Novak Djokovic ran out of puff in front of his adoring Belgrade public and suffered a third-set drubbing as he lost to Andrey Rublev in the Serbia Open final.

The world number one was beaten 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-0 by the Russian second seed, who drove a forehand past Djokovic on his third championship point.

Djokovic was seeking a third triumph at this tournament, and an 87th tour-level title of his career, but 24-year-old Rublev came out on top, scooping his third trophy of the year after previous successes in Dubai and Marseille.

Having been barred from playing in Australia and the United States in the early stages of the season, due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19, Djokovic was playing just his third tournament of the year.

He lost to Jiri Vesely in the Dubai quarter-finals and to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his clay campaign opener in Monte Carlo, and on home clay he won three matches from a set in arrears but could not make it four in a row.

Djokovic had worked hard to get back on level terms in Sunday's final after making a slow start, and he had two break points immediately in the third set.

Rublev saved both, the second with an audacious drop shot, on his way to taking the game, and he streaked through the rest of the decider.

This was just the second meeting on the ATP Tour between Djokovic and world number eight Rublev, with Djokovic having previously enjoyed a crushing hard court win at the ATP Finals in Turin last November.

Rublev, addressing Djokovic, said: "It's a big honour to play against you, to share a court for the second time.

"I hope to see you for many years, and we will have more battles which I would like.

"I feel so great here in Belgrade. It's a really nice city. It reminds me of a small Moscow. I really enjoy my time here and to win a title here I feel double special."

Novak Djokovic will chase the first title of his chaotic season when he tackles Andrey Rublev in the Serbia Open final on Sunday.

Playing in his home city of Belgrade, world number one Djokovic will be expected by many to carry off the trophy for a third time.

He scored a 4-6 6-1 6-2 victory over Russian Karen Khachanov in the first of Saturday's semi-finals.

Djokovic has made a habit of losing opening sets this week, rebounding from early deficits to beat fellow Serbians Laslo Dere and Miomir Kecmanovic on his way through to the last four, where it happened again.

The 34-year-old was able to recover and improve his career win-loss record to 13-2 at the clay-court tournament.

Djokovic, who has been prevented from playing events in Australia and the United States this year after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, believes he is gradually building up form and match fitness.

He said in an on-court interview: "I'm already feeling quite comfortable on the courts. I think the three matches that went all three sets gave me enough of the match play.

"I was running enough in order to be at my optimum best. I don't think the lack of matches now plays a role. Maybe it was the case three or four days ago, not today.

"But in terms of the audience, of course that's going to be a huge motivation boost for me, so I'm going to enjoy the crowd's support as much as I can and hopefully bring the title to Serbia."

Rublev, another Russian, beat Italian Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-2 in the second semi-final, saying it had been his best performance of the week.

The world number eight is relishing playing Djokovic, saying: "It's going to be fun. Tomorrow I have nothing to lose, I can go out and enjoy it. He plays at home, so it will be his moment. The best I can do is fight and try to do my best."

Andrey Rublev says Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players is "complete discrimination" and does not make sense.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club this week announced that players from the two nations are prohibited from competing in the event following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Rublev is one of three top-10 players, alongside compatriot Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who has been blocked from playing at SW19 in June. 

World number one Novak Djokovic labelled the decision "crazy", while Billie Jean King and governing bodies ATP and WTA have also called for a rethink.

Rublev, whose best finish at Wimbledon came last year when reaching round four, believes there is a more logical solution.

"What is happening now is complete discrimination against us," he told reporters after beating Jiri Lehecka on Thursday to progress to the Serbia Open quarter-finals.

"The reasons they gave us had no sense, they were not logical. Banning Russian or Belarusian players... will not change anything.

"To give all the prize money would have a more positive effect to humanitarian help, to the families who are suffering, to the kids who are suffering.

"I think that would do something. Tennis will, in that case, be the first and only sport who donates that amount of money and it will be Wimbledon so they will take all the glory."

The Belarusian Tennis Federation released a statement on Thursday stating it is seeking legal advice regarding the decision to ban their players from Wimbledon.

