Novak Djokovic scooped his 89th career title with victory over Marin Cilic in Sunday's Tel Aviv Open final.

Playing his first singles event since winning Wimbledon in July, Djokovic landed a 6-3 6-4 victory, improving his career head-to-head winning record to 19-2 against former US Open champion Cilic.

He broke serve to lead 3-1 in the opening set, and then struck immediately in the second set to tighten his grip on the contest, completing the task with a service winner on his first championship point.

This indoor hard-court success goes down as a third title of the year for Djokovic, who won the Internazionali d'Italia on clay before triumphing on the Wimbledon grass. He is the first man to win a title on all three surfaces in 2022 at ATP Tour level.

Prevented from playing the North American hard-court stretch of the season, due to his refusal to accept a COVID-19 vaccination, Djokovic sat out the US Open.

He made his first post-Wimbledon appearance at the invitational Laver Cup team event in London last week, which doubled up as Roger Federer's retirement party.

At the age of 35, Djokovic hopes to be a presence on tour for a good while to come, and Sunday's straight-sets picking apart of Cilic was a fresh demonstration of his enduring prowess.

Marc-Andrea Husler beat world number 31 Holger Rune 6-4 7-6 (10-8) to become the Sofia Open champion and earn his first tour-level title.

Rune reached Sunday's decider with a semi-final triumph over top seed Jannik Sinner, who was bidding to win three straight titles in Sofia.

But it was Husler who took the first set, breaking his Danish opponent in the first game of the match before holding in all five of his service games to clinch the opener.

The second set was another tight affair, as both players continued to dominate on their serve. However, the match hit a crucial juncture with Rune leading the second set 6-5, as he spurned two set points to break Husler and level the final up.

Husler survived to take the second set to a tie-break, though Rune again had the opportunity to make it one set apiece as he failed to convert another two set points in the tie-break.

And Husler took advantage with two crucial breaks of Rune's serve to seal the victory and become the first Swiss player to win an ATP Tour title since Roger Federer in 2019.

"I am completely taken aback," Husler said in his on-court interview.

"I am lost for words. It was a great match. I played a great, great match for sure. I just tried to stay focused, stayed calm and I am just really happy I was able to make it."

Yoshihito Nishioka produced an impressive display to shock Denis Shapovalov in the Korea Open final and win his first ATP Tour title in four years.

The Japanese player earned a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) triumph in a competitive contest against fourth seed Shapovalov on Sunday that lasted just under two hours.

Victory gave Nishioka his first trophy since the Shenzhen Open in 2018 and capped a memorable week that also saw him defeat top seed Casper Ruud at the ATP 250 event in Seoul.

Nishioka took a big step towards the second title of his career by breaking Shapovalov at a crucial moment when he was 5-4 up in the opener, both players having earlier saved break points.

His Canadian opponent was in the ascendancy after claiming an early break in the second set but Nishioka fought back from 3-1 down to force a tie-break and then won four of the first five points in the breaker.

Despite Shapovalov reducing the deficit, he was consigned to defeat when he sent a forehand wide, Nishioka dropping to his knees in delight after converting his second match point.

Shapovalov, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, has now lost in four consecutive ATP final appearances and still has just one career title to his name.

Novak Djokovic is yet to drop a set at the Tel Aviv Open as he reached the final with a 6-1 7-6 (7-3) success over Roman Safiullin.

The Serb broke his Russian opponent twice as he cruised to the opening set, and though Safiullin took the 21-time grand slam champion to a tie-break in the second, Djokovic's class showed as he won the tie-break 7-3 to ensure his place in Sunday's decider.

It was far from plain sailing for Djokovic, who conceded the tension in the second set was hard to handle.

Djokovic said: "I think it was a very competitive match, especially in the second set.

"I must say I was quite emotional on the court today in the second set, there was a lot of tension, and that was also due to his aggressive style of tennis. Big serves, and when he has time, he's so solid from the forehand and backhand corner.

