Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised into the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships with a defeat of Pablo Carreno Busta and Benoit Paire gained revenge over Marin Cilic on Tuesday.

Tsitsipas claimed his first title of the season by retaining his Open 13 Marseille on Sunday and saw off Carreno Busta 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 two days later.

The second seed put the Spaniard under pressure with rasping returns and was broken just the once to set up a meeting with Alexander Bublik.

Paire saved four match points in a 2-6 7-5 7-6 (7-1) win over 2014 US Open champion Cilic and will face compatriot Richard Gasquet in round two.

Cilic knocked the Frenchman out of the Australian Open in the second round last month, but fell at the first hurdle in the United Arab Emirates.

Paire had lost five consecutive matches against the powerful Croatian, including a five-set battle at Melbourne Park, yet he fended off two match points in the second set and as many in third before bossing a decisive tie-break.

World number 37 Dan Evans claimed the scalp of fourth seed Fabio Fognini, winning 3-6 6-4 7-5 on day two of the tournament.

Fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut was another to suffer a surpise exit as he went down 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 to Jan-Lennard Struff.

Yasutaka Uchiyama, Filip Krajinovic, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nikoloz Basilashvili were also first-round winners.

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas started the defence of his Open 13 Marseille title with a straight-sets victory over Mikael Ymer to reach the quarter-finals.

Tsitsipas has made a disappointing start to the season, but took just 71 minutes to dispatch Ymer 6-1 6-3 on Wednesday.

The ATP Finals champion lost just three points on his first serve and did not face a solitary break point in an emphatic win.

Second seed Tsitsipas will face Vasek Pospisil in the last eight following the Canadian's 6-3 6-4 defeat of eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz.

Sixth seed Benoit Paire made a surprise exit in his homeland, going down 3-6 6-4 6-4 to Alexander Bublik in the second round.

It was anything but plain sailing for Felix Auger-Aliassime, who saved two match points before getting past Stefano Travaglia 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Auger-Aliassime's second-round opponent will be Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 victor in his match against Mikhail Kukushkin. 

Egor Gerasimov also reached round two by knocking out fellow qualifier Dennis Novak.

Sixth seed Benoit Paire secured safe passage through to the last 16 of the Open 13 Marseille in one of three main-draw matches on Monday.

Paire was drawn against compatriot Gregoire Barrere in a battle of two home hopefuls, but the more established player triumphed in straight sets.

The 20th-ranked star broke in the third game of the opener and protected his advantage in straightforward fashion.

There were no breaks in the second, but Paire dominated the tie-break to claim a 6-4 7-6 (7-1) victory.

Barrere was not the only Frenchman to exit the competition, as former world number seven Richard Gasquet went down 6-3 3-6 7-5 to Mikael Ymer.

Ymer will now meet Stefanos Tsitsipas, the defending champion and number two seed, who was granted a first-round bye.

In the final match of the day, Alexander Bublik defeated Marton Fucsovics 6-4 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.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were untroubled, but Grigor Dimitrov was among five seeds to fall at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Federer produced an excellent performance in a straight-sets thrashing of Filip Krajinovic on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great had received good news before even going on court after three seeds fell in his quarter of the draw, with Fabio Fognini only narrowly avoiding that fate.

Earlier, Djokovic dropped just seven games on his way to a thrashing of Tatsuma Ito in Melbourne.

 

FEDERER, DJOKOVIC EASE THROUGH

Having lost a set in the opening-round victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, Djokovic suffered no such setback against Ito, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2.

A record seven-time champion in Melbourne and 16-time grand slam winner, Djokovic brushed past Ito on the back of 31 winners.

Federer was even more impressive later in the day, crushing Djokovic's Serbian compatriot Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1.

The 20-time grand slam champion looked in fabulous form with 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors, reaching the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year.

Federer will next face John Millman, who upset 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 7-5 6-3. The Australian stunned Federer at the US Open in 2018.

