Daniil Medvedev's run of poor results continued at the Open 13 Marseille as he suffered a heavy straight-sets defeat to Gilles Simon.

Top seed Medvedev looked to have put his shock loss to Vasek Pospisil in Rotterdam behind him when he beat teenager Jannik Sinner in three sets to reach the last eight in the south of France.

However, he lasted just 67 minutes on court as Simon won their quarter-final in a 6-4 6-0 rout, racking up his 29th victory in Marseille, the most he has claimed at any ATP Tour event.

Simon's win sets up a semi-final with Rotterdam finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 19-year-old defeating Egor Gerasimov 7-5 6-2.

Pospisil was unable to earn a second shock victory in as many weeks, losing to world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5 6-3.

Auger-Aliassime will be the sole Canadian in the last four, with Denis Shapovalov joining Pospisil exiting at the quarter-final stage.

Fourth seed Shapovalov won the second set against Alexander Bublik, but was unable to complete a comeback after losing the first and was eventually defeated 7-5 4-6 6-3.

Open 13 Marseille top seed Daniil Medvedev got his tournament off to a fine start as he came from behind to defeat NextGen champion Jannik Sinner.

The 18-year-old Sinner claimed the first top-10 scalp of his career when he beat David Goffin last week, but he did not have enough to hold on against Medvedev.

After world number five Medvedev was brushed aside in a 25-minute first set, the Russian claimed two vital breaks in the second set before taking the decider for a 1-6 6-1 6-2 victory.

Medvedev will next take on Gilles Simon - a Marseille champion in 2007 and 2015 - after the Frenchman overcame Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Goffin suffered another upset, going down 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov.

Gerasimov's next opponent, Felix Auger-Aliassime, overcame Pierre-Hugues Herbert in a thrilling encounter, with the youngster coming out on top 6-0 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (11-9).

Auger-Aliassime's Canadian compatriot Denis Shapovalov also made the last eight as 17 aces helped him defeat two-time finalist Marin Cilic 6-4 4-6 6-2, with the world number 15 to meet Alexander Bublik next.

Jannik Sinner set up an enticing second-round clash against top seed Daniil Medvedev at the Open 13 Marseille with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) win over Norbert Gombos.

The 18-year-old is viewed as one of the most exciting prospects on the ATP Tour and a run to the quarter-finals in Rotterdam that saw him defeat David Goffin will have only furthered his burgeoning reputation.

Sinner will now get to test himself against US Open finalist Medvedev after defeating Gombos in straight sets on Tuesday.

Sinner saved all of the six break points he faced and was aided by nine aces, with a significant stoppage because of an alarm disrupting play at the Palais des Sports de Marseille not affecting his rhythm.

On his upcoming match with Medvedev, Sinner said in his on-court interview: "Nothing to lose, I will try to play my best tennis, which I have to do if I want to win. If not it will be a very nice experience."

Vasek Pospisil, who stunned Medvedev in the first round in Rotterdam, saw off lucky loser Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6 (8-6) 6-3. Hubert Hurkacz awaits Pospisil in the second round after the eighth seed's 6-4 6-1 victory over Antoine Hoang.

Marin Cilic came from a set and a break behind to beat qualifier Ilya Ivashka 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and book a second-round meeting with Denis Shapovalov.

Gilles Simon had no such issues against Harold Mayot 6-4 7-6 (7-3) and will meet Aljaz Bedene next after his surprise 4-6 6-4 7-5 win over fifth seed Khachanov.

Top seed Daniil Medvedev exited the Rotterdam Open with a first-round defeat to Vasek Pospisil that headlined a day of shocks.

Medvedev – the 2019 US Open finalist – was playing his first match since a five-set defeat to Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open but was unable to find the same level he produced in that thriller.

Instead, Medvedev converted just one of his six break point opportunities as Pospisil claimed a 6-4 6-3 victory on Wednesday.

Sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut was also on the receiving end of a surprise result, compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta winning 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-4) in the second round.

With Medvedev and Bautista Agut out of the draw, Felix Auger-Aliassime can afford to harbour greater hope of winning his first ATP singles title after he saw off Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-2.

