Jack Draper will bid for a first ATP Tour title at the Adelaide International after beating Alexander Bublik in the semi-finals.

The British number four saw off the eccentric Kazakh 7-6 (2) 6-4 to go one better than last year when he fell in the last four.

It represents a second straight ATP Tour final for the 22-year-old, who was beaten by Adrian Mannarino in the trophy decider at the Sofia Open in November.

Draper was twice a break up in the opening set against Bublik, who is one of the most unconventional players on tour.

He dragged Draper around the court with repeated drop shots and one game in the second set featured a rally where both players played lobs between their legs before Bublik sent over an underarm serve and won the point with a volley played with his racket handle.

But there were also nine double faults and a host of unforced errors and Draper maintained his high level to set up a final meeting with Czech Jiri Lehecka.

“It was a really tricky match,” said Draper. “Alexander’s a great player and someone who’s a very unorthodox player. It’s always tricky to play against him.

“He’s actually a really good guy and a good friend as well. We have a lot of fun when we’re competing against each other. I was really happy that I was able to come through and get the win today and be in another final.”

Victory for Draper on Saturday would elevate his ranking back into the top 50 ahead of his Australian Open opener next week.

Rafael Nadal's return from injury will be "great for tennis", says world number eight Holger Rune, as the Spaniard builds towards an appearance at next month's Australian Open.

Nadal will return after close to a year on the sidelines at the Brisbane International, which runs from December 31 to January 7, as he targets a bid for a 23rd grand slam title at Melbourne Park later in January.

The 37-year-old has not competed since this year's edition of the Australian Open, having suffered a hip injury during a surprise second-round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald.

Nadal attempted to recover from his injury before the start of the French Open in May, only to be forced to withdraw from that tournament and undergo season-ending surgery.

The 'King of Clay' has said 2024 will likely be his final year on the tour, and while Rune accepts it will be difficult for Nadal to recapture his best form, the Dane is excited to see how he fares.

"It's great for tennis that Rafa is coming back," Rune said. "It brings even more fans to the tournaments and more excitement for the sport. I think this is good. 

"We're going to have Novak [Djokovic], Rafa, [Carlos] Alcaraz, [Jannik] Sinner and more guys for the Australian Open. That's going to be super fun and it's exciting to see how it's going to go.

"You see some videos where he's practicing hard, but of course it's always difficult to come back and play after so long. But I'm excited to see it."

Jack Draper was the last player to lose to Nadal, going down in four sets in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, and he is keen for a chance to avenge that defeat next year.

"I mean, I think it's amazing for tennis. Obviously, he's put in a lot of hard work to be back on tour, I'm seeing lots of videos of him training very intensely," Draper said.

"It's just good for the spectators, the players, that someone of his calibre – one of the greatest of all time – is back playing.

"I hope I get a chance to play him again because I think I was one of the last people to play him. It'll be amazing to have him back on the tour."

World number 32 Alexander Bublik echoed those sentiments, adding he was excited to see who will have the honour of being Nadal's final opponent if – as expected – he retires next year.

"Of course, it's very exciting that Rafa is coming back," Bublik said. "He's a legend of our game.

"But I just discussed it with Holger… I'm more excited to think who is going to play him in his last match, who he's going to finish such a legendary career against. 

"So for me, it's an exciting time. We'll see how he comes back but he's going to bring a lot to the game."

Two-time Miami Open champion Andy Murray has been eliminated in the first round of this year's event after a shock 6-4 7-5 loss to world number 76 Dusan Lajovic on Wednesday.

Murray, ranked 53rd in the world, could not find his usual return with Lajovic winning 72 per cent of second-serve points, prevailing in one hour and 38 minutes.

The Serbian claimed only his fourth win out of 16 matches on hard courts since the start of last year, holding his nerve after failing to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, converting his third match point in the 12th game.

Lajovic hit 21-14 winners, with Murray committing more unforced errors (15-13). The Serbian converted all three break points he generated.