"Such destructive actions in no way contribute to the resolution of conflicts but only incite hatred and intolerance on a national basis," the governing body said.

Daniil Medvedev headlines the list of Russian and Belarusian players who will be banned from competing at Wimbledon this year.

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which was facilitated by Belarus, the four grand slams and the ATP and WTA Tours initially confirmed Russian and Belarusian players would be able to continue playing, albeit under neutral flags.

However, the All England Club has now decided athletes from the two nations will be unable to feature at the season's third grand slam.

That means reigning US Open champion Medvedev, ranked second in the world by the ATP behind Novak Djokovic, will not be involved.

With Medvedev a doubt for the French Open having undergone hernia surgery, he could miss two of this year's majors. He has never had much success at Wimbledon, with his best run ending in the fourth round in 2021.

WTA world number four Aryna Sabalenka, who hails from Belarus, is another big name to miss out, along with Russian ATP world number eight Andrey Rublev, who has won two titles so far in 2022.

Russian women's number one Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, compatriot and 2018 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Daria Kasatkina and Belarusian two-time All England Club semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka will all also be absent.

"We share in the universal condemnation of Russia's illegal actions and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, to our community and to the broader UK public as a British sporting institution," a statement on the official Wimbledon website read.

"We have also taken into account guidance set out by the UK Government specifically in relation to sporting bodies and events.

"In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships. It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022."

Chairman of the All England Club, Ian Hewitt, said: "We recognise that this is hard on the individuals affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime.

"We have very carefully considered the alternative measures that might be taken within the UK Government guidance but, given the high profile environment of The Championships, the importance of not allowing sport to be used to promote the Russian regime and our broader concerns for public and player (including family) safety, we do not believe it is viable to proceed on any other basis at The Championships."

Wimbledon's statement confirmed that the ban would be "reconsidered" should circumstances change by June.

The move comes a month after UK sports minister Nigel Huddleston warned Medvedev and other Russian athletes they might be banned from Wimbledon unless they denounced president Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev and Rublev both called for peace in the immediate aftermath of Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas progressed to the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters with straight sets wins on Thursday, remaining on course for a final meeting.

Last year's runner-up Andrey Rublev, however, missed out on a last-eight spot after falling to a three-set defeat against Jannik Sinner.

World number three Zverev overcame Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2 7-5 to progress in Monaco, where he is seeking to win the sixth ATP 1000 title of his career.

"For the second clay-court match of the season, I can't complain too much," the 24-year-old second seed said on court after sealing the victory.

"Yes, I lost focus a little bit in the second set, but at the end of the day, he's somebody that can really play. I'm happy with a two-set win."

Tsitsipas (3) remains in contention for a second consecutive title in the principality after defeating Laslo Dere 7-5 7-6 (7-1) and will face off against 12th seed Diego Schwartzman for a semi-final spot after the Argentine defeated Lorenzo Musetti in a hard-fought three-set encounter.

There will be no repeat of 2021's final between Tsitsipas and Rublev, however, after the Russian fell to a thrilling 5-7 6-1 6-3 loss to ninth seed Sinner in the day's final contest.

The other seed to fall victim to a shock in the last 16 was world number seven Casper Ruud, losing 6-3 7-5 to Grigor Dimitrov, who will face Poland's Hubert Hurkacz in the last eight. 

Finally, Novak Djokovic's conqueror Alejandro Davidovich Fokina cruised past David Goffin 6-4 6-1 to set up a quarter-final tie with the United States' Taylor Fritz, who bested compatriot Sebastian Korda – with whom he played doubles with in Monte Carlo – in straight sets.

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev has been eliminated from the Miami Open in the second round in straight sets by wild card world number 102 Nick Kyrgios on Friday.

The enigmatic Australian triumphed 6-3 6-0 in 52 minutes to clinch a third round clash with Italian Fabio Fognini, who won in three sets against Japanese Taro Daniel.

The victory marks Kyrgios' third win over a top 10 opponent in the past two tournaments, having topped both Casper Ruud and Jannik Sinner at Indian Wells earlier this month.

