Alexander Zverev won his first title of the year with a comprehensive victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Cologne Indoors.

Zverev, beaten by Dominic Thiem in his first grand slam final at the US Open last month, was knocked out of the French Open in disappointing fashion in the fourth round by Jannik Sinner.

The world number seven has responded impressively on home soil this week, dropping just one set en route to Sunday's final.

He followed up with an impressive performance against Auger-Aliassime, winning 6-3 6-3 in just under 80 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime, who is 0-3 against Zverev, has now lost each of his six Tour finals without winning a set.

Zverev, who won 80 per cent of points behind his first serve, assumed control after breaking the Canadian in the opening game and again to lead 5-2.

He handed a break back with consecutive double-faults but secured the first set in the next game and moved 4-2 up in the second to break Auger-Aliassime's resistance.

A heavy forehand from his 20-year-old opponent handed Zverev victory on his first match point, as he secured a 12th Tour title.

Andrey Rublev boosted his hopes of reaching the ATP Finals as he came from behind to defeat Denis Shapovalov, setting up a St Petersburg Open final with Borna Coric. 

Rublev trailed Denis Shapovalov by a set but fought back to prevail 4-6 6-3 6-4 and ensure there will be a home hope in the final. 

He saved five of six break points in the process of earning victory over the Canadian, the win moving Rublev ahead of Diego Schwartzman into eighth place in the battle to qualify for the season-ending tournament in London. 

His opponent will be 2019 finalist Coric, who will be looking to go one better than last year after he staged a turnaround of his own. 

Coric, beaten by Daniil Medvedev in his previous appearance in the final, saw off Milos Raonic 1-6 6-1 6-4.

Alexander Zverev progressed to his second final since the resumption of the ATP Tour at the Cologne Indoors. 

Zverev overcame Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5 7-6 (7-3) but was full of praise for the NextGen ATP Finals contender. 

"He played much better tennis and I think he's somebody who is going to go up the [FedEx ATP] Rankings very quickly," Zverev said. 

"For me he's a great guy as well. He's very talented, extremely good with the hands. I think he's somebody who's going to find his way up and it's going to be interesting to see what the future weeks [hold for him] this year and next year as well." 

The German will meet Felix Auger-Aliassime, who recorded a 6-3 1-6 6-3 triumph over Roberto Bautista Agut. 

At the Sardegna Open, Marco Cecchinato routed Danilo Petrovic 6-1 6-0 and will face Laslo Djere in the final after Lorenzo Musetti retired in the third set with a right elbow injury. Djere was leading 2-6 6-2 4-1. 

Jannik Sinner became the first French Open debutant to reach the quarter-finals since Rafael Nadal in 2005, as the highly rated Italian beat Alexander Zverev to set up a clash with the 'King of Clay'.

Nadal had earlier made light work of Sebastian Korda to book his passage to the next round, dropping just four games in three sets as he comfortably dispatched his 20-year-old opponent.

The Spaniard is going for a 13th title in the French capital and, while he was clearly a cut above, Korda's 48 unforced errors certainly aided his cause on Sunday.

But the day belonged to 19-year-old Sinner, who looks destined for big things.

SINNER THROUGH BUT ZVEREV IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Sinner was in electrifying form on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, beating Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Sinner converted five of his six chances to break Zverev, who appeared curiously underwhelming on the day. He hit just 20 winners, a little over half of Sinner's 39, highlighting the gulf in decisiveness.

In claiming victory, Sinner became the youngest male player to reach a grand slam quarter-final in 14 years and he felt that, having trained with Zverev on occasion in the past, he was well prepared.

"It has been tough. We have practiced sometimes in Monaco, so we know [each other] quite well," said Sinner on court. "Today was very tough, knowing that it was going to be a long match. At the end, I am very happy about my performance."

But Zverev controversially revealed after the match that he had been suffering with a fever and that he should not have even taken to the court.

The German claimed he had tested negative for coronavirus, though he did not specify when his most recent test was.

NADAL AWARE OF HIS EXCELLENCE

As he prepares for his quarter-final with Sinner, Nadal is well aware he is in imperious form.

Korda offered little resistance on the whole as the second seed ran out a 6-1 6-1 6-2 victor against a player who idolised him growing up – so much so he even named his cat 'Rafa'.

And although the American got his claws into Nadal with a couple of early break chances, the favourite was soon purring and took just 40 minutes to take a one-set lead.