Former world number six Gael Monfils was forced to retire due to a right wrist injury in his clash with French compatriot Ugo Humbert at 3-3.

Monfils, 36, was playing at only his third event since returning to the ATP Tour following seven months out due to injury.

Argentina's Facundo Bagnis defeated Brazilian qualifier Felipe Meligeni Alves 6-3 1-6 6-4, with his reward a second-round clash with last week's Indian Wells Open winner and top seed Carlos Alcaraz.

World number 50 J.J. Wolf beat world number 48 Alexander Bublik 7-5 6-3 in 79 minutes, earning a second-round clash with sixth seed Andrey Rublev.

World number 74 Martin Fucsovics sent down nine aces as he beat Argentina's Pedro Cachin 6-4 7-6 (7-2) in 107 minutes. Fucsovics will next face seventh seed Holger Rune.

Ilya Ivashka beat Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-1 to book a second-round clash with third seed Casper Ruud, while Fabio Fognini bowed out, losing 6-4 5-7 6-4 to Jan-Lennard Struff. USA's Brandon Nakashima powered to a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory over Germany's Oscar Otte.

Andy Murray will play Daniil Medvedev in the Qatar Open final after the 35-year-old came through yet another lengthy contest in his semi-final against Jiri Lehecka.

Murray appeared to be on course for a routine win after taking the first set 6-0, but was broken early in the second, eventually losing 6-3 to take him to a fourth three-set contest in four matches this week in Doha.

Lehecka should have won a hard-fought decider when 5-4 and 40-0 up on his own serve, but Murray's trademark resilience saw him break back despite facing five match points against, before ultimately winning the tie-break 8-6.

"I don't know how I managed to turn that match around," Murray said after the win. "In the 5-4 game, I think I played most of the match points really well. He missed one bad shot on the deuce point in that game at 5-4, but I played the match points pretty well.

"It's been an amazing start to the year. I have never experienced this in my whole career, like this many matches... It was sort of looking [like it might be a quicker match] for 30 minutes and then it turned into something completely different. Yeah, just amazing that I managed to turn that around."

Murray equalled Jimmy Connors for the fifth-most ATP hard court wins in the Open Era (489), and will play Medvedev in the final after the Russian's 6-4 7-6 (9-7) win against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The Canadian had three set points in the second set tie-break to try and force a decider, but Medvedev showed determination to turn it around and seal his place against Murray in the final.

At the Open 13 Provence, number one seed Hubert Hurkacz is through to face Alexander Bublik in the semi-finals, with both also having to come through three-set matches in a deciding tie-break.

Hurkacz was finally able to overcome Mikael Ymer 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) before Bublik defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 3-6 7-6 (8-6).

Third seed Alex de Minaur was shocked by Benjamin Bonzi, who broke the world number 23 four times on his way to a 6-2 6-4 victory to avenge his third-round defeat at the Australian Open.

Bonzi will meet qualifier Arthur Fils in the final four after the French 18-year-old beat former world number three Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 to reach a second straight tour-level semi-final.

Pablo Carreno Busta was a surprise first-round casualty at the Rotterdam Open after falling to Richard Gasquet on Monday.

World number 16 Carreno Busta, the seventh seed at the ATP 500 event in the Netherlands, took the first set with ease but fell to a 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 defeat against Frenchman Gasquet.

Veteran Gasquet, ranked 45th in the world, will next meet Stan Wawrinka after the Swiss overcame Alexander Bublik in dominant fashion with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 triumph.

Grigor Dimitrov recorded a 6-1 6-3 victory over Aslan Karatsev in just 59 minutes to set up a potential second-round tie with fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz, who must first get past Roberto Bautista Agut.

Qualifier Gregoire Barrere was another straight-sets winner, defeating David Goffin 6-0 7-6 (7-3).

The Frenchman, who is ranked 71st in the world, could meet third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the next round if the Canadian overcomes Italy's Lorenzo Sonego.