Rublev had won titles in Marseille and Dubai earlier this season but was not allowed to settle by Kyrgios who sent down 10-5 aces and had a first serve percentage of 80 per cent.

"I know that he's a player who relies on a bit of rhythm, so I just tried to keep the points short and sharp, just play aggressive," Kyrgios said after the match.

"I'm just happy with my performance, whether it's 7-6 in the third or something like this, I'm just happy to get through."

Second seed Alexander Zverev was made to work for victory against Croatian Borna Coric, winning 6-4 3-6 6-3 in two hours and one minute.

The win marks the 2018 Miami Open runner-up's first triumph at the event since that run to the final.

Sixth seed Ruud eased past Henri Laaksonen 6-1 6-2, while ninth seed Sinner defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) in two hours and 40 minutes.

Several seeds were beaten included 13th seed Diego Schwartzman who went down 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to Thanasi Kokkinakis. Seeds Lorenzo Sonego, Grigor Dimitrov, Reilly Opelka and John Isner also exited.

Gael Monfils defeated Oscar Otte 7-6 (11-9) 6-1, Pablo Carreno Busta won 6-3 6-2 over David Goffin and 10th seed Cameron Norrie won 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 over Jack Draper.

Rafael Nadal extended his 2022 win streak to 20 matches and clinched a spot in his fifth Indian Wells Masters final after a thrilling three-set victory over compatriot Carlos Alcaraz on Saturday.

The fourth seed lifted in the final set to win 6-4 4-6 6-3 over 19th seed Alcaraz in three hours and 12 minutes, with Nadal to play American Taylor Fritz in Sunday's decider.

The match was played amid blustery conditions, particularly the second set, where debris flew on to the court regularly interrupting or delaying play, which appeared to impact Nadal more.

Alcaraz had more winners (41-24) but also more unforced errors (34-26), with Nadal finding another gear when it mattered in the final set.

Nadal's victory improved his record to 20-0 this season, earning him a fifth Indian Wells Masters final spot and his first since 2013. The Spaniard won the Indian Wells crown in 2007, 2009, 2013 and was runner-up in 2011.

The 35-year-old also clinched a berth in his 53rd Masters final, keeping him on track for a 37th title at this level. 

The 21-time major winner claimed the decisive break in the eighth game of the third set after a physio break for treatment on his back, before serving out to-love for victory.

"In the second, the conditions became crazy, honestly," Nadal said during his on-court interview. "It was not funny playing in this wind. In terms of tennis it was OK but in terms of stopping all the time, it was not good.

"In the third I think I played much better. I played much more aggressive. I am super happy. Being in the final means a lot to me."

Alcaraz had started the better to open up a 2-0 lead in the opening set, before Nadal responded emphatically.

There were five breaks in a row in the second set, including the Spanish teenager going ahead 5-4 after a game lasting almost 20 minutes, converting his seventh break point, before serving out the set.

As the conditions settled, Nadal showed more aggression, coming into the net with regularity before taking the key break in the eighth game.

American 20th seed Fritz reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final with a 7-5 6-4 victory over seventh seed Andrey Rublev in one hour and 50 minutes.

The California native is the first American male to reach the Indian Wells since John Isner in 2012.

"It's just unreal, really. It doesn't even seem real. I'm just trying to take in the moment, regroup and come back tomorrow for the final," Fritz said in his on-court interview. "But it's a dream come true."

"Today I definitely played my best match of the tournament so far. I was so much more aggressive from the ground and so much more solid [with] my ground strokes, whereas [in] other matches I was maybe playing a bit safer.

"I really tried to take it to him and impose my game today. I did it well, so that helped a lot."

Andrey Rublev made his fourth ATP Masters semi-final on Friday, dispatching Grigor Dimitrov in under 90 minutes at Indian Wells in a 7-5 6-2 win.

Dimitrov had only faced two break points for the tournament until this quarter-final, and Rublev capitalised when his opponent’s serve evaded him. Rublev was returning with particular focus, getting 85 per cent of points back across the court on Dimitrov's first serve alone.

