Gael Monfils became the Open Sud de France champion for the third time on Sunday after defeating Vasek Pospisil.

The 33-year-old, who triumphed in Montpellier in 2010 and 2014, won 7-5 6-3 to become the eighth French champion in the 10 editions of the tournament since it was relocated from Lyon.

Pospisil, who battled past second seed David Goffin to reach only his second ATP Tour final, failed to make the most of four break points against the Monfils serve in an hour and 37 minutes.

At the Pune Open, Jiri Vesely ended a five-year wait to lift a Tour title after overcoming Egor Gerasimov.

Vesely saved match points in his quarter-final and semi-final to book a showdown with Gerasimov, which he won 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-3.

"I have to be realistic. I had a lot of luck in the week, saving six match points [across] two matches in a row," he said.

"I think that happens once in a lifetime, maybe, you never know…

"Two matches in a row, especially in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, is really big."

Vesely is the eighth player since 2013 to save match points in two matches en route to winning a Tour event.

Gael Monfils will face Vasek Pospisil in the final of the Open Sud de France after the home favourite clinched a straight-sets win over Filip Krajinovic.

Seeking his third title at the event, world number nine Monfils triumphed 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in 82 minutes against the Serbian.

Monfils saved all three break points against Krajinovic in an impressive victory that maintains France's perfect record of ensuring a home player reaches the final of the Montpellier tournament.

The 2010 and 2014 champion will meet Pospisil on Sunday after the Canadian defeated David Goffin in three sets.

Goffin served for the match in the decider but lost three decisive games in a row as Pospisil triumphed 6-3 1-6 7-5 in two hours and 21 minutes.

At the Pune Open, Australia's James Duckworth was beaten 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 by Egor Gerasimov in the semi-finals.

The Belarusian dropped only five points behind his first serve as he reached a maiden ATP Tour final, where he will face Jiri Vesely.

Vesely saved match points for the second round in a row, outlasting second seed Ricardas Berankis 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (9-7) in a draining encounter to secure a first final in nearly five years.

Laslo Djere stunned defending champion Juan Ignacio Londero to book his spot in the Cordoba Open semi-finals, while top seed Diego Schwartzman also advanced.

Djere dethroned eighth seed Londero following a 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory on the Cordoba clay courts on Friday.

Serbian fourth seed Djere rallied from a set down to earn a semi-final showdown with Schwartzman at the ATP 250 tournament.

World number 14 Schwartzman defeated Spanish fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-0 7-6 (7-0) in one hour, 40 minutes.

Schwartzman, who lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open fourth round last month, is eyeing his fourth Tour title and first in his native Argentina.

Cristian Garin – the third seed – and Andrej Martin will meet in the other semi-final.

Garin prevailed 1-6 6-3 6-4 over sixth seed Pablo Cuevas and Martin accounted for Corentin Moutet 6-3 6-2.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal smashed the world record for attendance at a tennis match as the superstars went head-to-head in the Match in Africa.

A record-breaking 51,954 fans watched the charity exhibition at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday – 20-time grand slam champion Federer beating Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Federer and Alexander Zverev had previously set the record when they attracted 42,217 spectators for their exhibition in Mexico in November.

Organised by Federer's foundation, the Swiss sensation teamed up with Microsoft owner Bill Gates to face Nadal and South African-born Daily Show host Trevor Noah for a doubles encounter.

Federer and Gates were too good for Nadal and Noah, winning 6-3 to open proceedings in South Africa.

Rugby World Cup winner and South Africa star Siya Kolisi presented Federer with a Springboks jersey before the showpiece event on Friday.

Federer then outlasted Nadal – who is one title adrift of his enduring rival's all-time slam record – in the sixth edition of the Match in Africa.

Both players travelled to South Africa after their Australian Open campaigns did not go according to plan, Federer beaten by eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, while top seed Nadal was upstaged by runner-up Dominic Thiem in the quarters.

Top seed Gael Monfils is the only home hope still standing at the Open Sud de France after beating Norbert Gombos in straight sets to reach the semi-finals.

The world number nine downed Slovakian Gombos 6-3 6-4 in Montpellier on Friday to stay in contention to win the tournament for a third time.

Filip Krajinovic stands in the way of Monfils and a place in the final after the seventh seed accounted for Gregoire Barrere 6-2 7-5.

Vasek Pospisil moved into the last four when Richard Gasquet retired at 6-1 1-0 down in his homeland due to an abdominal injury.

David Goffin will take on the Canadian after the second seed saw off Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

James Duckworth reached his maiden ATP Tour semi-final with a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) defeat of qualifier Roberto Marcora at the Pune Open.