Nadal only struck nine winners over the first two sets, but Korda's error count continued to rise and give his opponent a boost.

The 19-time major champion was left feeling pretty good about his form afterwards as well.

"Well, I'm in the quarter-finals without losing a set and having very positive scores. So, I can't complain at all. So, I'm happy for that," he said.

He then went on to consider the threat posed by Sinner, adding: "He's young, he's improving every single week. So, he's playing better and better and better. It will be a big challenge. It will be the first time playing against him on the tour. I practiced with him a couple of times, he has an amazing potential, he moves the hand very quick and he's able to produce amazing shots."

THIEM FIGHTS BACK

Third seed Dominic Thiem had to dig deep to see off Hugo Gaston in five after throwing away a two-set lead against the world number 239.

Eventually Thiem progressed 6-4 6-4 5-7 3-6 6-3, emerging victorious after just over three and a half hours on court.

French wildcard Gaston received a standing ovation from his home support on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with the fans enamoured with the underdog as he pushed one last year's runner-up all the way.

Thiem acknowledged that he was fortunate to come through the test.

"I think I stayed pretty calm even though it was a tough match mentally, physically. I just read before that he played 58 drop shots. I think only three or four of them went into the net, so I made more than 50 full sprints to the net. So that was really, really tough," he said.

Up next for Thiem is a quarter-final with Diego Schwartzman, one of his closest allies on the ATP Tour, with the Argentinian seeing off Lorenzo Sonego with relative ease 6-1 6-3 6-4.

"I'm happy of course to face one of my best friends from the tour in the quarter-finals," Thiem added.

"From my perspective, it's all about recovery. I'm not running on a full tank anymore. That's for sure.  So, I try to recover as good as I can. If I'm able to do that, if somehow I don't make it until Tuesday, I think he's going to be the heavy favourite."

Alexander Zverev has revealed he was suffering with a fever during his French Open defeat to Jannik Sinner. 

Highly rated Italian Sinner became the first player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros on his tournament debut, beating Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3 to progress. 

But Zverev's post-match comments have taken the spotlight from Sinner, as the German claimed he was playing despite showing symptoms of a respiratory illness. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, players are expected to undergo regular coronavirus tests, socially distance where possible and wear a mask when not on court. 

Competition rules state a player will be removed from the draw if they come into contact with a player or entourage member who has tested positive for the virus. 

Zverev said any tests he has done have been negative, likewise those in his circle, though he accepts he should not have played on Sunday. 

He said: "I am completely sick after the match with [Marco] Cecchinato in the night. Yeah, what can I say? I'm completely sick. 

"I can't really breathe, as you can hear by my voice. I had fever, you know, as well. Yeah, I'm not in the best physical state, I would say. 

"I think that had a little bit of an effect on the match today." 

Zverev added: "To be honest, I warmed up today. I shouldn't have played. But I was hoping maybe for a three-set win or something like that, but I knew from the beginning that it wasn't going to be easy." 

But when asked in the English section of the news conference about when he last had a coronavirus test, Zverev took issue with the journalist asking the question. 

"I'm not answering your questions. There is no chance I'm answering your questions from what you have been writing about me over the past months. Absolutely no chance," he said.

Alexander Zverev has revealed he was suffering with a fever during his French Open defeat to Jannik Sinner. 

Highly rated Italian Sinner became the first player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros on his tournament debut, beating Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3 to progress. 

But Zverev's post-match comments have taken the spotlight from Sinner, as the German claimed he was playing despite showing symptoms of a respiratory illness. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, players are expected to undergo regular coronavirus tests, socially distance where possible and wear a mask when not on court. 

Competition rules state a player will be removed from the draw if they come into contact with a player or entourage member who has tested positive for the virus. 

Zverev said any tests he has done have been negative, likewise those in his circle, though he accepts he should not have played on Sunday. 

He said: "I am completely sick after the match with [Marco] Cecchinato in the night. Yeah, what can I say? I'm completely sick. 

"I can't really breathe, as you can hear by my voice. I had fever, you know, as well. Yeah, I'm not in the best physical state, I would say. 

"I think that had a little bit of an effect on the match today." 

Zverev added: "To be honest, I warmed up today. I shouldn't have played. But I was hoping maybe for a three-set win or something like that, but I knew from the beginning that it wasn't going to be easy." 

But when asked in the English section of the news conference about when he last had a coronavirus test, Zverev took issue with the journalist asking the question. 