Though Auger-Aliassime is a place higher in the rankings than Dimitrov at 21st in the world, some may have expected the Bulgarian's greater experience to win out.

However, it was the 19-year-old Canadian who controlled matters, enjoying great success against the second serve of Dimitrov, who committed 27 unforced errors as Auger-Aliassime progressed to the quarter-finals.

Daniel Evans will join him in the last eight after the Briton defied the odds to come from a set down and defeat Karen Khachanov 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Gael Monfils, David Goffin and Gilles Simon all sealed first-round wins, though the latter pair did so in unconvincing fashion.

While third seed Monfils eased past Joao Sousa 6-3 6-2, fourth seed Goffin had to come from behind to knock out Robin Haase 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and Simon survived a second-set blip in a 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-3 win over Mikhail Kukushkin.

Jannik Sinner is also through to round two, the 18-year-old given a walkover after Radu Albot withdrew with a shoulder injury.

Stefanos Tsitsipas fought back impressively to progress at the Rotterdam Open, but fellow seed Fabio Fognini tumbled out of the tournament on Tuesday.

Tsitsipas lost the opening set to Hubert Hurkacz and also slipped 2-0 behind in the second, yet he dropped only two further games as he progressed 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-1.

The world number six, who had failed to register a victory in his previous appearances at the tournament, moves on to face Aljaz Bedene, a 6-2 6-4 winner against Benoit Paire.

Andrey Rublev, the seventh seed aiming to win a third title already in 2020, wasted little time in reaching the last 16, dismissing Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2 6-3 in under an hour. 

Next up for Rublev will be Alexander Bublik, who came through a tense three-set battle against French qualifier Gregoire Barrere.

Fognini, meanwhile, lost in straight sets to Karen Khachanov, the Russian converting four of the seven break-point opportunities that came his way against the fifth-seeded Italian.

Felix Auger-Aliassime lost five straight games in the second set against Jan-Lennard Struff but eventually prevailed in a decider, his 6-3 1-6 6-3 victory booking a clash with 2018 runner-up Grigor Dimitrov. 

In the final match of the day, Filip Krajinovic defeated home wildcard Tallon Griekspoor 6-4 6-1.

Daniil Medvedev sees plenty of positives from his start to the 2020 season despite a fourth-round exit at the Australian Open.

Medvedev reached the US Open final last year but could not reproduce that run on the hard courts in Melbourne.

He was knocked out in the last 16 in a thrilling five-set match with Stan Wawrinka, having also fallen short in an absorbing three-set contest with Novak Djokovic in the ATP Cup semi-final.

Not dispirited by those defeats, Medvedev was in upbeat mood ahead of the Rotterdam Open, where he will be the top seed.

Speaking to the ATP Tour, Medvedev said of his year so far: "I think I have played some good tennis.

"I lost two really strong matches I would say, and of course I always want to win and show better results, but I am just trying to do my thing, stay in there and spend hours on the practice court.

"Try to show the best I can in the tournament, the best during the matches and as I say regarding the results, of course I want something better all the time, but if we talk about my tennis and the wins I had, they were quite good."

Asked about how he motivates himself, Medvedev explained: "To be honest there are a lot of days like this, really a lot.

"It's our job, it's not for fun, it's our job and for me the best motivation that has always pushed me, no matter what ranking I had, was to [be] better, I wanted to win more tournaments whether it was ATP Challengers before and now ATPs, grand slams.

"If I allow myself some days to text my coach and say, 'I don't want to practice today, can we practice tomorrow?' I can do that, tennis is an individual sport, but I just know that it's not going to make a good impact on my results and that's what I'm here for and that's why I push myself."

Rafael Nadal survived a fourth-round test at the Australian Open, but Daniil Medvedev fell to Stan Wawrinka in Melbourne on Monday.

Nadal overcame Nick Kyrgios in a huge battle on Rod Laver Arena, reaching the quarter-finals at the year's first grand slam for the 12th time.

The man he conquered in last year's US Open final, Medvedev, fell short in a five-set thriller against Wawrinka.

Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev's impressive run continued and Dominic Thiem also advanced to the last eight.

 

NADAL GETS PAST KYRGIOS

Nadal needed three hours, 38 minutes and a fine performance to edge past Kyrgios 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4).