Alexander Bublik failed to bring an end to his woeful 2023 form on his return to the Open Sud de France.

Bublik's only career title to date came in Montpellier last year, but he will not defend his crown after losing in three sets to Gregoire Barrere in the first round on Wednesday.

That remarkable 6-4 6-7 (12-14) 7-6 (7-3) reverse represented Bublik's seventh loss in seven singles matches so far this season.

The 25-year-old, who has fallen to 50th in the rankings, has lost nine in a row going back to last year.

Bublik worked hard to stay in Wednesday's match in the second set, fending off three match points in the tie-break, but he could not show the same resilience in the decider as Barrere prevailed.

With the champion out, those hoping to take the title this week found life a little easier elsewhere.

Both Jannik Sinner and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina benefited from walkovers, albeit the Spaniard first had to dig in to level his match against Ugo Humbert, who had taken the opener 6-1.

David Goffin got off the mark with his first victory of 2023 with a straight-sets win over fifth seed Alexander Bublik in round one of the Auckland Open.

The Belgian lost both matches at the inaugural United Cup last week, but he saw off Bublik 6-3 6-4 in 74 minutes to reach the last 16 in New Zealand.

Another seeded player fell at the first hurdle on Monday as Adrian Mannarino lost 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to J.J. Wolf.

Richard Gasquet advanced with a 6-3 6-1 win over wild card Kiranpal Pannu, while Jenson Brooksby beat Fabio Fognini 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-3 and will now face Diego Schwartzman.

At the Adelaide International 2, fifth seed Dan Evans suffered a 7-5 7-5 defeat to Mackenzie McDonald.

Fellow seeds Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Miomir Kecmanovic overcame Brandon Nakashima and Kyle Edmund respectively.

Dan Evans helped Great Britain reach the last eight of the inaugural United Cup as his 6-3 1-6 6-3 win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas decided the team's Group D tie against Spain.

Rafael Nadal's shock defeat to Cameron Norrie – coupled with Katie Swan's win against Nuria Parrizas-Diaz – put Spain 2-0 down in the best-of-five tie ahead of Sunday's action.

World number 13 Paula Badosa put them back into contention with a hard-fought 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 win against Harriet Dart, but Evans gave Britain an unassailable lead by battling past Ramos-Vinolas, recovering from a dismal second set.

Having topped Group D, Britain will face the Croup C winners – the United States, Germany or the Czech Republic – for a semi-final place on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Hubert Hurkacz doubled up to help Poland past Kazakhstan, teaming up with Iga Swiatek in the mixed doubles after beating Alexander Bublik.

Hurkacz beat Bublik 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 6-3 in just over two hours before Magda Linette overcame Zhibek Kulambayeva 6-2 6-1.

With Poland's first win in the competition secure, world number one Swiatek helped Hurkacz put the icing on the cake with a 6-3 6-4 victory against Kulambayeva and Grigoriy Lomakin.

The Czech Republic also enjoyed a fruitful day as two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova downed Laura Siegemund in straight sets to seal the team's win against Germany, but Casper Ruud was less fortunate, with Norway losing their tie against Brazil despite his success against Thiago Monteiro.

World number one Carlos Alcaraz is through to the semi-finals of the Swiss Indoors Basel after easing past Pablo Carreno-Busta in straight sets.

Alcaraz took just under an hour and 40 minutes to overcome his fellow Spaniard and friend 6-3 6-4, getting 67 per cent of his first serves in and winning 77 per cent of those.

Carreno-Busta struggled to keep the US Open champion at bay, facing 12 break points in all, and although he saved nine of them, his defiance was ultimately in vain.

"It is difficult to play against a friend like Pablo," Alcaraz said on-court after his win on Friday. "Every day we go and have dinner, lunch, together. Every week and we train together, so it is difficult to play against him.

"I also support him and want him to win every match. On court, there are no friends. You have to be focused and go for the match and that is what I did."

Alcaraz will face third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final four after the Canadian defeated Alexander Bublik 6-2 6-3.

