Andrey Rublev suggested he had given up hope at 5-0 down in the deciding tie-break against Holger Rune.

Rublev prevailed 6-3 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (11-9) in a three-and-a-half-hour thriller against the Dane on Monday to progress to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The Russian salvaged two match points to force a tie-break at the end of the fifth set, but found himself staring down the barrel of an exit from the season's first major as Rune cruised into a commanding lead.

Yet Rublev won nine of the next 11 points and, at the third attempt, sealed a remarkable victory when a shot that hit the net cord trickled just over.

"Yes, I was lucky," Rublev said in his post-match press conference.

"I started to think it's over, for sure. Somehow... I was able to start to play with much more focus."

Asked how he maintained his self-belief, Rublev quipped: "I was not believing."

"Beginning of the fifth set, I was completely frozen. Inside I was thinking that I cannot [win]. I cannot move. I cannot hit.

"I was thinking it's over. He's playing much better than me. He deserves to win. He's going for the shots. He's doing something that normally I am supposed to do if I want to win the match.

"I let it go. Somehow the stress that I had, I was able to relieve it. At the end of the match I played much better than during the rest of the match."

During his on-court interview, Rublev said: "I was never able to win matches like this, this is the first time I've won something like this.

"At a very special tournament, to be in a quarter-final, it's something I'll remember all my life. I'm shaking!"

Rublev has qualified for his second Australian Open quarter-final, and his seventh at a grand slam. However, he has lost all of those matches.

The world number six, seeded fifth in Melbourne, has won three successive matches that have gone the distance, a career-first. Now, he will meet nine-time champion Novak Djokovic, who defeated Alex de Minaur in straight sets.

"I don't know," Rublev replied when asked if Djokovic was unbeatable. 

"Novak is very tough player to beat, especially in the slams.

"He has the best experience to win these matches. He's one of the best in history. The only chance I have is if I play my best tennis, just fight for every ball, and that's it. That's the only chance."

Novak Djokovic was beaten in his first match back in Australia but did at least receive a warm reception from the crowd at the Adelaide International.

Djokovic – who saw a three-year visa ban lifted in November – was playing with Vasek Pospisil in the doubles, and the duo lost 4-6 6-3 10-5 to Tomislav Brkic and Gonzalo Escobar on Monday, but the fans in attendance chanted "Novak" as they welcomed him back following his absence from last year's Australian Open.

The Serbian will face Constant Lestienne in the first round of the men's singles, but second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime is already out after he lost to Alexei Popyrin.

Auger-Aliassime struggled throughout as his Australian opponent, ranked 120th in the world, put in a crowd-pleasing performance to go through 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

Another young star, Holger Rune, is also out after the fifth seed was beaten 2-6 6-4 6-4 by Yoshihito Nishioka.

Quentin Halys set up a potential second-round clash with Djokovic after beating Jordan Thompson in straight sets, while Miomir Kecmanovic, Jack Draper, Roman Safiullin and Thanasi Kokkinakis all progressed.

It was also a bad day for seeds at the Maharashtra Open in Pune, with Alex Molcan beaten 6-2 6-4 by Laslo Djere and Jaume Munar losing 6-4 7-5 to Tallon Griekspoor.

Dutchman Griekspoor will now play Marco Cecchinato after the Italian overcame Nikoloz Basilashvili, and Roberto Carballes Baena set up a last-16 clash against top seed Marin Cilic by defeating fellow Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

Filip Krajinovic did make it through a tussle with home favourite Sumit Nagal to set up a meeting with Michael Mmoh, while Benjamin Bonzi will face third seed Emil Ruusuvuori after beating Tseng Chun-hsin.

Holger Rune stunned Novak Djokovic to win the Paris Masters title as the teenager confirmed his ascendancy into the tennis elite.

The 19-year-old defeated Djokovic 3-6 6-3 7-5, fending off the six-time champion at the indoor event to earn a place in the top 10 for the first time, becoming the first Danish man to reach such heights.

Rune becomes the first player since the ATP rankings were launched in 1973 to have beaten five top-10 players in the same tournament, other than at the season-ending ATP Finals.

His scalps on the route to his maiden Masters 1000 final included Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev, Carlos Alcaraz – who retired when trailing in their quarter-final – and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Now Rune can add last year's Paris champion Djokovic to that list, defeating the 21-time grand slam winner who had described his young opponent as the future of tennis on the eve of the final.

Rune becomes the youngest Paris Masters champion since an 18-year-old Boris Becker triumphed in 1986, and he did it the hard way too, coming from behind after Djokovic made the stronger start.

Djokovic broke Rune's serve in the fourth game to lead 3-1 and take an early grip, soon seeing out the opening set.

Yet Rune charged 3-0 ahead in the second and grew in confidence. There was even a Djokovic-like raised fist after getting the better of his illustrious rival in one thrilling rally

Djokovic roared ahead in the decider, but not intimidated by the occasion, Rune struck back to recover the early break. 

Rune then broke to lead 6-5, as his Serbian opponent became erratic.