The world number one, who has endured a frosty relationship with the Australian, hit 64 winners and made just 27 unforced errors in his win.

A visibly emotional Kyrgios warmed up for the blockbuster clash in a Kobe Bryant jersey, paying tribute after the Los Angeles Lakers great's death on Sunday.

The 23rd seed fought hard as the pair put on a show, but was left to rue costly errors in the two tie-breaks.

Nadal will face Thiem, who powered past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 in under two hours, as the Spaniard's bid to join Roger Federer on 20 grand slam titles continues.

Thiem, 26, reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the first time.

 

RESURGENT WAWRINKA OVERCOMES MEDVEDEV

Champion in Melbourne in 2014, Wawrinka produced what was the only upset of the day – at least by ranking – as he eliminated Medvedev.

The Swiss three-time grand slam champion claimed his first win in three meetings with the Russian fourth seed, winning 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2.

After failing to go beyond the third round of any major in 2018, Wawrinka reached two quarters in 2019 and is into the last eight in Melbourne for the first time since 2017 – the year he underwent knee surgery.

The loss saw Medvedev fall to a 0-6 win-loss record in five-setters in his career.

"As I say, I don't like to play five sets," he told a news conference. "I get tired. Even though I'm there, I want to win it. As I say, at this moment, didn't win one in my life. We'll try better next time."

 

ZVEREV'S CLASSY RUN CONTINUES

Next up for Wawrinka is Zverev, who is yet to drop a set after impressively brushing past Russian 17th seed Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4.

Zverev, the German seventh seed, did not face a break point on his way to the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time.

It also marked the first time Zverev has reached the quarters at a major other than the French Open, where he lost in the last eight in 2018 and 2019.

"He showed why he's a grand slam champion, beating Medvedev, coming back from two sets to one down, playing great tennis," Zverev said about Wawrinka.

"He's still one of the toughest players to play, especially here in Australia."

Nick Kyrgios emerged triumphant in a dramatic five-set clash with Karen Khachanov despite struggling with a hamstring injury, booking a highly anticipated meeting with Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

After passing up match points in the third and fourth sets, home favourite Kyrgios came out on top in the longest match of his career by beating Khachanov 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) at a raucous Melbourne Arena in four hours, 26 minutes.

Top seed Nadal beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4 in one hour, 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, while US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-3 6-2 and will face Stan Wawrinka in the last 16.

The Swiss advanced after John Isner retired while 6-4 4-1 down, with Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Gael Monfils joining him in round round four.

 

CROCKED KYRGIOS CLINGS ON

Kyrgios started confidently against Khachanov and, despite taking a medical time-out at 5-2 up in the first set, managed to edge a second-set tie-break while continuing to grip at the back of his leg.

However, he was unable to repeat the trick at the second time of asking and became increasingly frustrated as the Russian wrested control of the match away from him.

Kyrgios appeared to be struggling for motivation at points and became increasingly vocal, but he hung in to take the victory to the delight of his fervent supporters.

The Australian has a strained relationship with Nadal, who he described as "salty" after their meeting at last year's Mexican Open and impersonated after being called for a time violation while serving against Gilles Simon in round two.

Asked about going up against the 19-time major champion in his on-court interview, Kyrgios said: "Whatever happened between us he's an amazing player. I'm not even thinking about that right now, I'm thinking about my legs and getting them in an ice bath and getting some food."

 

NO STOPPING NADAL

Nadal was at his imperious best against Carreno Busta, winning 87 per cent and 78 per cent of points behind his first and second serve respectively, while also smashing 41 winners – twice as many as his opponent.

"It was my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt. Big difference between today and the previous days. I have been serving well, starting to create damage with the forehand," said Nadal.

"Every day is a different story. But, of course, it's important to make steps forward. It's clear that today I made an important one."

Asked if he likes Kyrgios, Nadal said: "I don't know. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion."

 

RUBLEV ROLLS ON

Rublev started 2020 with titles at the Qatar Open and Brisbane International and has continued his fine form at Melbourne Park.

The world number 16's 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) triumph over David Goffin was his 15th match win in succession, four of which came in the Davis Cup Finals.