"I'm not answering your questions. There is no chance I'm answering your questions from what you have been writing about me over the past months. Absolutely no chance," he said.

Alexander Zverev lamented missed chances after coming "super close" to being a grand slam champion in a loss to Dominic Thiem.

Zverev fell short in a dramatic US Open final on Sunday, losing 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to Thiem on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Playing his first major final, Zverev was also up a break in the third set and led 5-3 in the fifth before losing.

Zverev was disappointed to let the opportunities slip away in the decider.

"I was super close to being a grand slam champion. I was a few games away, maybe a few points away," he told a news conference.

"For me what upset me the most is not the third set or something like that, it's the fifth set. I had a lot of chances in the fifth set and didn't use them.

"I'm 23 years old. I don't think it's my last chance. I do believe that I will be a grand slam champion at some point."

Zverev served 15 double faults in his defeat, having made the better start before Thiem responded.

He said it was difficult to accept his loss after being in such a promising position.  

"Obviously being two sets to love and a break up in a grand slam final then losing is not easy," Zverev said.

"Yeah, I mean, the match turned when he broke me I think for the first time in the third set.

"I think he started playing much better and I started playing much worse. That's when the match turned. But I still had plenty of chances after that." 

Dominic Thiem described his US Open success as a dream come true after rallying from two sets down to claim his first grand slam crown in New York.

After three runners-up appearances in major finals, second seed Thiem finally broke through by outlasting Alexander Zverev 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.

The Austrian, who overcame a slow start, became the first player to rally from two sets down to win a US Open final in the Open Era, and first since 1949.

Thiem is also the first man born in the 1990s to win a grand slam after prevailing in more than four hours in a rollercoaster final on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"Definitely I achieved a life goal, a dream of myself, which I had for many, many years," Thiem told reporters after his memorable comeback against the fifth-seeded German. "Of course, as a kid, as well, when I started to play tennis. But back then it's so far away.

"Then I got closer and closer to the top. At one point I realised that, wow, maybe one day I can really win one of the four biggest titles in tennis.

"I put a lot of work in. I mean, I dedicated basically my whole life until this point to win one of the four majors. Now I did it. That's also for myself a great accomplishment.

"I mean, it's by far not only myself, it's an accomplishment from all my team, from all my family. I guess also today is the day where I gave back huge amount of what they did for me."

Thiem lost a thrilling Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic earlier this year, having fallen short in the 2018 and 2019 French Open deciders to Rafael Nadal.

"When I first realised that maybe one day I could really win a major was when I first broke into the semis of Roland Garros, when I broke into top 10," said the 27-year-old Thiem, who never gave up hope against Zverev. "From that moment on I dreamed about it. I thought that it's maybe realistic.

"Back then I thought my biggest chances by far are on clay. But then the end of last year somehow changed a lot of things when I won Beijing, when I won Vienna, when I played the great Nitto ATP Finals. Then I realised that my game is suiting the hard courts really well.

"Of course, since I'm working with Nico [Massu], we improved my game on hard court a lot. Also changed my mind that many shots are working great on that surface. So I think my best major until now US Open, I played in Australia. Now it's not for me that big surprise anymore that it's not the French. At the end it doesn't matter to me. Main thing is that I have one of these four now."

As Thiem basks in his first major triumph, attention quickly turns to the upcoming French Open in Paris.

The rescheduled French Open is due to get underway on September 27 at Roland Garros amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about the transition from hard to clay courts, two-time French Open runner-up Thiem said: "I think physically I'm going to be fine, 100 per cent. I'm going to have enough time to recover from all the troubles I had.

"But the question is how I'm going to do it with the emotions mentally. Obviously, I've never been in this situation. I achieved a big, big goal. Well, I don't know how I'm going to feel the next days.

"At the same time it's going to be or I expect that it's going to be easier for me now in the biggest tournaments because I had it in the back of my head that I had a great career so far, way better career than I could ever dreamt of, but until today there was still a big part, a big goal missing.

"With this goal achieved, I think and I hope that I'm going to be a little bit more relaxed and play a little bit more freely at the biggest events."

Dominic Thiem made history as he came from behind to edge Alexander Zverev to win his first grand slam title at the US Open on Sunday.

In a rollercoaster decider on a quiet Arthur Ashe Stadium, Thiem – playing his fourth major final – eventually closed out a 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) victory.