The other semi-final will see Roberto Bautista Agut play Holger Rune after the Spaniard beat Stan Wawrinka 7-5 7-6 (7-5) and the Danish teenager defeated Arthur Rinderknech 7-6 (7-0) 6-2.

In Austria, top seed at the Vienna Open Daniil Medvedev beat Jannik Sinner 6-4 6-2 to advance to the last four, where he will play Grigor Dimitrov after the Bulgarian overcame Marcos Giron 6-3 4-6 6-4.

The winner of that contest will face either Denis Shapovalov, who beat Dan Evans 6-3 6-3, or Borna Coric after the Croatian came through against Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5).

Lorenzo Sonego fended off the challenge of Alexander Bublik to win Sunday's Moselle Open final and earn a return to the top 50 in the world rankings.

In Metz, France, unseeded Italian Sonego swept to a 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 victory in the trophy match, collecting the third ATP title of his career.

He enjoyed a stellar week at the ATP 250 event, following up wins over Gilles Simon and Sebastian Korda with a semi-final victory against second seed Hubert Hurkacz, not dropping a set across his four matches.

Sonego, who reached a career-high ranking of 21st in February, had drifted to 65th in the months since, but the ATP said he would climb back into the top 50 as a result of his title run. The ATP's live rankings on Sunday showed him making a leap of 20 places to number 45.

Bublik, the seventh seed, had reached the final after Stan Wawrinka withdrew from their semi-final due to injury. He kept pace with Sonego on Sunday in a tight first set where serves dominated and neither man could force a break, with success for the Italian in the tie-break breaking the resistance of his Kazakh opponent.

The second set proved to be one-sided as Sonego added the title to his previous triumphs on tour, also extending his winning head-to-head record against Bublik to 4-0.

This indoor hardcourt success followed previous wins on grass in Antalya in 2019 and on clay in Cagliari last year.

Sonego said in an on-court interview: "This is a really emotional moment for me. I'm really happy because I played my best tennis this week. It's been a tough year and I want to enjoy this moment."

Stan Wawrinka abandoned his first ATP semi-final for over two years as the veteran Swiss bowed out of the Moselle Open on Saturday.

The 37-year-old was taking on Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik and trailed 2-1 in the opening set when he decided he would be unable to complete the match.

Bublik had broken serve and led 40-30 in the fourth game when Wawrinka approached the net and told the umpire he had to stop.

Wawrinka has been battling a thigh injury that appeared to be the cause of his withdrawal, meaning the three-time grand slam champion, now ranked a lowly 284th, could not push on with his quest for a first ATP Tour title in five years. His most recent semi-final appearance, prior to this run in Metz, had come in Doha at the start of 2020.

Italy's Lorenzo Sonego awaits Bublik in Sunday's final after he sank the hopes of Polish second seed Hubert Hurkacz in the first semi-final.

Unseeded Sonego took the win 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and will be chasing a third ATP title, after previous triumphs in Antalya in 2019 and Cagliari last year.

Bublik, the seventh seed this week, has just one previous singles title, earning that success in February of this year in Montpellier.

Stanislas Wawrinka edged closer to a first ATP Tour title in five years after edging Mikael Ymer in a thriller to reach the Moselle Open semi-finals.

On the same day fellow countryman Roger Federer would hang up his racquet at the Laver Cup, Wawrinka was forced to go all the way by his opponent in Metz, eventually winning 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-5).

The three-time grand slam champion, whose injury struggles and form have seen him tumble to 284 in the world rankings, served up seven aces to Ymer's two, and made no double faults.

Victory moves him into the last four, where he will meet seventh seed Alexander Bublik after the Kazakh saw off Holger Rune in another three-set encounter with a 6-3 5-7 6-4 win.

Defending champion Hubert Hurkacz is also through to the semi-finals after making quick work of home favourite Arthur Rinderknech, winning 6-3 6-2.