Rublev had wobbles after taking big leads in both tie-breaks, but Goffin made 27 unforced errors in the last two sets to help the Russian progress to a meeting with Zverev.

Seventh seed Zverev is yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park after overcoming Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-2 6-4.

 

"IT'S A DISGRACE"

After beating qualifier Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 to set up a fourth-round meeting with Dominic Thiem – who overcame 29th seed Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 – Monfils refuted a report claiming excessively playing video games led to him suffering a hand injury.

"You know, as I say, it's misunderstanding with people. I say this in a funny way, to be honest, but it's a disgrace, to be honest with you, because I'm fine," Monfils told reporters in a news conference.

"I'm in the second week, playing great tennis. I think it's just someone who, I don't know, try to — you know, I played ATP Cup, was fine. I practiced here for one month. I was really fine.

"I never said I was hurt. Somehow, you know, playing PlayStation, this? Come on. And it's easy, because I think I'm a good name to make up good story like that. Now you know."

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev booked their spots in the Australian Open third round, while Alexander Zverev and Stan Wawrinka also progressed.

Nadal remained on track in his bid to win a 20th grand slam title despite wasting chances against Federico Delbonis in Melbourne on Thursday.

The seeds have been relatively untroubled in the opening rounds in Australia, and they are on a collision course heading into the end of the first week and into the second.

Medvedev, Zverev and Wawrinka were also among the winners in the top half of the draw.

 

NADAL BATTLES INTO ALL-SPANISH THIRD-ROUND CLASH

Nadal converted just three of 20 break points to overcome Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

The Spanish star was wasteful before winning in two hours, 30 minutes, while he apologetically kissed a ball girl after striking her with a wayward forehand late in the victory.

Awaiting Nadal is Pablo Carreno Busta, the 27th seed having got past German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-4.

Nadal has won his previous four meetings with Carreno Busta.

 

MEDVEDEV, ZVEREV AND WAWRINKA ADVANCE

Runner-up to Nadal at last year's US Open, fourth seed Medvedev was too strong for Spain's Pedro Martinez as he won 7-5 6-1 6-3.

Another member of the 'Next Gen', Zverev got the job done against Egor Gerasimov, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5.

Zverev will meet Fernando Verdasco after the Spanish veteran upset 26th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets.

Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, was pushed hard by Andreas Seppi, but the Swiss made it 10 wins in 14 meetings with the Italian veteran, securing a 4-6 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-4 victory.

John Isner awaits Wawrinka after the American served 32 aces in a 6-4 6-3 6-3 win against Chilean qualifier Alejandro Tabilo.

Dominic Thiem (fifth seed) and David Goffin (11th) were pushed to five sets before overcoming Alex Bolt and Pierre-Hugues Herbert respectively.

 

KYRGIOS, KHACHANOV SET UP CINCINNATI REMATCH

Nick Kyrgios and Karen Khachanov were both tested before setting up a third-round clash.

Kyrgios got past Gilles Simon 6-2 6-4 4-6 7-5, while Khachanov needed four hours, 34 minutes to edge Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8).

Khachanov won his previous meeting with Kyrgios in Cincinnati last year, but it was a clash best remembered for the Australian's outburst at umpire Fergus Murphy that resulted in a 16-week suspended ban and fine.

Gael Monfils, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz were among the other seeds to win through on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal acknowledged he had displayed "caution" in his straightforward first-round win over Hugo Dellien at the Australian Open, while Daniil Medvedev tasted victory in his opening match.

World number one Nadal eased to a 6-2 6-3 6-0 victory in just over two hours at Rod Laver Arena, hitting 38 winners to 21 unforced errors.

Nadal, who had his serve broken twice, stepped it up a gear in a ruthless third set, but initially was more focused on not making any silly mistakes.

"It was a solid start," Nadal said after booking a round-two match against Federico Delbonis, who won his match with Joao Sousa.

"The third set was a great set, I think I played a very good level of tennis. The first two I played with a little bit more caution. 

"I was just trying to not do something very good, but not do something very bad. Just trying to play a solid game with not many mistakes. Just try to do the things I know that I can do, try to put myself on rhythm. 