 

DIMITROV AMONG SEEDS TO CRASH OUT

Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2017, bowed out in a surprise 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (10-3) loss to Tommy Paul.

The Bulgarian 18th seed went up by a break twice in the final set, but lost seven consecutive points from 3-3 in the match tie-break.

Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed who reached the US Open semi-finals, was edged out by Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 4-6 2-6 7-5.

Sandgren reached the quarter-finals in 2018 and will face Sam Querrey in an all-American third-round clash.

British 30th seed Dan Evans also made a second-round exit, losing to Djokovic's next opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-4 6-3 6-4.

 

CILIC, RAONIC ADVANCE AS TSITSIPAS GETS FREE PASS

Marin Cilic, runner-up in 2018, eliminated 21st seed Benoit Paire in a thriller.

The Croatian needed three hours, 33 minutes to overcome Paire 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-3).

Next up for Cilic is a man he has lost to twice at the Australian Open in Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish ninth seed too good for Michael Mmoh 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-1.

Milos Raonic has reached at least the Australian Open quarter-finals four times and the Canadian has shown impressive form early on this year.

The 29-year-old served 19 aces in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Cristian Garin on Wednesday and next faces 2019 semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas advanced without hitting a ball after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to a muscle strain.

 

FOGNINI TAKEN THE DISTANCE BY THOMPSON

It is proving to be an arduous campaign for Fognini, who surrendered a two-set lead before holding his nerve in a decisive tie-break with home hope Jordan Thompson.

The Italian was taken the distance in his first-round meeting with Reilly Opelka after losing the first two sets, and this time it was the 12th seed who almost choked on a healthy lead.

Fognini hurt himself when punching his racket in frustration and was called for a foot-fault in the fifth-set breaker, but he got the job done in a memorable 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 (10-4) triumph that took more than four hours to complete. 

Novak Djokovic vowed to "enjoy every moment" after reaching the second round of the Australian Open on an opening day that saw seeds Denis Shapovalov and Borna Coric crash out.

Djokovic started the defence of his title with a battling 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Losing his serve three times while dropping the third set and having to edge a close tie-break in the opener meant Djokovic spent longer than he would have hoped on court, but he relished the two-hour-and-16-minute encounter.

Asked about winning his 900th Tour-level match, the second seed said: "I'm obviously very proud of all the achievements, but at the same time I try to remind myself how grateful I am to be playing this sport at a high level at this stage of my career. 

"I can't take things for granted, I'm trying to enjoy every moment. It's a New Year resolution, to enjoy more. It's easier said than done when you're on the court.

"Especially in my position, I'm expected to win all my matches, there's a lot of pressure and emotions involved. But I try to really enjoy it, the two and half hours spent on court were a lot of fun."


SHAPOVALOV AND CORIC FALL AT FIRST HURDLE

The biggest shock of the day saw number 13 seed Shapovalov fall to a four-set defeat against Hungarian world number 67 Marton Fucsovics.

Fucsovics won 7-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 7-6 (7-3) in three hours and 13 minutes as the highly-rated Canadian crashed out.

Shapovalov lost his temper with the umpire when he was giving a code violation for racket abuse despite it not being damaged.

"I think that's a terrible call from the [umpire]," Shapovalov said. "The rule [according to] what I know is that if I break my racket, yeah you can code me, but you can't code me for slamming it.

"I'm not doing anything and it didn't impact anyone and the racket was still intact. He gave me a warning because I did it two or three times and I think that's not the way it works."

Number 25 seed Coric was eliminated in straight sets by Sam Querrey. 

The American won 6-3 6-4 6-4 as a dreadful run for Coric, which has seen him win only one of his last 10 matches, went on.
 

FEDERER AND TSITSIPAS COAST THROUGH

Roger Federer progressed in comfortable fashion, the third seed seeing off Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2 in only 81 minutes.