The world number 10 will face Lorenzo Sonego next after the Italian also came through his quarter-final in straight sets against Sebastian Korda.

Daniil Medvedev succumbed to second-round defeat against Stan Wawrinka at the Moselle Open on Thursday, while Hubert Hurkacz coasted past Dominic Thiem.

World number four Medvedev fell to a 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 loss against three-time major winner Wawrinka, who will next meet Mikael Ymer after his straight-sets win over home favourite Gregoire Barrere.

Second seed Hurkacz did not experience such struggles against Thiem as the Pole cruised to a 6-3 6-4 as he served 12 aces in a dominant performance in Metz.

Hurkacz will face Arthur Rinderknech in the next round after the Frenchman battled to a 7-6 (13-11) 6-3 triumph over fifth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Alexander Bublik, the seventh favourite in France, was also made to work for his progress to the quarter-finals, downing Emil Ruusuvuori 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-3.

Fourth seed Holger Rune awaits Bublik after Benjamin Bonzi retired due to injury when 6-4 4-1 down against the Dane.

Lorenzo Sonego coasted through his second-round clash to defeat Gilles Simon 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to tee up a last-eight clash with Sebastian Korda.

Maxime Cressy staged an impressive fightback in the Hall of Fame Open final to outlast Alexander Bublik and scoop his first ATP Tour title.

When he trailed by a set and 3-0, Cressy's hopes looked almost forlorn, yet the French-American came back to win 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in two hours and 23 minutes.

The run of six consecutive games in the second set saved Cressy's skin, before he edged a decider against Russian-born Kazakh rival Bublik in which neither man could force a break of serve.

Cressy had a brief injury timeout near the end of the third set, before sweeping through the tie-break.

The grass-court tournament in Newport, Rhode Island, earlier saw Lleyton Hewitt inaugurated to the International Tennis Federation's Hall of Fame, with the former US Open and Wimbledon champion on hand to receive the accolade.

Hewitt won the last ATP title of his career at the Hall of Fame Open in 2014, having lost in the final in the previous two seasons.

The 41-year-old Australian described the Hall of Fame entry on Sunday as "an incredible honour", saying he had previously considered it out of his reach and "for the people that were my idols growing up and the absolute legends of the sport".

Andy Murray will continue to play professional tennis for as long as he keeps "seeing progress" in his game, the Scot has revealed.

The former world number one was knocked out of the Hall of Fame Open by Alexander Bublik on Friday, with the Kazakh winning their quarter-final 7-5 6-4 in Newport.

It follows Murray's disappointing second-round exit at Wimbledon to John Isner, and while the 35-year-old wants to see results improve, he was optimistic ahead of the switch from grass to the hard-court season.

"Obviously I just want the results to be a bit better," Murray told the ATP Tour website. "I felt like I had a good chance of [winning] here. If I got through Bublik, it would have been a good opportunity potentially in the semi-finals.

"But… to have my body feeling pretty good and getting lots of matches in is important for me."

Murray did have some success on grass this year, including reaching the final of the Stuttgart Open before losing to Matteo Berrettini.

"There were some good moments, but also some tough ones," he added. "Today's match and the loss at Wimbledon were disappointing and frustrating for me, but then I also had my best wins in a while in Stuttgart.

"So a bit up and down, but a little bit of progress overall and I'll try and keep that going through the hard-court summer.

"[I want] to continue to improve. If I keep seeing progress I’ll continue to keep playing."

Murray met NFL quarterback Kirk Cousins earlier in the week, with the Minnesota Vikings star praising the tennis supremo's "grit", and Murray revealed Cousins was looking to incorporate tennis into his own preparations for the new season.

"I'd never actually met any NFL athletes before, but he seemed like he loved his tennis and he was saying that he feels like a lot of the movements you make in tennis are similar to a quarterback," Murray added.

"He would prefer to do an hour of tennis to an hour of agility drills, which I can understand as you get a little bit older, trying to keep things fresh and fun in training in pre-season is important."

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