"I knew that I had to stay very strong, and that he was definitely going to raise his level in the second set, which happened. I was serving for the match and played a couple of loose points, but credit to him for fighting back. It was an enjoyable evening on the court for sure."

Marin Cilic secured his spot as Djokovic's final opponent with a comfortable straight sets triumph over Constant Lestienne.

The Croatian second seed served 14 aces as he eased to victory in under two hours, winning 11 out of his 12 first-serve points en route to a 7-5 6-3 win.

Holger Rune is into the Sofia Open final after Jannik Sinner was forced to retire through injury with the Dane leading 5-7 6-4 5-2.

Sinner won the opening set but lost the second, and with Rune just one game away from winning the match, the top seed chose to retire with ankle pain, putting an end to his hopes of winning three straight titles in Sofia.

Rune will face Marc-Andrea Huesler in the final, after the world number 95 upset fourth seed Lorenzo Musetti.

The first set went to a tie-break as neither could find a break of serve, though Musetti found two in the tie-break to help him to a 5-1 lead.

However, the Italian surrendered the next six points as Huesler pulled off an incredible comeback to take the first set.

The second set was another tight affair as both held serve after serve, but Huesler finally found a crucial break to prevail 7-6 (7-5) 7-5.

Yoshihito Nishioka followed up a claiming a series of scalps by avoiding a shock of his own as he defeated ATP Tour main-draw debutant Aleksandar Kovacevic to reach the Korea Open final.

Nishioka, who will return to the ATP's top 50, eliminated fifth seed Dan Evans in the first round and later top seed Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Kovacevic made his main-draw bow on Monday, beating seventh seed Miomir Kecmanovic, and continued a sensational run all the way to the last four.

The American threatened another upset on Saturday, but Nishioka held his nerve to advance 6-3 4-6 6-3 in Seoul.

And now the Japanese will revert to the role of underdog on Sunday, with fourth seed Denis Shapovalov his opponent in the championship match.

Nishioka has only one ATP Tour title to his name, and he will have his work cut out if he is to add to that against Shapovalov, who is yet to drop a set this week.

The Canadian continued that sequence with a 7-5 6-4 success against Jenson Brooksby in the first semi-final.

Novak Djokovic sealed his place in the final four at the Tel Aviv Open after beating one of his "best friends" Vasek Pospisil on Friday.

The Serbian was made to work hard by his Canadian opponent, particularly in the first set, but eventually won 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

Djokovic was particularly impressive on his second serve, winning 70 per cent of them, only four per cent less than his first serve success rate, and he hit just eight unforced errors compared to Pospisil's 21.

"It was a great, positive win," Djokovic said afterwards. "Vasek is one of my best friends on the Tour. We have known each other for many years. It is never easy playing someone you respect so much and like so much, but we are both professionals and wanted to win the match and you can see that.

"I think the level of tennis was really high. Especially towards the end of the first set and the second set. Credit to him for fighting. It's great to see him back."

The number one seed will play Roman Safiullin in the semi-finals after the Russian beat Arthur Rinderknech 6-4 6-1.

Constant Lestienne came through a tight contest with Maxime Cressy, winning 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-3), and will face number two seed Marin Cilic in the other semi after the Croatian was handed a bye following Liam Broady's withdrawal prior to their match.

At the Sofia Open, Jannik Sinner remains on course for a third successive title at the tournament, setting up a final-four encounter with Holger Rune after easing past Aleksandar Vukic 6-2 6-3, with Rune eventually dispatching Ilya Ivashka 6-2 5-7 6-4.

The other semi-final in Bulgaria will see Lorenzo Musetti take on Marc-Andrea Huesler after both won their respective quarter-finals against Jan-Lennard Struff and Kamil Majchrzak.

Casper Ruud stumbled to defeat against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka as the French Open and US Open runner-up bowed out in the Korea Open quarter-finals.