Rublev broke in the fifth game of the first set on the back of two double faults, but Dimitrov secured one of his own with a trademark backhand pass. The 24-year-old Russian answered right back to regain breathing room and close out a tight first set.

Securing the break in the third game of the second, that consistent pressure on Dimitrov's serve again forced two double faults in the fifth game. From there at 4-1, Rublev saw the finish line.

The win was the seventh seed’s 13th in a row, adding Indian Wells to semi-final appearances at Miami, Monte Carlo and Cincinnati. A win in the final would equal a career-high 15 matches in a row undefeated.

"I think I played really well. In the beginning, it was more about who will be the first to dictate and play more aggressive, because both of us like to dictate with our forehand," Rublev said afterwards.

"The return [of serve] was one of the most important things. If you can bring as many returns as possible [into the court], and then here with these conditions, in some moments it's tough to serve."

In Friday's other quarter-final, Taylor Fritz did it tough against the unseeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, winning 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-1.

While Kecmanovic was content playing defence and grinding from the baseline, Fritz was the more active and it was most apparent at 5-5 in the first set.

Down 0-30, Fritz stood and delivered from the middle of the baseline with a booming forehand, before securing a critical hold.

The difference in tactics showed in the eventual winner differential, with Fritz's 35 in comparison to Kecmanovic's 15. Despite Fritz's relatively low unforced error count, he still gifted Kecmanovic the second set, serving three consecutive double faults to surrender the break at 3-4.

He regrouped and reeled off the opening five games of the third set, setting up his semi-final with Rublev. The other semi-final will see Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz meet in an all-Spanish duel.

Rafael Nadal did it tough against Reilly Opelka on Wednesday, eventually winning his way through to the quarter-finals at the Indian Wells Masters.

Nadal displayed an abundance of tactical nous, nullifying the American’s big hitting and service game to emerge the 7-6(6-3) 7-6(7-5) winner.

Along with a 76 percent first-serve rate, Opelka hit more winners with 26 for the match, but the 35-year-old Spaniard was able to grind out points from the baseline with his trademark heavy topspin. As a result, Nadal’s winner/unforced error differential was +14 in comparison to Opelka’s +1.

"He is one of the toughest opponents on tour," Nadal said post-match. "It is very tough to control his weapons with his serve and forehand.

"I think I played my best match of the tournament so far today. I am very pleased with how I was able to win the match, with two difficult tie-breaks. This victory means a lot to me."

The highest ranked player left in the draw, Nadal will now face Nick Kyrgios, who progressed to the quarter-finals after Jannik Sinner withdrew with illness.

Matteo Berrettini made a shock exit, meanwhile, losing 6-3 6-7(5-7) 6-4 to unseeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

The Italian world number six was put under constant pressure, with Kecmanovic targeting his backhand and hovered the baseline to close the angles on serve.

The 22-year-old’s only other top 10 victory came against Alexander Zverev, also the world number six then, at Cincinnati in 2019. He will now face Taylor Fritz, who defeated Alex de Minaur 3-6 6-4 7-6(7-5).

Also on Wednesday, Grigor Dimitrov edged past John Isner 6-3 7-6(8-6). In his unique style, the Bulgarian 33rd seed came up with the shot of the day, flicking a forehand pass across the visibly stunned Isner.

He will face Andrey Rublev, who defeated Hurbert Hurkacz 7-6(7-5) 6-4. In Wednesday’s other results, Carlos Alcaraz Garfia comfortably defeated Gael Monfils 7-5 6-1, while Cameron Norrie accounted for Jenson Brooksby 6-2 6-4.

Matteo Berrettini survived a scare to eventually progress to the fourth round at the Indian Wells Masters on Tuesday.

The Italian sixth seed had to fight from 2-5 down in the second set and saved three set points, before powering through to triumph 6-4 7-5 over Lloyd Harris.

"I got a little bit nervous," Berrettini said post-match. “I didn’t like how I handled the start of the second set. I let the anger get out a little bit, which helped. I found the right balance in order to break him in the important moment and then I had the momentum.”

The world number six found another level in reeling off five straight games, and will now face unseeded Miomir Kecmanovic, who accounted for Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6(6-3) 7-5.