"That was my goal at the beginning of the match. Then, of course, with an advantage on the score, I just tried to play the way that I really believe I need to play if I want to have a positive result here."

 

MEDVEDEV THROUGH AFTER TIAFOE SCARE

Fourth seed Medvedev dropped a set against Frances Tiafoe but ultimately prevailed 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-2 in two hours and 36 minutes.

World number five Dominic Thiem made an impressive start with a 6-3 7-5 6-2 victory over Adrian Mannarino.

Home hope Nick Kyrgios won two tie-breaks on his way to a win in his match with Lorenzo Sonego, coming out on top 6-2 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-1), while Gael Monfils and Andrey Rublev progressed into round two.

After his troubling performance at the ATP Cup, Alexander Zverev made a positive start in Melbourne with a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory against Italian Marco Cecchinato.

ANOTHER CANADIAN STAR FALLS

After Denis Shapovalov fell on day one, 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime succumbed to a stunning defeat on Tuesday.

He was beaten by Latvian veteran Ernests Gulbis, who emerged a 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 winner after three hours and 35 minutes.

"Every time you come to Australia the main goal is the Aussie Open, so it's not good," Auger-Aliassime said. 

"That’s what the results show. But at the same time I am staying calm and positive because I feel I am not far from playing well and winning matches."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 28th seed, is also out. He pulled out with a back injury while two sets to one down against Australian Alexei Popyrin.

FOGNINI MAKES DRAMATIC ESCAPE

Fabio Fognini started Tuesday two sets down against American Reilly Opelka, but the Italian turned it around to escape with a dramatic 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (10-5) victory.

In the other matches that had to be completed on day two after rain delays on Monday, Roberto Bautista Agut beat Feliciano Lopez in straight sets, while Milos Raonic and Jannik Sinner also sealed their progress with straight-set wins.

Daniil Medvedev accepts the 'Big Three' will be hard to stop at the Australian Open, but said he was gaining confidence from facing the all-time greats.

After a superb 2019 that included a run to the US Open final, Medvedev is considered one of the contenders in Melbourne, where the year's first grand slam starts on Monday.

But 14 of the past 16 Australian Opens have been won by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, and the trio are again the favourites.

Medvedev, the fourth seed who will face Frances Tiafoe in a tricky opener, said regularly facing the greats gave him confidence.

"I think playing against them from time to time, especially the further you go in the big tournaments, the more chances you have to play them," he told a news conference on Saturday.

"The more times you play them, the more you know where you are comparing to them. For example, match in ATP Cup, Novak was kind of all over me. I managed to get back, almost win the match. I mean, he still won it. They won the whole ATP Cup. But I felt I was really close.

"Matches like this give you confidence to see that you're able to do it, but it's really tough."

Medvedev's run to the final at Flushing Meadows was the first time he had been beyond the fourth round of a grand slam.

The Russian, 23, said he was eyeing at least the quarter-finals in Melbourne this year.

"It's always tough to answer. Good Australian Open is to win it, but if you ask me what I'm going to be happy about, it always depends of course who you play, who you lose to," Medvedev said.

"But I would say I will be happy with quarters. As I always say, for me the first goal is to win it step by step.

"If I'm in quarters, I'm not going to be there and say, 'Okay, I've done my goal, it's enough for this tournament.'

"Any tournament I play, I want to win it. But quarters will be satisfying, I would say."

Venus Williams' clash with Coco Gauff headlines the Australian Open first round, but former champion Stan Wawrinka also faces an early test in Melbourne.

Williams and Gauff will meet for the second time in what is a blockbuster opening-round encounter.

But there are several intriguing clashes in the first round at the year's first grand slam and we take a look at six of the best.

 

Damir Dzumhur v Stan Wawrinka [15]

Wawrinka would have preferred a friendlier draw than a man he has lost to in two of their three meetings. The Swiss 2014 champion was resurgent last year, while Dzumhur has been unable to replicate the form of his breakout season in 2017. Still, the Bosnian beat Wawrinka in three sets on clay in Geneva last year so the three-time grand slam champion will have to be near his best.