World number two Ruud lost 6-2 3-6 6-2 in Seoul on Friday as the Norwegian found the going too tough in his first tournament in Asia for three years.

Ranked 56th before this week, Nishioka is one win away from vaulting back into the top 50, potentially going beyond his highest ranking of 48th if he reaches the final.

He said, quoted on the ATP website: "I feel great. My motivation is very high. I am playing very well, very smart."

Assessing top seed Ruud, Nishioka said: "I know he came from Europe and played at the Laver Cup, which is not easy matches. He wasn't settled on this court or this country yet, maybe. I was ready. I was focused on playing against him and I had a plan and it worked."

Nishioka had an outstanding run to the Washington final in August, before losing out to Nick Kyrgios in the title match. That was a major outlier in his season, which has consisted largely of early-round defeats.

His semi-final opponent will be American Aleksandar Kovacevic, a 24-year-old world number 222 who is enjoying the biggest week of his career. A 'lucky loser', handed his place in the draw when a spot opened up, Kovacevic has taken full advantage and beat compatriot Mackenzie McDonald 4-6 6-3 6-2 in their last-eight battle.

Canadian Denis Shapovalov, still seeking a first final appearance of the year, moved one step away by beating Moldova's Radu Albot 6-2 6-2, setting up a clash with American Jenson Brooksby, who was handed a bye due to Cameron Norrie pulling out with illness.

Novak Djokovic cruised past Pablo Andujar to reach the quarter-finals of the Tel Aviv Open on Thursday, showing no signs of rustiness on his first Tour-level outing since July.

Djokovic had not featured in an ATP-level match since his final victory over Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon, having been forced to miss the US Open due to his COVID-19 vaccination status.

But the Serbian needed little time to find his feet in Israel, winning the first seven games of the match and breaking the Spaniard's serve four times en route to a 6-0 6-3 victory.

Speaking on court afterwards, Djokovic said: "Fantastic atmosphere here tonight, thank you very much. I like the court, it's very intimate and it's very loud. 

"The crowd here is very passionate about the sport, about tennis and I'm really, really happy to be here and to perform here in front of you, so thank you for your support."

The 21-time grand slam winner will face Canada's Vasek Pospisil in the last eight after he beat home hopeful Edan Leshem 6-3 6-2.

Two of Djokovic's fellow seeds fared less well, however, with Diego Schwartzman and Botic van de Zandschulp both being ousted after three-set contests.

Third seed Schwartzman failed to capitalise on a third-set match point in his 6-3 2-6 7-6 (9-7) loss to Arthur Rinderknech, while Britain's Liam Broady teed up a clash with Marin Cilic by beating Van de Zandschulp 6-4 4-6 6-3.

The Sofia Open also saw a couple of seeds fall to surprise defeats on Thursday, although Jannik Sinner avoided any drama in his 6-3 6-4 win over Nuno Borges.

Sinner now has a perfect 10-0 record at the event, which he won in both 2020 and 2021, and will face Australia's Aleksandar Vukic for a place in the final four.

Holger Rune also progressed to the last eight, though he was forced to rally after losing the opener against Lorenzo Sonego, but Pablo Carreno Busta and Oscar Otte were both dumped out.

Second seed Carreno Busta fell to a 6-3 3-6 6-2 reverse against Switzerland's Marc-Andrea Huesler, who will face Poland's Kamil Majchrzak in the quarter-finals after he came back to beat Otte 4-6 6-2 6-4.

Casper Ruud saw off a fightback from Nicolas Jarry to book his spot in the quarter-finals of the Korea Open, as well as this year's ATP Finals.

The top seed was given a second set scare by the Chilean but wrestled back control to emerge as the victor in a 6-2 3-6 6-3 encounter.

The two-time grand slam finalist, having been runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open this year, will face Yoshihito Nishioka after he saw off Japanese compatriot Taro Daniel in a 6-2 6-4 win.