Taylor Fritz was also pushed by Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar, taking a third-set tiebreaker to progress to the fourth round.

The 20th-seeded was made to work for it in a match that lasted just under three hours, but Munar feel short in the clutch, with two unforced forehand errors in the closing tiebreak to give Fritz a three-point gap.

In Tuesday's last game, Andrey Rublev showed rare composure to progress past Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-4. 

Neither got off to the best of starts, with Rublev and Tiafoe sharing service breaks in the opening four games of the first set. The characteristically volatile Rublev managed to regroup, though, and stayed calm even when Tiafoe got his home crowd on side. 

Despite a low 67 percent on first serve, Rublev won 83 percent of those points, while Tiafoe did himself no favours with an even lower 58 percent first-serve rate.

Last-year’s semi-finalist will face 29th-seeded Alex de Minaur, who defeated Tommy Paul 7-6(6-2) 6-4.

The Australian world no. 31 faced immediate difficulty on service, with only his second service game going to eight consecutive deuces, after five saved break points. He eventually saw the match through, after breaking for 4-3 in the second set.

Fellow seeds Hubert Hurkacz and Grigor Dimitrov both went through relatively unscathed, with respective wins over Steve Johnson and Alexander Bublik.

Dimitrov will face John Isner, who saw past Diego Schwartzman 7-5 6-3 in Tuesday’s other result.

Third seed Alexander Zverev has been knocked out of the Indian Wells Masters by Tommy Paul in his first game since his expulsion from last month's Mexican Open for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Unseeded American Paul triumphed over the German 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-2) in two hours and 17 minutes, rallying back from a break down in the final set.

Paul hit less winners, 26-21 to Zverev but made less unforced errors 25-19, while his serve and volley game was a key feature.

"I played a really high level today," Paul said during his on-court post-game interview. "The last time I played him, I played well, I put pressure on him so I knew how i wanted to play so I came out and executed him well.

"I played well when it came down to the breaker, so I'm pretty happy with my performance."

Zverev had not played since being expelled in Acapulco after a stunning outburst where he struck his racquet on the umpire chair several times after a doubles defeat.

Ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was a major casualty, going down to Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes.

The Canadian had 36-27 winners but was let down by 43-26 unforced errors, along with converting only two of his 10 break points.

Van de Zandschulp had failed to take three match points in the second set but showed composure to finish the job in the third.

Wild card Andy Murray was also eliminated in the second round, blowing three set points in the first set before going down to 31st seed Alexander Bublik 7-6 (11-9) 6-3 in two hours and one minute.

Last year's Wimbledon runner-up and Italian sixth seed Matteo Berrettini needed more than two hours to get past world number 86 Holger Rune 6-3 4-6 6-4.

Seventh seed Andrey Rublev defeated Dominik Koepfer 7-5 6-4 to extend his win streak to 10 matches, while 11th seed Hubert Hurkacz beat Oscar Otte 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Other seeds to be eliminated were 22nd seed Aslan Karatsev who went down 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to American Steve Johnson, while 24th seed Marin Cilic lost 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to Miomir Kecmanovic.

Andrey Rublev cruised to the Dubai Tennis Championship title with a 6-3 6-4 final victory to end the dream run of qualifier Jiri Vesely.

Having made headlines after his semi-final triumph over Hubert Hurkacz by writing "no war please" on a television camera in protest at Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Rublev wrapped up his third title in just a matter of days in emphatic fashion, after winning both the singles and doubles titles at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille last week.

The Russian world number seven had needed three sets in each of his last three contests but wrapped up a more straightforward victory against his Czech opponent, who had defeated 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic en route to the final.

Rublev broke Vesely's serve in the fourth game of the contest, not dropping a single point behind his first serve as he roared to a 6-3 win in the opening set.

The 24-year-old then broke again in the opening game of the second set, before the Czech, ranked number 123 in the world, battled back bravely to level the set at 3-3.

Rublev responded in brutal fashion, however, immediately breaking again and going on to seal a comfortable victory, hitting just eight unforced errors throughout the contest, as he claimed his 10th career title.