The Austrian became the first player to rally from two sets down to win a US Open final in the Open Era, and first since 1949.

Thiem is also the first man born in the 1990s to win a grand slam, needing more than four hours in the first US Open final to be decided by a fifth-set tie-break.

There were six breaks of serve in the final set, with Zverev – playing his first major final – giving up a 5-3 lead before Thiem also failed to serve it out at 6-5.

But as both players looked tired and with Thiem, 27, seemingly cramping, he managed to hold his nerve the better of the two to win a first major.

Zverev, who came from two sets down to beat Pablo Carreno Busta in the last four, was this time on the front foot from the outset and needed only 30 minutes to take the opener.

The German, 23, broke his apparently anxious opponent twice in the first set and raced into a 5-1 lead in the second.

Thiem raced forward to volley at the net and earn one break back, but Zverev served out the set and quickly went about making progress in the third.

Yet another poor service game concluded with a wayward stroke under little pressure, seemingly bringing the finish line into view after just 90 minutes of play.

But Thiem finally showed some resilience and, despite seeing one opportunity pass with an agonising miss at the back of the court, he tied the set again, then staying patient before another gain took the match to a fourth as the wobbling Zverev went wide.

Thiem's level improved as both held comfortably to begin the fourth set, although the Austrian was passive as he squandered two break points in the sixth game.

But Thiem would take his next chance, grabbing a 5-3 lead when Zverev double faulted and then sent a forehand into the net, before closing it out to force a fifth set.

The pair traded breaks to begin the decider as both showed nerves before Thiem recovered from 0-30 in the sixth game and fell behind again in the eighth, Zverev breaking for a 5-3 lead, only to give that advantage straight back with a poor game when serving for the title.

Serving at 30-30 in the 10th game, Thiem produced two spectacular forehands, the first a rocket down the line before a passing shot.

Thiem, looking the more tired and perhaps cramping, broke for 6-5 when Zverev sent a forehand well long, but he too failed to serve it out after a brief visit from the trainer.

Zverev's 15th double fault gave Thiem a 5-3 lead in the tie-break before the latter squandered two match points, including one from a weak second serve from the German.

But Thiem would finally close out victory, falling onto his back behind the baseline as Zverev pulled a backhand wide to complete a dramatic finish.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Thiem [2] bt Zverev [5] 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Thiem – 43/55
Zverev – 52/64

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Thiem – 8/8
Zverev – 15/15

BREAK POINTS WON

Thiem – 7/13 
Zverev – 8/18

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Thiem – 62
Zverev – 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Thiem – 68/48
Zverev – 70/41

TOTAL POINTS

Thiem – 162
Zverev – 159

Dominic Thiem joked that he will have to call former world number one Andy Murray if he loses a fourth grand slam final after reaching the US Open decider.

Thiem defeated last year's US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev 6-2 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-5) in Friday's semi-final as the second seed eyes an elusive major title.

The Austrian star has lost all three slam finals he has featured in – the 2020 Australian Open decider against Novak Djokovic and the 2019 and 2019 French Open showpieces to Rafael Nadal.

Murray was beaten in four major finals before breaking through for his maiden slam via the 2012 US Open and Thiem joked on court post-match: "If I win, I have my first [grand slam title]. If not, I have to slowly call Andy Murray to find out how it is with 0-4."

Pressed on those comments and whether he had ever spoken to three-time slam champion Murray about overcoming slam final defeats, Thiem told reporters: "I never talked to anyone. It was all good so far. But I was joking about it.

"It's easy for Andy because he has won three in the meantime. But that's not what I'm thinking about Sunday. I just going to go in fully focused, like in all the six previous matches. The world continues no matter what's result is, so it's going to be fine.

"Of course, I'm super happy that I gave myself another chance to be in the finals, pretty quick after Australia. Going to be a great one against a very good friend and a great rival."

Thiem – the first Austrian male to make the singles at the US Open – capitalised against a wasteful Medvedev, who failed to serve out the second and third sets on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

First-time slam finalist and fifth seed Alexander Zverev awaits Thiem at Flushing Meadows in New York – a rematch of the pair's entertaining Australian Open semi-final showdown earlier this year.

It provides a different challenge for Thiem, who has come up against all-time greats Djokovic and Nadal in his previous final appearances.

But Thiem insisted he "won't change his mindset at all", adding: "I know what Sascha is capable of. Also the last match we had in Australia, we were both really, really good. It was such a close match.