His victory also ensured his place at the ATP Tour's end-of-year finale in Turin, alongside Spanish duo Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

Cameron Norrie remains on course to set up a potential final in Korea with Ruud after brushing aside Kaichi Uchida with a comfortable 6-2 6-2 victory.

The Briton will face eighth seed Jenson Brooksby after he turned over home favourite Kwon Soon-woo in a 6-3 6-4 result in Seoul.

Brooksby's fellow Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Aleksandar Kovacevic also came through their last-16 encounters to set up a quarter-final clash against each other.

Marin Cilic had to come from behind to defeat Dominic Thiem as he sealed a spot in the quarter-finals of the Tel Aviv Open.

Cilic, who was also celebrating his 34th birthday, was given a thorough test initially by the wild card, but Thiem ultimately faded away.

After losing the first set, second seed Cilic eventually won 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 6-4 as he succeeded in putting the Austrian's serve under intense pressure, setting up a quarter-final with either fifth seed Botic van de Zandschulp or Liam Broady.

Reacting to the victory, Cilic said: "I think it was a fantastic match. I think it was an amazing, amazing level.

"We don't get so many chances to play [a] second-round [match] in front of this big [of a] crowd, so thank you so much. It was a fantastic birthday."

Maxime Cressy, seeded fourth, was far more comfortable as he defeated fellow American Sebastian Korda 6-4 6-4 thanks to a break of serve in either set.

The only other seed in action was seventh favourite Adrian Mannarino. The Frenchman came unstuck against his countryman Constant Lestienne, who won 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

At the Sofia Open, two high seeds were surprisingly dumped out on Wednesday.

Home favourite Grigor Dimitrov, seeded third, was beaten in straight sets by Ilya Ivashka, who showed commendable focus to see out a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) win despite the crowd's support of his opponent.

Number six seed Nikoloz Basilashvili was the other big name to suffer a shock defeat, with 38-year-old Fernando Verdasco beating him 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 as the seven-time ATP Tour title winner rolled back the years.

Lorenzo Musetti bucked the trend, however. Seeded fourth, the Italian was made to sweat by Bulgaria's Alexander Lazarov as the first two sets went to tie-breaks, but the Italian had too much in the end as he won 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (10-8) 6-2.

Earlier in the day, Musetti's compatriot Lorenzo Sonego comfortably dealt with Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-3 6-4.

Novak Djokovic wants to replicate Roger Federer's emotional farewell by having all his tennis rivals present when he brings down the curtain on his own career.

Federer played his final top-level tennis match in last week's Laver Cup when partnering long-time rival and friend Rafael Nadal in doubles competition

Djokovic and Andy Murray, two of Federer's other great adversaries, were also part of the 41-year-old's side at London's O2 Arena.

Despite boasting an all-star cast of talent, Team Europe fell to a first ever defeat against Team World, yet it was Federer's teary send-off that made the headlines.

And Djokovic, who has no current plans to retire, would like to share a similar moment at the end of his playing days.

"It was just a very touching, very emotional moment," Djokovic told reporters ahead of his second-round match against Pablo Andujar at the Tel Aviv Open.

"Seeing his kids and his family, it got me emotional as well. I also must say I was thinking about how it would look for me when I say goodbye to tennis.

"There is definitely one thing that I will wish to have, other than, of course, my family and the close people in my life, I would love to have my biggest rivals and competitors there. 

"Because it added something more special; it added more importance to that moment."

Federer retires as a 20-time grand slam winner – one fewer major title than Djokovic, who is himself one behind men's record holder Nadal.

With Federer now out of the picture, Djokovic says Nadal remains his biggest rival on the court.

"We played the most matches against each other of any other rivalry in the history of tennis," he said. "The rivalry is very special and keeps going. 

"Hopefully, we'll get a chance to play against each other more times. Because it's exciting for us and also for tennis fans and sport fans around the world."

Denis Shapovalov claimed a spot in the quarter-finals of the Korea Open by seeing off the challenge of Spain's Jaume Munar on Wednesday.