The victory made it 13 match wins in a row for Rublev across singles and doubles after his successful time in Marseille, where he successfully teamed up with Ukrainian Denys Molchanov for a symbolic doubles triumph.

"I was lucky today, and that's why I am happy to be the champion, I didn't expect this," said Rublev. "It's an amazing feeling and I don't know what to say."

Russia's Andrey Rublev wrote "no war please" on a camera lens as he joined compatriot Daniil Medvedev in calling for peace.

Rublev beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) on Friday to progress to the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

After confirming his place in a showdown with Jiri Vesely, the 24-year-old world number seven took a pen and scribed "no to war" on the lens of a television camera.

Vesely later wrote 'no war' on a camera lens after defeating Denis Shapovalov to book his place in the final.

It is not uncommon for players to write messages on camera lenses, but a plea for peace was an emotive move from Rublev.

On Thursday, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine following weeks of rising political tensions. The conflict escalated further still on Friday, with reports of fighting within the capital city of Kyiv.

Rublev's actions came after Medvedev – who will succeed Novak Djokovic as world number one next week – said he wanted to "promote peace".

Medvedev has reached the final four of the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

Rublev had previously expressed his wish for peace in a news conference at the Dubai event.

"In these moments you realise that my match is not important," Rublev said, with a video clip shared to his official Instagram account.

"It's not about my match, how it affects me. What's happening is much more terrible.

"You realise how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. 

"We should take care of our Earth and of each other. This is the most important thing."

Russia's Andrey Rublev wrote "no to war" on a camera lens as he joined compatriot Daniil Medvedev in calling for peace.

Rublev beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) on Friday to progress to the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

After confirming his place in a showdown with either Denis Shapovalov or Jiri Vesely, the 24-year-old world number seven took a pen and scribed "no to war" on the lens of a television camera.

It is not uncommon for players to write messages on camera lenses, but a plea for peace was an emotive move from Rublev.

On Thursday, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine following weeks of rising political tensions. The conflict escalated further still on Friday, with reports of fighting within the capital city of Kyiv.

Rublev's actions came after Medvedev – who will succeed Novak Djokovic as world number one next week – said he wanted to "promote peace".

Medvedev has reached the final four of the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

Rublev had previously expressed his wish for peace in a news conference at the Dubai event.

"In these moments you realise that my match is not important," Rublev said, with a video clip shared to his official Instagram account.

"It's not about my match, how it affects me. What's happening is much more terrible.

"You realise how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. 

"We should take care of our Earth and of each other. This is the most important thing."

 New world number one Daniil Medvedev said he wants to "promote peace all over the world", after the Russian achieved a career highlight amid the crisis in Ukraine.

Medvedev's 6-2 6-3 victory over Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka saw him advance to the final four of the Mexican Open in Acapulco on Thursday, where he will face Rafael Nadal in a repeat of last month's Australian Open final classic.

The Russian advanced shortly after Novak Djokovic's shock loss to Jiri Vesely at the Dubai Tennis Championships, which ensured that he will start next week atop the ATP world rankings for the first time.

The news came shortly after Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a military assault on neighbouring Ukraine, an act that has attracted condemnation from across the sporting world.

"Watching the news from home, waking up here in Mexico, was not easy," Medvedev told reporters.

"By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world. We play in so many different countries. I've been in so many countries as a junior and as a pro. 

"It's just not easy to hear all this news. I'm all for peace. In these moments, you understand that tennis sometimes is not that important. 

"It was not easy to play and I'm happy that I managed to win the match, but it was a bit of a rollercoaster day for me."

Medvedev's compatriot Andrey Rublev had earlier spoken out in favour of peace, calling the situation "terrible" in an Instagram post.

"In these moments you realise that my match is not important," Rublev's post read. "It's not about my match, how it affects me. What's happening is much more terrible.

"You realise how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. 

"We should take care of our Earth and of each other. This is the most important thing."

Rublev teamed up with Ukrainian Denys Molchanov to win the Open 13 Provence doubles title in Marseille just days ago, having also won the singles title at the tournament in southern France.

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