The 96-ranked Australia will come up against Egor Gerasimov, who came from a set down to beat Kwon Soon-woo 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4.

Jiri Vesely and Ricardas Berankis will contest the other semi-final after getting past Ilya Ivashka and Yuichi Sugita respectively.

Defending champion Juan Ignacio Londero returned to the Cordoba Open quarter-finals, while top seed Diego Schwartzman also advanced.

Londero progressed to the last eight of the ATP 250 tournament thanks to a 6-3 6-3 win over Argentinian compatriot Pedro Cachin on Thursday.

Cordoba was the scene of Londero's breakthrough ATP Tour title last year, the Argentine player capping a fairytale week by overcoming countryman Guido Pella in three sets.

Next up for Londero on the red clay is Serbian fourth seed Laslo Djere, who beat Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez 6-3 6-4.

"I was a little nervous and that's why I talked to myself a lot and that's how I got in the game. The way I have to activate [myself] is by encouraging myself a lot. If I keep quiet, that doesn't happen. It was a game with many nerves for me, and I am glad I won it in straight sets," Londero said.

"For me, it is more a motivation than a pressure to play in Cordoba and try to defend the title. If I had to defend the tournament elsewhere, without having the support of my family, my friends who can see me live, the truth is that I think it would be more difficult anywhere else. I have been having a good time."

Albert Ramos-Vinolas – the fifth seed – outlasted Pablo Andujar 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 to set up a clash with Schwartzman, who defeated Jaume Munar 6-1 7-5.

David Goffin saved five set points and negotiated an underarm serve before defeating Alexander Bublik 6-3 7-6 (9-7) at the Open Sud de France.

World number 10 Goffin has started the season in impressive form and remains on course for a first ATP Tour title since Tokyo in 2017.

The second seed bested Bublik's varied strokeplay over the course of one hour and 47 minutes, with the 22-year-old even serving underarm in a bid to deceive Goffin as a gripping second-set tie break slipped away.

Goffin will face Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the quarter-finals after the home favourite claimed an impressive 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 triumph against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Herbert was a finalist in Montpellier last year, while countryman Richard Gasquet remained in contention for his fourth win at the event by beating Feliciano Lopez 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-2.

Vasek Pospisil, a winner in the all-Canadian clash with Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday, is up next for Gasquet, who retained his place in a draw stacked with French hopes.

Gael Monfils came from a set down to beat compatriot Adrian Mannarino 4-6 6-1 6-4, joining Gregoire Barrere – a shock winner over Grigor Dimitrov a day ago - in the last eight.

Filip Krajinovic will be Barrere's next opponent after demolishing qualifier Mikael Ymer 6-1 6-1, with Norbert Gombos also seeing off Emil Ruusuvuori in straight sets.

At the Pune Open, top seed Benoit Paire was dumped out in straight sets by Roberto Marcora – the Italian qualifier prevailing 6-4 6-4.

Elsewhere, seeds Ricardas Berankis, Kwon Soon-woo, Yuichi Sugita, James Duckworth and Egor Gerasimov emerged unscathed to reach the quarter-finals.

Cristian Garin cruised into the Cordoba Open quarter-finals, while Guido Pella bowed out after a three-hour marathon on Wednesday.

Garin, the third seed at the ATP 250 event played on clay, rushed past Hungarian Attila Balazs 6-3 6-0 in just 68 minutes in Argentina.

The Chilean incredibly lost just eight points on serve, while converting five of 16 break points in a dominant performance.

Garin will face Uruguayan sixth seed Pablo Cuevas, who survived a test to get past Italian Gianluca Mager 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-1.

Pella, the second seed and last year's runner-up, fell to Frenchman Corentin Moutet after a gruelling contest.

Moutet beat Pella at the French Open last year and he repeated the feat courtesy of a 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-3 victory after just over three hours on court.

Slovakian Andrej Martin will face Moutet after overcoming Spanish qualifier Carlos Taberner 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

Richard Gasquet got his quest for a fifth Open Sud de France title off to a strong start as he defeated compatriot Gilles Simon 6-4 6-4 in Montpellier, but three seeds struggled.

Gasquet – three times a champion in Montpellier and once in Lyon – needed just 87 minutes to overcome Simon in his first-round match on Wednesday and set up a last-16 tie against Feliciano Lopez, who beat eighth seed Ugo Humbert.

The other first-round match saw Adrian Mannarino defeat Alexei Popyrin and progress to face top seed Gael Monfils.

Two last-16 matches also took place, with world number 23 Grigor Dimitrov, who entered as a wildcard and was seeded fourth, going down 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-5 to Gregoire Barrere.