"I will go in like in the previous six matches. As I said, from the moment Novak was out of the tournament [default in the fourth round], it was clear that there's going to be a new grand slam champion. From that moment on, that was also out of my mind. I was just focusing on the remaining guys left in the draw.

"Now it's Sascha remaining, the last one, my opponent in the finals. I will fully focus on him and just go into that match like in the all other matches I was going in so far in this tournament.

"He's a hell of a player. One of the greatest ones in last years. Won all titles besides a major. He will also try everything what he's capable of doing to win the title. It's going to be a super difficult match. For me, it really doesn't matter whether it's him or one of the big three. I just try to go in there and give my best."

German star Alexander Zverev insisted he has unfinished business after reaching his first grand slam final in stunning fashion at the US Open.

Zverev rallied from two-sets-to-love down to outlast Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3 in Friday's semi-final at Flushing Meadows.

After erasing a two-set deficit for the first time in his career, fifth seed Zverev – the youngest major finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2010 – is now looking to become the first German slam champion since Boris Becker in 1996.

An Australian Open semi-finalist earlier this year, Zverev is also the first German man through to the US Open final since 1994 following three hours, 22 minutes on court in New York.

But Zverev is refusing to dwell on his major breakthrough as he awaits either Dominic Thiem or last year's runner-up Daniil Medvedev in the decider, telling reporters: "I still need to achieve. Sunday is going to be extremely difficult no matter who I play of those guys.

"But I'm looking forward to it. Yeah, I'm in the final of a grand slam. The two best players in the world are going to be playing on court."

Zverev added: "It's great. Obviously happy to be in a final. But as I said in the previous question, there's still one more step to go. For me, I think it's going to be extremely difficult. Both of those guys deserve to be in the final. That's it.

"If I play Dominic, we played an epic in Australia. If I play Daniil, we had some great matches as well. No matter who it's going to be, it's going to be a new grand slam champion, but it's going to be also a very difficult match I think."

Zverev was on the brink of an exit after a slow start against Carreno Busta, but he battled hard to get past the Spanish 20th seed on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 23-year-old Zverev became the first player to win a grand slam semi-final from two sets down since Djokovic in 2011

"I looked at the scoreboard after two sets," he said. "I thought to myself, Look, I'm playing a grand slam semi-final, I'm down 6-3, 6-2 in a match where on paper I'm supposed to be the favourite.

"I needed to play better, start something new. I thought, Okay, I'm going to go set by set, we'll see how far I can get. It turned out well in the end.

"Obviously it was very close. Pablo deserved to be in the final just as much as I did. Yeah, a few points here or there on either side of the match."

Alexander Zverev advanced to his first grand slam final after rallying from two sets down to trump Pablo Carreno Busta in a sensational fightback at the US Open.

Zverev was on the brink of defeat against Spanish 20th seed Carreno Busta in New York, but the German star produced a stunning rally to emerge victorious 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3 on Friday.

After earning his first win from two-sets-to-love down, Zverev – the youngest major finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2010 – is now looking to become the first German major champion since Boris Becker in 1996 as he awaits either Dominic Thiem or last year's runner-up Daniil Medvedev in the decider.

Fifth seed Zverev, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year, is also the first German man through to the US Open final at Flushing Meadows since 1994 following three hours, 22 minutes on court.

Carreno Busta – who benefited from world number one Djokovic's default in the fourth round – made a flying start and led 5-1 in the opening set before dropping his own serve for the first time.

Zverev was too far back in that set to make it close though, and he was desperately flat in the second set too, sliding two breaks behind without making Carreno Busta fight especially hard for that enviable position.

Carreno Busta – a two-time US Open semi-finalist – wobbled slightly, but he could afford to, and he soon held a two-set cushion.

But Zverev refused to surrender and he showed more verve and attacking intent to finally break his opponent's serve at a meaningful point in a set and lead 3-1 in the third, but that was immediately clawed back.

The inclination was to think that might have marked the end of the Zverev fightback, given he had shown such little dynamism through the first two sets, but he broke again and soon led 5-2 as he stayed alive in the match.

Zverev's serve and ball-striking was more assured than at any point in the match, with Carreno Busta for the first time given serious pause for thought, the momentum beginning to turn.

That was only accentuated when Carreno Busta dropped serve in game three of the fourth set, but a wretched service game from Zverev brought the fourth set back on level terms.