Daniil Medvedev [4] v Frances Tiafoe

Tiafoe thrilled during a run to the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year, but that would prove to be the high point of his 2019. The American has made a slow start to 2020 with first-round losses in Doha and Auckland, but was competitive against Medvedev in a 6-2 7-5 loss in Washington last year. After a spectacular 2019 that included reaching the US Open final, Medvedev shapes as the most likely to stop the 'Big Three', although he will need to get through a somewhat tricky opener first.

Sam Querrey v Borna Coric [25]

While he has dropped off since 2017, Querrey will fancy his chances against Coric after the Croatian's difficult finish to last year. Coric finished 2019 with six straight losses and suffered two more at the ATP Cup, to go with a win over Dominic Thiem. After four consecutive first-round exits in Melbourne, Coric reached the fourth round last year, while Querrey has never been beyond the third round in Melbourne. Coric won their only previous meeting at the French Open in 2015.

Venus Williams v Coco Gauff

Arguably the pick of any first-round match, the 39-year-old Williams meets the 15-year-old Gauff once more. Gauff stunned Williams 6-4 6-4 at Wimbledon last year and her ranking then (313) compared to now (66) tells the story of how she finished 2019 as the teenager followed it up with a title win in Linz. Williams withdrew from Brisbane due to injury, making this a hugely tough task for the seven-time grand slam singles champion.

Kristina Mladenovic v Karolina Pliskova [2]

Pliskova has enjoyed Melbourne in recent years, reaching at least the quarter-finals in each of the past three, but was handed a tough start in 2020. The Czech is coming off a title win in Brisbane and that will give her much-needed confidence ahead of facing former world number 10 Mladenovic. The pair have split their previous four meetings, with Mladenovic winning the last of those in 2017.

Donna Vekic [19] v Maria Sharapova

A wildcard, Sharapova was always going to be the danger in the draw – and she landed alongside 19th seed Vekic. Vekic enjoyed a fine 2019 to rise into the world's top 20, while Sharapova battled injuries and has fallen to 145th in the rankings. Vekic should be the favourite to advance, but if five-time major winner Sharapova can find some form, the Russian is always a threat and last bowed out in the opening round in Melbourne in 2010.

Serbia and Spain both prevailed in the ATP Cup to set up a dream final that could see Novak Djokovic face Rafael Nadal.

Having won all three matches of their quarter-final tie with Canada in the quarter-finals, Serbia again remained unbeaten versus Russia, while Spain dispatched hosts Australia with successive singles wins.

Reigning Australian Open champion Djokovic came through an engrossing three-setter with US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic had lost his last two meetings with Medvedev, who threatened a comeback in Sydney after he recovered from a hugely disappointing first set to force a decider.

The world number two struck the ultimately decisive break in the fifth game of the third. However, typically obdurate to the end, Medvedev had three break-back points before Djokovic finally took his second match point.

It finished, fittingly, with the type of lengthy baseline rally that defined a captivating contest, Medvedev firing a cross-court forehand into the net to give Serbia an unassailable 2-0 lead with a 6-1 5-7 6-4 victory.

Earlier Dusan Lajovic beat Karen Khachanov 7-5 7-6 (7-1), and Serbia also came through in the dead rubber doubles clash as Nikola Cacic and Viktor Troicki defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili and Konstantin Kravchuk.

Paying tribute to Medvedev, Djokovic said of the match: "[It was] exciting, exhausting, joyful, dreadful all at once. At one point we both refused to miss from the baseline, so it was a lot of rallies and it was very exhausting. A very physical battle, but also a mental battle.

"He showed why he's one of the best players in the world, why he's top five. This kind of consistency and this kind of solid game from back of the court, big serves, got him to where he is. He deserves to be there.

"[It was] definitely one of the most exciting matches I have played against him or any other top player in the last few years."

World number one Nadal was similarly tested by Alex de Minaur, whose energy and intensity had the home crowd in Sydney on their feet as he took the first set in his quest to level the tie after Roberto Bautista Agut easily beat Nick Kyrgios 6-1 6-4.

US Open champion Nadal did not have a break point until the 12th game of the second, but he took it to force a decider and subsequently raced away to claim a 4-6 7-5 6-1 success.