Johnson only forced one break-point opportunity in the match against the 20-time grand slam and did not convert it.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the ATP Finals champion and a semi-finalist in Melbourne last year, got off to a smooth start, defeating Salvatore Caruso 6-0 6-2 6-3.

 

RAIN LEAVES MATCHES UNFINISHED

Inclement weather left a host of Monday's other first-round matches incomplete, with Reilly Opelka closing in on an upset against Fabio Fognini when play was suspended at 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 1-0.

Rising star Jannik Sinner has a 2-0 lead over Max Purcell with the third set level at 4-4, while Roberto Bautista Agut was a set up against Feliciano Lopez.

Milos Raonic is one game away from a first-round win, his match against Lorenzo Giustino all-but over with the Canadian 6-2 6-1 5-2 to the good.

Andrey Rublev outlasted fellow young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime in a gruelling clash on Friday to reach the Adelaide International final.

The Russian won 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 in a three-hour test, putting him one step away from a second title in 2020.

After triumphing at the Qatar Open last weekend, Rublev, 22, has brought his best form to Australia and had a marginal edge over his 19-year-old Canadian opponent.

At one point Rublev looked like getting the job done in straight sets, but teenager Auger-Aliassime dug deep to force a decider as he sensed the opportunity to grab a first ATP Tour title this weekend.

It went Rublev's way eventually as he advanced to a title match against South African Lloyd Harris, who had earlier beaten American Tommy Paul 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 in a battle between two qualifiers.

Harris and Paul, both aged 22 and ranked respectively 91st and 90th in the world, were unlikely semi-finalists, and Harris will go into the final as the obvious underdog.

The Auckland Open will crown its first French champion after Benoit Paire and Ugo Humbert won through to its final.

Dating back to the 1950s, the tournament crowned a host of the world's elite players in its early years, including Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Bjorn Borg, and its list of winners reflects the cosmopolitan nature of the tour.

Yet French success has been in short supply, until now.

Humbert was a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 winner against American John Isner, sending the 21-year-old left-hander through to his first tour final.

Paire fended off Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 and will target his fourth ATP title.

"I am very happy to play against a compatriot tomorrow," said 30-year-old Paire, quoted on the ATP website. "He is a very nice guy and we will see, but I am very happy to be in the final. It was the first time for me in the [Auckland] semi-finals and now the first time for me in the final."

Denis Shapovalov was surprisingly beaten in straight sets by 21-year-old Ugo Humbert at the Auckland Open on Friday.

A day after first and third seeds Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov were knocked out, second seed Shapovalov was beaten 7-5 6-4.

Humbert, who broke serve in the final game of each set, described the win as "one of the biggest of my career" as he set up a semi-final against John Isner.

The American was taken to two tie-breaks by Kyle Edmund but prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5), his 25 aces getting him over the line as he seeks a third title in Auckland.

Benoit Paire reached his first semi-final at the event, coming from a set down to beat John Millman 3-6 6-1 6-4.

The fifth seed will face Hubert Hurkacz, who spurned six second-set match points in a mammoth tie-break before eventually seeing off Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-7 (11-13) 6-4.

At the Adelaide International, home favourite Alex Bolt was soundly beaten by Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Canadian needing just 55 minutes to win 6-3 6-0.

He will meet Andrey Rublev in the last four after the Russian battled past Dan Evans 6-4 3-6 6-3 in just over two hours.

Spanish hopes were extinguished in the quarter-finals, where Tommy Paul surprised Albert Ramos-Vinolas to win 6-3 6-4 and Lloyd Harris beat fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-3.

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 ensured Serbia's progression into the last eight of the Davis Cup Finals with a straight-sets win over France's Benoit Paire in Madrid.

Djokovic's team-mate Filip Krajinovic had teed up the chance for the world number two to send Serbia through from Group A with a 7-5 7-6 (7-5) triumph over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

After a group-stage exit at the ATP Finals in London last week, Djokovic made no mistake against Paire, winning 6-3 6-3 to secure a 2-1 victory for Serbia and send last year's runners-up France out in the process.