The 2021 Wimbledon semi-finalist needed 109 minutes to claim a 7-5 6-4 win over Munar, assuming control by breaking in the seventh game of the opener before doing likewise early in the second set.

Canadian Shapovalov – who is seeded fourth for the event – had not featured since a dramatic loss to Andrey Rublev at the US Open earlier this month, but produced a consistent display in Seoul, not committing a single double fault during the match.

His reward for the victory is a last-eight tie with Radu Albot, who held his nerve in two tie-breaks to record a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3) win over Steve Johnson.

In Wednesday's other match, Japan's Taro Daniel beat Ecuador's Emilio Gomez in straight sets in the duo's round-of-32 tie. 

Top seed Casper Ruud begins his campaign against Nicolas Jarry on Thursday.

Holger Rune saw off a spirited challenge from Tim van Rijthoven to progress to the second round of the Sofia Open on Tuesday, while a pair of seeds suffered surprise exits at the Tel Aviv Open.

Rune – the fifth seed for the tournament in Bulgaria – required two tie-breaks to clinch victory in his first meeting with Van Rijthoven on the ATP Tour, eventually claiming a 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) win.

After the match, Rune expressed his relief at avoiding a third set, saying: "I didn't want to go to three sets. If it [had happened], I was going to fight for sure and try to take it in three, but I'm very happy to finish in two."

Meanwhile, eighth seed Oscar Otte beat Dragos Nicolae Madaras 6-3 6-2, and Portugal's Nuno Borges overcame Mirza Basic in three sets to tee up a meeting with defending champion and top seed Jannik Sinner.

In Tel Aviv, seeds Aslan Karatsev and Tallon Griekspoor fell at the first hurdle with three-set reverses to Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Vasek Pospisil, respectively. 

Etcheverry rallied after Karatsev took a second-set tie-break in comprehensive fashion to post a 6-2 6-7 (0-7) 6-4 win, while lucky loser Pospisil stunned Griekspoor for a 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 triumph.

Fifth seed Botic van de Zandschulp fared better, however, dispatching Joao Sousa 6-2 6-3 after producing a top-class display of serving.

The Dutchman will meet Britain's Liam Broady in the next round after he recorded a straight-sets win over Hamad Medjedovic.

Yoshihito Nishioka knocked fifth seed Dan Evans out of the Korea Open with a straight-sets victory on Tuesday.

Nishioka moved into the second round in Seoul with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) defeat of the Briton.

The world number 56 from Japan will face Taro Daniel or Emilio Gomez in round two after winning 70 per cent of points on his first serve and breaking Evans four times.

Jenson Brooksby was forced to go the distance, but delivered a final-set bagel as the eighth seed saw off Wu Tung-lin 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-0.

Qualifier Nicolas Jarry will take on top seed Casper Ruud after defeating Ryan Peniston 6-3 7-6 (10-8), while American duo Mackenzie McDonald and Steve Johnson also advanced.

Tseng Chun-hsin progressed with Chris O'Connell retired with an injury after losing the first set before Kwon Soon-woo beat Yunseong Chung in an all-South Korean contest.

Dominic Thiem fought back from a set down to reach the second round of the Tel Aviv Open with victory over Laslo Djere.

The former US Open champion needed two hours and 40 minutes to produce the turnaround, his 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 win setting up a meeting with another former winner at Flushing Meadows, Marin Cilic.

"I didn't get off to a great start. I got the break in the second set, and then I was a bit lucky I could turn the match around," Thiem said on court after the match.

"The third set was a real grind. I am very grateful to everyone who came tonight. It is really nice to play in Israel."

Roman Safiullin beat Hugo Grenier in the day's other match.

At the Sofia Open, Ilya Ivashka, fresh off a run to the US Open last-16, defeated Mikael Ymer 7-6 (10-8) 4-6 7-5.

There were also wins for Kamil Majchrzak and Alexandar Lazarov.

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