazing win."

World number two Daniil Medvedev has pulled out of the Monte Carlo Masters after returning a positive coronavirus test.

The Russian, who was given a bye for the first round, went into isolation after returning a positive test on Monday.

"It's a big disappointment not to play in Monte Carlo," he said in a statement. "My focus is now on recovery and I look forward to getting back out on Tour as soon and as safely as possible."

Medvedev, who lost the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic in January, had been practising with 11-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal on Monday.

The 25-year-old last played at the Miami Open at the end of March, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Roberto Bautista Agut.

Rain curtailed much of Monday's schedule at the Monte Carlo Masters but it could not prevent Aslan Karatsev from continuing his hugely impressive start to the season.

Karatsev, a surprise Australian Open semi-finalist and a champion in Dubai last month, overcame Lorenzo Musetti, the Italian teenager who was a semi-finalist in Acapulco in March, in straight sets after a four-hour rain delay.

He went into that interruption with a 4-3 lead in the first set and duly polished off the next two games on his return to the court.

The Russian sent down 23 winners as he completed a 6-3 6-4 win in 88 minutes, his last a cross-court backhand that set up a second-round meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

"It was a really tough match [for] my first match of the season on clay [with] tough weather conditions," said Karatsev.

"We started in the morning [and] I started pretty well, I broke him and then the court was getting heavy, the ball was heavy.

"It is tough to play against him. [He is] really fit, [he] runs a lot and gives everything back, so you have to build the point by yourself and close the point by yourself."

There were mixed fortunes for Australians Alex de Minaur and John Millman in Monaco.

De Minaur went down to a surprise straight-sets defeat to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina but Millman broke Ugo Humbert four times in a 6-3 6-3 win.

Next for Millman is either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Cristian Garin, whose first-round contest was among those unable to finish because of the inclement weather on the Cote d'Azur.

Tommy Paul also progressed to the next round, with five matches on court when play was cancelled for the day.

David Goffin made an encouraging start to the Monte Carlo Masters as he beat Marin Cilic, though Jordan Thompson found things much harder against Benoit Paire.

World number 14 Goffin had lost his previous three matches heading to Monaco, but the Belgian delivered a sharp performance on Sunday, winning 6-4 3-6 6-0.

Open Sud de France champion Goffin did not start well, and had to come from 3-0 down in the first set, but Cilic made 52 unforced errors to help his opponent progress.

"It’s a good win. [This is my] first tournament on clay [in 2021]. Starting with a victory is good," said 2017 Monte Carlo semi-finalist Goffin, quoted on the ATP website.

"I did what I needed to do to win that match. I was playing better and better. In the first and second set, I had problems with the returns. In the third set, I was more consistent. It was a good match."

Goffin will face Marco Cecchinato or Dominik Koepfer in the second round, where he has been joined by Australian Jordan Thompson.

Thompson, the world number 62, needed three hours and two tie-breaks to beat Paire 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5), as the Frenchman's dismal string of results in 2021 continued.

Paire has now won just one of 10 matches this calendar year, while Thompson registered a fifth win of the season.

Pablo Carreno Busta won his first home ATP Tour title at the Andalucia Open on Sunday, while Lorenzo Sonego triumphed in Cagliari.

Hunting a fifth Tour title, top-seed Carreno Busta needed three sets to overcome compatriot Jaume Munar 6-1 2-6 6-4 in Marbella.

It is his 200th tour-level win, though it took him two hours and 21 minutes to claim his maiden Spanish title, and his first win since 2019.

Carreno Busta certainly had to work hard for it, with Munar having battled to 4-4 in the decider.

Yet a seventh break point of the ninth game was taken by Carreno Busta, whose powerful backhand return forced his 23-year-old opponent into an error.

Meanwhile, Sonego became the first Italian since Filippo Volandri in October 2006 to win an ATP Tour title on home soil as he overcame Laslo Djere in the Sardegna Open. 

Serbian Djere was on a nine-match winning streak in Italy, but Sonego – who won the doubles title on Saturday – succeeded 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Sonego is the first player since Feliciano Lopez at the 2019 Queen's Club Championships to win both the doubles and singles titles, and the first Italian to do so since Matteo Berrettini at the 2018 Swiss Open Gstaad.

It represents a second tour-level triumph for world number 34 Sonego, who previously won the 2019 Antalya Open.

Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta and fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar will meet in the Andalucia Open final on Sunday. 

Carreno Busta was pushed all the way by Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a pulsating semi-final, ultimately coming through 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5). 

"It was so close. I don't know what happened in the second set," Carreno said. "At the beginning of the match, I was very focussed on my game and being aggressive. 

"After that, Albert, of course, started to push [back] more and [I] started to lose my level a little bit. 

"I just kept fighting all the time, and I want to thank everyone [in the crowd] for their support. This is what we missed last year, the crowd. It's very important to play these kinds of very close matches with a crowd like this."

He will take on Munar after the 23-year-old edged past Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. 

Munar, who reached a final on the ATP Challenger Tour last week, said: "I feel happy and excited. I've been working a lot during the last [few] months. 

"It's a gift for me to be here in a final, and especially in Marbella which is one of my favourite places. I feel excited."

Elsewhere, Lorenzo Sonego is aiming to become the first Italian to win an ATP Tour clay-court title on home soil for 15 years when he takes on Laslo Djere in the final of the Sardegna Open on Sunday. 

Sonego, 25, overcame American Taylor Fritz 6-4 5-7 6-1 to give himself the opportunity to add to his Antalya Open title from 2019. 

Standing in his way is Serbian Djere, who cruised past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2 6-0 in just 52 minutes. 