However, Zverev earned a pair of break-point chances in a tense seventh game and while Carreno Busta saved one, he was unable to save the other as the former's deep approach shot set up an emphatic overhead smash for the break and 4-3 lead.

Carreno Busta then saved three set points in a battling display, but there was no denying the rallying Zverev – who levelled the match at two-sets-apiece with an ace to force a decider.

After a medical timeout for back treatment, Carreno Busta emerged trying to halt Zverev's momentum, however, the latter was too hot to handle with a match-high 18 winners in the set to complete a memorable fightback as he became the first German grand slam finalist since 2003.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Zverev [5] bt Carreno Busta [20] 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Zverev – 71/57
Carreno Busta – 37/43

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Zverev – 24/8
Carreno Busta – 4/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Zverev – 7/21
Carreno Busta – 7/16

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Zverev – 62
Carreno Busta – 71 

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Zverev – 78/37
Carreno Busta – 65/42

TOTAL POINTS

Zverev – 148
Carreno Busta – 138

Alexander Zverev hit back at Martina Navratilova after criticism of his performance as he reached the US Open semi-finals.

The German fifth seed struggled to a 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 victory over Borna Coric on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday.

Navratilova, an 18-time grand slam singles champion, told Amazon Prime: "He will not be able to win against the top players playing the way he did today."

She said Zverev needed a display more similar to his final set and to "play better tennis overall".

Zverev was unhappy with the criticism, pointing to his record against Roger Federer (4-3 head-to-head) and Novak Djokovic, who he has beaten in two finals.

"Maybe she should look at my record against the big guys. Maybe she should look that I'm positive against Roger. Maybe she should look that I've beaten Novak on multiple occasions in big matches and finals," he told a news conference.

"And I'm in the semi-finals, and sometimes not playing your best and finding a way is more important than playing your best.

"But she's a grand slam champion, as well, multiple grand slam champion, she's respected, but her opinion right now does not matter to me."

With Djokovic out of the tournament, there will be a first-time major winner in the men's draw in New York.

Perhaps impacted by that, Zverev said he was below his best against Coric as he reached his second grand slam semi-final.

"I mean, look, obviously, yeah, I didn't play well. It's no secret about it. I was down 6-1, 4-2 after about 28 minutes. It's not a secret I didn't play my best," he said.

"But I found a way, found a way to win that second set, and I feel like that's the most important.

"I think the Novak news shocked us all, and obviously for us younger guys, we see that as a massive opportunity, but we have to put our head down and just do our job and focus on ourselves."

Zverev will face either Pablo Carreno Busta or Denis Shapovalov in the last four.

Alexander Zverev battled past Borna Coric in four sets to win an attritional quarter-final at the US Open.

Novak Djokovic's disqualification for hitting a ball at a linesperson has opened up the men's draw at Flushing Meadows and both players at times seemed to carry the weight of that pressure.

Fifth seed Zverev - who had 12 double faults - was particularly slow out of the blocks but as the match wore on was cooler in the big moments en route to triumphing 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 and booking a second career slam semi-final having reached the last four of the Australian Open in January.

Zverev, who trailed in the head-to-head 3-1 prior to Tuesday's contest including a US Open defeat to Coric in 2017, faces Pablo Carreno Busta – the beneficiary of Djokovic's indiscretion – or Denis Shapovalov for a spot in the final.

Zverev double faulted three times in a shoddy fourth game, which set the tone for an opening set that produced 12 unforced errors to gift Coric the advantage in just 24 minutes.

The German's composure slipped in game five of the second when a ball was wrongly called out against him and the point replayed, with Coric eventually going on to break after some mammoth rallies and a 20th unforced error of the match from Zverev.

Coric blinked back in game eight, though, and - having initially benefitted from another Zverev double fault - made a crucial unforced error to go 6-4 down in the tie-break and was unable to fight back.

In the third, Zverev had to fight for a crucial hold in game six, before neither man gave an inch in a set in which flashes of quality interspersed conservative tennis.

The breaker went entirely Zverev's way, though, and Coric squandered four break points in game six of the fourth before surrendering serve himself to go down 5-3 when his opponent thumped a forehand winner down the line.