"The team is looking good, we won all six sets yesterday," Djokovic said at Caja Magica. "It was important getting a clean sheet against Japan coming into today’s match.

"Filip definitely gave me wings with his win, which was quite amazing. Tsonga was playing well and in good form and Filip was just fantastic on the court today. Credit to him."

Serbia, champions in 2010, will now face Russia in the quarter-finals on Friday and are joined in the last eight by Great Britain, who overcame Kazakhstan in a decisive doubles rubber.

Alexander Bublik's 5-7 6-4 6-1 win over Daniel Evans left the Group E contest tied at 1-1 heading into Thursday's decider.

However, Bublik, paired with Mikhail Kukushkin, failed to maintain his winning form, and Great Britain booked the remaining knockout place as Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski came out on top 6-1 6-4 in 72 minutes.

Group C winners Germany await Great Britain in the quarters, with Philipp Kohlschreiber's 6-4 6-3 defeat of Nicolas Jarry having sent them through at the expense of Chile.

Cristian Garin at least claimed a consolatory win – Chile's first of the tournament – with a superb performance against Jan-Lennard Struff, saving three match points en route to a 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (10-8) success.

Glory for Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies in the doubles capped off a 2-1 triumph for Germany, with Garin's ultimately the only sets won by Chile at the Finals.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made home advantage count as he defeated Andrey Rublev to progress into round two at the Paris Masters.

World number 35 Tsonga, who entered the final ATP Masters 1000 event of 2019 as a wildcard, proved one of the main attractions for fans on day one of the main draw and overcame Rublev 4-6 7-5 6-4 in a gruelling contest that lasted two hours and 23 minutes.

Tsonga's reward for a first victory in a Masters event in over two years is a meeting with Matteo Berrettini, who broke into the top 10 on Monday and occupies the last of two available ATP Finals spots.

Tsonga's compatriot Benoit Paire defeated Damir Dzumhur in straight sets, while Jeremy Chardy battled past Sam Querrey.

Adrian Mannarino set up a second-round tie with Rafael Nadal, while ATP Finals hopeful Alexander Zverev will go up against Fernando Verdasco, who beat Borna Coric.

There were also wins for Cristian Garin, Milos Raonic, Radu Albot, Jan-Lennard Struff and 2018 Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic.

 

TSONGA TEES UP BERRETTINI BOUT

New world number nine Berrettini sits 130 points clear of Roberto Bautista Agut in the Race for London rankings but will have to be at his best if 2008 Paris champion Tsonga can maintain the form he displayed against Rublev.

The Russian has impressed in 2019, winning in Moscow this month after victories over Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and Roger Federer over the course of the season.

His campaign came to an end with a whimper, though, as Tsonga fought back from behind to claim a first win in a Masters-level match since May 2017.

Rublev only dropped serve three times, but the second such occasion handed Tsonga set two, with an early break in the decider giving the Frenchman the chance to serve out the triumph with a first match point.

 

NADAL NEXT UP FOR MANNARINO

With Roger Federer having withdrawn from the tournament, the path looks clearer for defending champion Novak Djokovic and soon-to-be world number one Nadal to taste success.

Nadal will be taking nothing for granted against Mannarino, though, with the wildcard having made light work of NextGen ATP Finals qualifier Casper Ruud.

Two breaks in each set put Mannarino in command and he duly marched through 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes. 

 

FRANCE'S FAN FAVOURITES PROGRESS

It was a perfect day for the French players on Monday, with all those in action making it through. Joining Tsonga and Mannarino in the second round was Chardy, who edged out fellow qualifier Querrey 5-7 6-3 7-5.

In-form Daniil Medvedev awaits Chardy, with the US Open finalist and Shanghai Masters champion aiming to sharpen up ahead of the ATP Finals.

Paire, meanwhile, will go head-to-head with French number one Gael Monfils after a 7-5 6-4 triumph over Dzumhur.