Third seed Denis Shapovalov also suffered a quick exit as he lost to Vasek Pospisil 6-2 6-3.

Meanwhile, at the Pune Open, second seed Ricardas Berankis saved two set points as he rallied to defeat Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 7-6 (7-2) 6-1.

World number 73 Berankis will go up against Yuichi Sugita, who progressed without playing after Viktor Troicki withdrew due to fever, in the quarter-finals. Jiri Vesely and Ilya Ivashka also progressed.

Roger Federer said only Rafael Nadal could make Sunday's exhibition "truly special" for those in attendance in Cape Town.

Swiss great Federer will face off against his most famous rival in the sixth edition of the Match for Africa series, organised by the 20-time grand slam winner's foundation.

Federer will team up with Microsoft owner Bill Gates to face Nadal and Daily Show host Trevor Noah, who was born in South Africa, for a doubles encounter before the two tennis greats meet in a singles match.

When planning to host the event in Cape Town, Federer only had one opponent in mind and said he had been trying to enlist Nadal's help for some time.

"I have been thinking about this idea for a few years now and I always ask myself the question: where, with whom, how big, how small should it be?" Federer told a news conference.

"The initial idea was let's just get one done so at least I did play here and the people got to see me, my family that I still have here got to see me.

"As the idea grew and it ended up let's try to go big and we went bigger and bigger. For me at one point when I realised something very special could happen, for me it was only Rafa who could make this event truly special for the people here. 

"I have the connection to Rafa and if somebody could maybe bring him down to South Africa it is me. I asked him and he said yes right away.

"We have been fighting over a date for the last two years so I finally got one out of him. He wanted to do it earlier. We were both ready, but there was just too much going on with our schedules.

"I couldn't be more excited to see Rafa arriving tomorrow morning."

Defending champion Juan Ignacio Londero and Albert Ramos-Vinolas advanced to the Cordoba Open round of 16 on Tuesday.

Cordoba was the scene of Londero's breakthrough ATP Tour title last year, the Argentinian capping a fairytale week by overcoming countryman Guido Pella in three sets.

Back on the red clay following a first-round loss at the Australian Open in January, eighth seed Londero defeated Italy's Marco Cecchinato 6-2 7-5.

Londero – playing the night session – did not face a break point and won 70 per cent of his first serves, much to the delight of the home crowd at the ATP 250 tournament.

Next up for Londero is fellow Argentine player Pedro Cachin, who crushed Hugo Dellien 6-1 6-1 in just 58 minutes.

Spanish fifth seed Ramos-Vinolas beat local qualifier Facundo Bagnis 6-4 7-6 (7-3), despite wasting a match point at 6-5 in the second set.

It will be an all-Spanish affair in the last 16 after Pablo Andujar accounted for Filip Horansky 6-2 6-2.

Elsewhere, Jaume Munar (6-4 6-3 against Leonardo Mayer), Andrej Martin (7-6 [7-5] 6-4 over Federico Coria), Pedro Martinez (4-6 6-3 6-4 against Federico Gaio) and Corentin Moutet (6-4 6-3 over Thiago Monteiro) also progressed to the next round.

Fernando Verdasco fell to a shock first-round loss at the Cordoba Open, while fellow seed Pablo Cuevas advanced on Monday.

Verdasco, the seventh seed at the ATP 250 event played on clay, was beaten by qualifier Carlos Taberner 4-6 6-1 6-4 in Argentina.

In a clash between two Spaniards, Taberner – at 198 ranked 149 places below Verdasco – won three of the final four games.

Verdasco had made the quarter-finals in Doha and third round at the Australian Open to begin 2020, but the 36-year-old bowed out in his opener.

Sixth seed Cuevas had no such problems, beating local hope Federico Delbonis 7-5 6-2.

Earlier, Italian Gianluca Mager beat qualifier Juan Pablo Ficovich 6-2 3-6 6-2 and Attila Balazs overcame Lorenzo Sonego 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

Vasek Pospisil booked another meeting with fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov after defeating Aljaz Bedene at the Open Sud de France.

Having lost to Shapovalov at the Auckland Classic last month, Pospisil will face him again following a 6-3 6-4 win over Bedene in the first round of the ATP 250 event on Monday.

Shapovalov, seeded third, has a bye in the first round along with Gael Monfils, David Goffin and Grigor Dimitrov.

Fifth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime does not play his opener until Tuesday, meaning the highest ranked player in action was Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, but the Spaniard fell to a shock 3-6 6-4 6-3 defeat against Norbert Gombos.

In the day's other game, home favourite Gregoire Barrere sealed a round-two meeting with Dimitrov after a 6-2 7-6 (8-6) triumph over Joao Sousa.