Djere was in control from the outset and from 3-2 in the first set went on to win nine straight games, helping him to his third ATP Tour final.

Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta led a clean sweep for home players to head up an all-Spanish semi-final slate at the Andalucia Open, where teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz made history.

Carreno Busta demolished seventh seed Soonwoo Kwon 6-4 6-0, while Casper Ruud was stunned in straight sets by wildcard Alcaraz.

The 17-year-old backed up his victory over the veteran Feliciano Lopez in style, becoming the youngest ATP Tour semi-finalist since Alexander Zverev at Hamburg in 2014 with a 6-2 6-4 win.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas will face Carreno Busta after beating Norbert Gombos 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-4, while Alcarez is next on the agenda for compatriot Jaume Munar, who was taken the distance by Ilya Ivashka having overcome second seed Fabio Fognini on Thursday.

Taylor Fritz continued his solid form this season with a straight sets victory over Aljaz Bedene to reach the semi-finals of Sardegna Open.

Fritz is playing as the US number one for the first time in Cagliari this week and he made light work of Bedene, prevailing 6-3 6-4 to book a showdown with third seed Lorenzo Sonego, who beat Yannick Hanfmann 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 despite being 3-5 down in the second.

Seeded second and ranked 30 in the world, Fitz improved his 2021 record to 11-5 and will look to avenge a defeat in his only other meeting with Sonego on clay, when he lost at Roland Garros last year.

Lorenzo Musetti thrilled as he saved four match points to sink top seed Dan Evans on Thursday but bowed out after another epic, losing to Serbia's Laslo Djere 6-4 4-6 6-2 in two hours and 21 minutes.

Djere, who beat sixth seen John Millman en route to the quarter-finals, will face Nikoloz Basilashvili after the battle between seeds four and five ended 7-5 4-6 6-3 in the Georgian's favour.

Top seed Dan Evans was knocked out of the Sardegna Open as Lorenzo Musetti saved four match points to progress to the quarter-finals.

NIneteen-year-old Musetti trailed 6-3 in the third-set tie-break after letting an earlier match point slip through his grasp.

But Evans could not convert any of his first three match points and, after Musetti let another one go begging, the Briton failed to take advantage of his fourth opportunity.

Evans' profligacy eventually proved costly, Musetti converting his third match point with a well-executed forehand drop shot to clinch a 6-1 1-6 7-6 (10-8) triumph.

Seven of Musetti's 12 ATP Tour level wins have now come against players in the top 35 of the rankings.

"The secret for me is not to think about [their ranking], to just play them like other opponents," said Musetti, quoted on the ATP website. "I try to play my game… and try to play as good as I can.

"That is what I did. With them, I always play good. I don't know why. I have no pressure and I feel free. I have no pressure to win and today was the same."

Sixth seed John Millman lost in straight sets to Laslo Djere, but third seed Lorenzo Sonego eased past Gilles Simon 6-4 6-1 to set up a meeting with Yannick Hanfmann, who overcame Marco Cecchinato.

At the Andalucia Open, the seeds tumbled out in Thursday's action.

Second seed Fabio Fognini was thrashed 6-2 6-1 by Jaume Munar, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina lost in straight sets to Ilya Ivashka and sixth seed Feliciano Lopez was undone by a comeback from Carlos Alcaraz.

Seventeen-year-old Alcaraz recovered after losing the first set to beat veteran Lopez 4-6 6-2 6-4. Bucking the trend of the day, third seed Casper Ruud prevailed 6-3 6-2 against Gianluca Mager.

The French Open will take place a week later than initially scheduled this year, a move aimed at increasing the possibility of spectators attending the event in Paris.

Action at Roland Garros was due to begin with qualifying on May 17, reverting back to a more traditional time in the tennis calendar after taking place last year in September and October.

That move was made due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, taking place after the US Open while Wimbledon was cancelled.

With France currently in a third nationwide lockdown as part of measures to slow the rise in COVID-19 cases, the ATP and WTA Tours released a joint statement on Thursday confirming the main draw at Roland Garros will now begin on May 30 instead.

"Tennis has required an agile approach to the calendar over the past 12 months in order to manage the challenges of the pandemic, and this continues to be the case," the statement read.

"The decision to delay the start of Roland Garros by one week has been made in the context of recently heightened COVID-19 restrictions in France, with the additional time improving the likelihood of enhanced conditions and ability to welcome fans at the event.

"Both the ATP and WTA are working in consultation with all parties impacted by the postponement to optimise the calendar for players, tournaments and fans, in the lead-up to and following Roland Garros.

"Further updates will be communicated in due course."

Rafael Nadal is the defending men's champion, the Spaniard having secured the clay-court title for a 13th time in 2020. However, there was a new winner in the women's tournament, Iga Swiatek of Poland defeating Sofia Kenin in the final.

A statement released from the Grand Slam Board backed the move to postpone the French Open, while also announcing the grass-court season will be reduced by one week as a consequence.

"All four grand slam tournaments are united in their view on the importance of a meaningful build-up to every grand slam, to provide players of all competitive levels with appropriate opportunities to practice, prepare and compete on the relevant surface," a statement released via Wimbledon's official website read.

"It was for this reason that the grand slams, together with the Tours, were supportive of changes to the calendar to create an enhanced grass-court season of three weeks between Roland Garros and the Championships from 2015 onwards. It is widely agreed that this change has been very successfully received.

"However, given the considerable challenges ahead of the FFT in staging Roland Garros, and to avoid further impact on the rest of the calendar, the grass-court season will be reduced by one week in 2021."

Wimbledon will remain as planned, the main draw beginning on June 28 with qualifying taking place the week beforehand.

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