Roger Federer was delighted to find a "good spring in my step" as he cruised into the second round of the Swiss Indoors Basel with a 21st successive victory at the event.

A nine-time winner in his home city, Federer overcame qualifier Peter Gojowczyk with ease in 53 minutes on court, making 34 winners in a 6-2 6-1 triumph.

It was the 1,500th match on the ATP Tour for Federer but he showed no signs of either fatigue or rustiness in a routine win.

"I thought the match was good," he said in quotes published on the ATP Tour's website.

"I felt like I had a good spring in my step and was quick onto the ball. Didn't take me long to get used to the conditions. That was positive.

“[I] knew of the danger playing Peter, especially indoors. He had a great couple of qualifying matches, so I knew he'd be tough, especially [because] he beat [Ivo] Karlovic easy, who serves great."

Elsewhere in Switzerland, eighth seed Benoit Paire was knocked out by wildcard Henri Laaksonen, who won 6-3 7-5, while Jan-Lennard Struff and Alex de Minaur advanced.

Daniil Medvedev racked up another straight-sets win to book a shot at Borna Coric in the St Petersburg Open final.

The US Open runner-up, who has enjoyed a sensational run of form since Wimbledon, defeated Egor Gerasimov 7-5 7-5 in the last four.

Qualifier Gerasimov was competitive but unable to repeat his quarter-final upset of third seed Matteo Berrettini.

Medvedev made the decisive break late in each set and dropped serve just once in the 90-minute match, the Russian reaching his eighth final of 2019 as a result.

He is the first player since Novak Djokovic at the end of 2018 to reach the final in five consecutive tournaments played.

Top seed Medvedev will meet Coric after the Croatian came from behind to defeat Joao Sousa 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

Coric, seeded fourth, has won all of his three matches this week in a deciding set to reach a sixth career ATP Tour final.

Sousa lost a contest lasting two hours and 16 minutes despite saving 14 of 17 break points. A tense second-set tie-break, which was level at 5-5 before Coric won two straight points, ultimately proved decisive.

Coric holds a 4-1 head-to-head advantage over Medvedev, who is looking to become the first Russian to win in St Petersburg since Mikhail Youzhny 15 years ago.

At the Moselle Open, Aljaz Bedene will meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.

World number 76 Bedene reached his first ATP Tour final of the year after disappointing the home fans in Metz with an upset 4-6 6-1 6-2 win over France's Benoit Paire.

But the home support will have Tsonga to get behind on Sunday after he overcame fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4).

Both players dominated on serve, with Pouille failing to convert the solitary break-point opportunity of the match while leading 6-5 in the first set, as Tsonga reached his fifth Moselle Open final.

Benoit Paire recorded just his second victory over fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet to progress at the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

Gasquet held a 7-1 career record going into the match against his compatriot but failed to capitalise on winning the first set against Paire, who relied on his excellent service game to rally for a 3-6 6-3 6-4 triumph.

Next up will be another countryman in Gregoire Barrere, a 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 winner over Antoine Hoang, while Gilles Simon remains on track for glory on home soil - for a fourth time - after seeing off Marius Copil in straight sets.

Ugo Humbert could not provide another French success, losing in three sets to Yannick Maden.

In the late game, Fernando Verdasco went down in a three-set tussle with Filip Krajinovic, the Spanish fifth seed knocked out after one hour and 51 minutes on court.

At the St Petersburg Open, Mikhail Kukushkin prevailed in a clash between two former champions.

Kukushkin, the sixth seed who lifted the title back in 2010, overcame 2017 champion Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

He is joined by Egor Gerasimov, the qualifier causing an upset as he downed seventh-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in straight sets, winning 6-3 6-1 in just over an hour.

Eighth seed Casper Ruud avoided a shock in his last-32 tie against Alexander Bublik, albeit the Norwegian had to rally from a set down for a 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 triumph.

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