At the Pune Open, fifth seed Yuichi Sugita cruised past Thomas Fabbiano 6-3 6-0, but there were defeats for home hopes Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan respectively in their matches against Viktor Troicki and Salvatore Caruso.

Ivo Karlovic is also out after losing in straight sets to Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, who will next face second seed Ricardas Berankis.

Novak Djokovic has underlined his ambition to beat Roger Federer's record grand slam haul.

An eighth Australian Open title – extending the men's record he already held – arrived on Sunday when Djokovic fended off Dominic Thiem in five sets.

A thrilling match looked to be going Thiem's way when he went 2-1 up in sets; however, experience at the highest level told as Djokovic recovered to triumph again at Melbourne Park.

Fitness permitting, Djokovic has every chance of passing Federer's record of 20 grand slam titles, and of taking his scalp atop the list of men with the most weeks spent at number one in the rankings.

Having already scooped 17 slams, Djokovic will turn 33 two days before the French Open starts, offering the opportunity of an 18th major.

Roland Garros has traditionally been Rafael Nadal's to lose, and the Spaniard would move level with Federer's overall total should be land another title in Paris.

But Djokovic may outlast both his rivals on tour, and there is no question the Serbian wants to climb to the top of the all-time list.

"At this stage of my career, grand slams are the ones I value the most. They are the ones I prioritise," Djokovic said.

"I do have professional goals. Grand slams are one of the main reasons why I am still competing and still playing a full season, trying to obviously get the historic number one. That's the other big goal.

"I put myself in this position, that is really good at the moment. I'm super happy with the way I started the season. It kind of sets the tone for the rest of the year.

"I've had that privilege to win this big tournament eight times. To start off the season with a grand slam win significantly boosts your confidence and your expectations are quite high for the rest of the season.

"But whatever happens, this season is already successful."

Djokovic has used the Australian Open as a platform on which to build one of the great tennis careers.

It was in Melbourne 12 years ago that he landed his first slam, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and he will almost certainly start as favourite in 12 months' time when he targets a ninth Australian Open.

"Especially in the first part of my career, I was dreaming of winning as many grand slams as possible," Djokovic said.

"When I started winning a couple of grand slams a year, a few years in a row, that's where I felt actually I can maybe challenge Roger and Pete Sampras, all these guys that were winning the most grand slams in their careers in the history of tennis."

Djokovic target of finishing as the player with the most weeks as ATP world number one is eminently achievable, and could be secured this season.

He will begin a 276th week in the top ranking on Monday, with only Sampras (286 weeks) and Federer (310 weeks) ahead of him.

Novak Djokovic felt he was "on the brink of losing" the Australian Open final against Dominic Thiem as he dealt with dehydration.

Djokovic was visited by the trainer during the third set on Sunday before responding to win 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 after almost four hours on Rod Laver Arena.

The Serbian great moved onto 17 grand slam titles, extending his record to eight at the Australian Open while reclaiming the world number one ranking.

But the 32-year-old said he was close to defeat as he struggled with his health during the final.

"Turbulent, I would say," he said, describing his win.

"It started off really well. I broke his serve right away. I felt the experience on my side playing many Australian Open finals, for him it was his first. It was very important for me to break his serve early in the match, which happened.

"After I lost the second set, I started to feel really bad on the court. My energy dropped significantly.

"To be honest, I don't still understand the reason why that has happened because I've been doing the things that I've been doing before all of my matches. I was hydrated well and everything. Apparently the doctor said I wasn't hydrated enough.

"I was on the brink of losing the match. Dominic is a fantastic tennis player that plays with tremendous amount of power in his shots, especially from the forehand side. He uses his slice really well. He disrupted my rhythm in my game at one point. He was a better player. Probably one point and one shot separated us. It could have gone a different way.

"I served and volleyed when I was facing a break point in the fourth and in the fifth. It worked both of the times.

"It could have also been different. Serve and volley is not something I'm accustomed to. I'm not really doing that that often. I kind of recognised that as an important tactic in those circumstances, and I'm really happy it worked."

Leading 2-1 in sets, Thiem squandered a break point early in the fourth set before Djokovic regained his energy.

Djokovic said he was battling at the end of the third set and his struggles had come as a surprise.

"I definitely did not feel good. I didn't know what the next moment brings. I was trying to keep myself alive mentally as well and emotionally because it was disappointing in a way from my side to actually feel this way," he said.

"I was a bit shocked that I did feel that way because everything was fine before the match. For the first two sets, everything was okay.

"But it's something that you have to accept that you're going through, those kinds of circumstances really kind of force me to let things go and to really try to be in the moment and fight my way back."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.