Wary of the obvious threat posed by Djokovic and Serbia in the final, Nadal said on court: "It's going to be a super tough final against Serbia.

"Novak likes to play here and Serbia has a great team and is playing very well. But Roberto played an amazing match this afternoon and we have a good team, so we are ready for it."

Alex de Minaur and Nick Kyrgios sealed Australia's place in the ATP Cup semi-finals with an epic doubles win over Great Britain while Russia also marched into the last four on Thursday.

De Minaur and Kyrgios saved four match points before beating Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury 3-6 6-3 18-16 in Sydney to seal a 2-1 victory for the hosts.

That decisive win came after Dan Evans kept Great Britain alive with a 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-2) defeat of De Minaur at Ken Rosewall Arena.

Kyrgios, who beat Cameron Norrie to put Australia in front, lifted his team-mate on his shoulders and paraded around the court after they set up a showdown with Spain or Belgium on Saturday.

"t was unreal. The adrenaline has kind of worn off and I'm exhausted after that match. It was awesome," Kyrgios said.

"Today was probably one of the best moments in my career, definitely. Just making it through to the semi-final, the first-ever ATP Cup in that type of fashion, was pretty special.

"We genuinely care for each other, and [our team-mates] were genuinely just so ecstatic to get through."

Russia remain unbeaten after Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov secured a 2-0 triumph over Argentina.

Khachanov put Russia ahead with a 6-2 7-6 (7-4) win over Guido Pella and Medvedev delivered the victory by seeing off Diego Schwartzman 6-4 4-6 6-3.

Medvedev was given a point penalty for clattering the chair umpire's chair with his racket but regained his composure following a chat with captain Marat Safin.

Serbia or Canada stand in the way of Russia and a place in the final.

Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered frustration on day five of the ATP Cup, as Russia and Great Britain joined Australia and Serbia in the quarter-finals.

Germany were eliminated after a 2-1 defeat to Canada where a troubled Zverev lost his third consecutive match of the tournament.

He went down 6-2 6-2 to Denis Shapovalov in 70 minutes after also suffering defeats to Alex de Minaur and Tsitsipas in his country's first two ties.

Jan-Lennard Struff had beaten Felix Auger-Aliassime, but the Canadian later teamed up with fellow youngster Shapovalov to win the decisive doubles against Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies in straight sets.

Australia had already won Group F, so Canada will wait for the results on day six to see if they will progress as one of the two best runners-up.

"I'm really happy to get the win and hopefully we can go through," said Shapovalov.

"I feel like we're definitely one of the top teams and I feel like we definitely deserve to go to Sydney. Hopefully, if we do get that chance, we can do some really big damage."

Zverev's serving woes continued as he won only 29 per cent of points on his second serve and had seven double faults, taking his weekly total to 31 in three matches.

The world number seven said: "There's a lot of things that I still need to improve, but it's the start of the season."

Hosts Australia kept up the momentum by winning their third straight tie against Greece, as Tsitsipas fell to defeat.

With De Minaur rested, Nick Kyrgios took over number one duties and won a tense encounter 7-6 (9-7) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5).

Tsitsipas inadvertently injured his father Apostolos when smashing his racket in the team zone after losing the opening set tie-break and Greece ended the week without winning a tie.

But the ATP Finals champion was in a reflective mood afterwards, saying: "We had a difficult draw here in Brisbane.

"Canada, Australia … Germany, one of the strongest nations in the game, playing against a small, tiny little nation like Greece, which has no history in tennis at all? 

"You've got to feel proud. We fought very hard and we wanted to prove to the rest of the world that we can play tennis anywhere."

Russia booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Norway, Daniil Medvedev handing Casper Ruud his first singles defeat of the week.

Italy were victorious against the United States but cannot reach the next stage despite winning two of their three Group D ties.

Great Britain won 3-0 against Moldova and Belgium's 2-1 win over Bulgaria meant Tim Henman's team progressed as Group C winners and will face Australia in Sydney on Thursday.

Belgium, like Canada, face a nervous wait for Wednesday's results with Spain, Croatia, Japan, Austria, South Africa, France and Argentina the other countries vying to fill the four remaining spots.

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