In keeping with the theme of the contest, Zverev was nervy as he served out for the match but found a way to get the job done and became the first German male in a US Open semi-final in 25 years.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Zverev [5] bt Coric [27] 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Zverev – 52/46
Coric – 37/41

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Zverev – 18/12
Coric – 5/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Zverev – 3/8
Coric – 4/15

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Zverev – 71
Coric – 72

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Zverev – 76/41
Coric – 70/57

TOTAL POINTS

Zverev – 136
Coric – 132

Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov reached the US Open quarter-finals as Novak Djokovic sensationally defaulted on Sunday.

Djokovic's bid for an 18th grand slam title came to an end after he was disqualified at Flushing Meadows.

The Serbian's stunning exit has opened up the men's draw, with a first-time grand slam winner set to be crowned in New York.

Zverev and Shapovalov remain in contention for their maiden major triumphs after impressive wins.

 

ZVEREV, SHAPOVALOV INTO LAST EIGHT

Zverev, the German fifth seed, needed just one hour, 34 minutes to crush Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-2 6-1.

The 23-year-old Zverev progressed to his fourth grand slam quarter-final and first at the US Open after the comfortable win.

He hit 39 winners and 22 unforced errors in a straightforward victory.

Shapovalov, 21, also progressed thanks to a hard-fought 6-7 (0-7) 6-3 6-4 6-3 win over David Goffin.

The Canadian 12th seed needed three and a half hours and 51 winners to reach a grand slam quarter-final for the first time.

Shapovalov became the first Canadian man to reach the quarter-finals at the US Open in the Open Era.

Before Sunday, Shapovalov would have been expecting to face Djokovic in the last eight before the drama on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

 

DJOKOVIC DEFAULTS

The favourite to win the major, Djokovic was defaulted during his fourth-round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta.

Djokovic had just been broken to fall 6-5 behind in the first set when he hit a ball that struck a linesperson, leading to his disqualification.

The three-time US Open winner later posted an apology on social media as he bowed out in extraordinary circumstances.

"This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the linesperson and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok," Djokovic wrote. "I'm extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I'm not disclosing her name to respect her privacy.

"As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being.

"I apologise to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behaviour. I'm very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I'm so sorry."

 

CORIC INTO FIRST QUARTER-FINAL

Borna Coric backed up his incredible win over Stefanos Tsitsipas by easing past Australian Jordan Thompson 7-5 6-1 6-3.

The Croatian 27th seed was too good for Thompson on his way to a first major quarter-final, where Zverev awaits.

"Look, definitely it's a very good chance for all of us. Again, like I said, I think maybe like a couple minutes ago, I need to focus on my next match and on my next opponent, which is a very, very tough opponent," Coric said afterwards.

"There's going to be new grand slam champion, for sure. Yeah, that could potentially can happen that some of us can do something more in the future. But again, it doesn't mean anything. I'm really looking forward to seeing who it's going to be. I think we all have a very good chance. Yeah, it's going to be very interesting.

"For me, the most important is just to focus on the next match, like I said at the beginning. I cannot focus on the finals or what happened earlier in the day. I just need to focus on my next match."

Alexander Zverev was "in shock" after Novak Djokovic was defaulted at the US Open on Sunday.

World number one Djokovic was stunningly disqualified after hitting a linesperson with a ball during his last-16 clash with Pablo Carreno Busta.

It means there will be a first-time grand slam champion in the men's draw, with Zverev among the contenders at Flushing Meadows.

Speaking after his 6-2 6-2 6-1 thrashing of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the German fifth seed was in disbelief to see Djokovic exit in such a manner.

"I don't think I have ever gotten defaulted yet in my career or in my life. No, I haven't been in a situation like that. But as I said, it's very unlucky, very unfortunate," Zverev told a news conference.

"The decision was made I think by the supervisors, and as I said, they are just doing their job. There is nothing much else I can say to that. I don't know. I mean, I don't know what to say. I'm a little bit in shock right now, to be honest."

Zverev will face either Croatian 27th seed Borna Coric or Australian Jordan Thompson in the quarter-finals.

A semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year, Zverev said he was excited by the men's draw in New York.

"There's going to be a new grand slam champion. That's all I know right now. There's no past grand slam champions left in the draw," he said.

"It's going to be one of the young guys, I think, if you count Dominic Thiem as a young guy, as well. He obviously has a chance to win, as well.

"Now it gets interesting. Now I think is the time where it gets really interesting. Yeah. I know who is where in the draw. I know who I can play. I know who the rest of the guys can play. Yeah. We'll see where we go from here."

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