Nobody beats Djokovic without a fight though, and the 21-time grand slam winner had six chances to break back in the next game.

Rune survived them all and clinched victory on his second match point when Djokovic, who had been chasing a record-extending 39th ATP 1000 title, netted on the half-volley.

Addressing Rune in an on-court interview, Djokovic said: "You absolutely deserve this victory. What an amazing week you had.

"I'm not happy that you beat me, but on the other hand I'm happy for you because I like your personality, I think you're a very dedicated guy that loves tennis and puts a lot of hours into hard work.

"It's paying off for you, and I'm sure the future is bright for you and your team, so congratulations."

Rune, who is working with Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, said: "This must be my favourite tournament now, I really enjoyed my time here."

Novak Djokovic lavished Holger Rune with the highest praise before their showdown in the Paris Masters final, declaring: "He kind of reminds me of myself."

Serbian superstar Djokovic scraped past Stefanos Tsitsipas in their semi-final on Saturday, snatching a 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-4) victory.

Now 19-year-old Danish player Rune awaits the 21-time grand slam winner in Sunday's title match, a clash of generations that is full of promise.

It will be a record 56th Masters 1000 final for Djokovic, and a first for Rune, who will climb to 10th in the world should he win.

Rune is already assured of at least 12th position on the ATP list, a career-high, after knocking out four top-10 players this week: Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev, Carlos Alcaraz – who retired when trailing in their quarter-final – and Felix Auger-Aliassime, who he beat 6-4 6-2 on Saturday.

In his entire young career before this week, Rune had only beaten four players from the top 10, so this week marks a significant step, no matter how the final goes.

"No doubt that he's the future of the sport, along with Alcaraz and some other guys," Djokovic said. "Hopefully I can suspend his first title Masters 1000 event. We get along really well, good friends off the court.

"Of course on the court, we're competitors. I played him only once, at the last US Open, a good battle, four sets. He has improved a lot, no doubt. He physically is a very fit guy. He's young, so not much to lose. Just swinging through the ball.

"He kind of reminds me of myself, solid backhand and very good defence and just competitive, every point leaving his heart and his legs out there on the court. It's nice to see that. I think he's very good for our sport in general."

Djokovic said it was reassuring to fend off Tsitsipas, who had led by a break in the deciding tie-break.

"It means a lot mentally, emotionally for me, more than anything," said Djokovic. "I need to also make a statement that I'm still there with the young guys, that I'm able to compete with them and win such tight matches."

Six-time champion Djokovic has now reached an eighth final at this tournament, getting to the title match three times more than anyone else, with Boris Becker next on the list with five appearances.

Novak Djokovic overcame Stefanos Tsitsipas in a dramatic final-set tie-break to reach the Paris Masters final on Saturday, teeing up a meeting with Holger Rune. 

Djokovic's 12-match winning run looked likely to be halted when Tsitsipas found a mini-break in the decider, with the Greek having fought his way into contention after losing the opening set.

However, the 21-time grand slam champion stepped up when it mattered, winning the final four points of the match to seal a 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-4) victory.

The Serbian, who will now take part in his record 56th Masters 1000 final on Sunday, opted to praise Tsitsipas for his role in a thrilling encounter following the win. 

"It's very sweet, obviously, when you win matches like this against one of the best players in the world," Djokovic said.

"I thought I started the match very well, again, great hitting, like yesterday in the quarters. I had chances early on in the second, I didn't break his serve. The momentum shifted, the crowd got into it. I think he elevated his level of tennis.

"We went into an even battle all the way until the last point, until the last shot. Some incredible points towards the end. I'm just really glad to overcome this challenge."

In Saturday's other match, Rune clinched his first Masters 1000 final appearance by posting a straight-sets victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The in-form Dane seized control of the contest after breaking in the third game of the opener, and did not give up a single break point en route to a comprehensive 6-4 6-2 win.

In doing so, Rune exacted revenge for last week's defeat to Auger-Aliassime in the Swiss Indoors final in Basel, halting the Canadian's 16-match winning run.

Rune has now won eight career matches against top-10 opponents, and half of those victories (four) have come during his strong run in Paris this week.

Carlos Alcaraz will miss the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup Finals after his season was cut short by an abdominal injury.

The world number one suffered an internal oblique muscle tear during a Paris Masters quarter-final against Holger Rune on Friday.

Alcaraz retired early in a second-set tie-break after losing the opening set 6-3 in the French capital.

The US Open champion on Saturday revealed it will take him six weeks to recover from the injury, so Taylor Fritz will take his place in the ATP Finals in Turin next week.

Teenager Alcaraz will also be unavailable for Spain's bid to win the Davis Cup on home soil, with the prestigious event getting under way on November 22 in Malaga.

He posted on Instagram: "After my withdrawal yesterday and having been evaluated by my medical team, Dr Juanjo Lopez and Juanjo Moreno, unfortunately this is the result of my injury: an internal oblique muscle tear in the left abdominal wall with an estimated recovery time of six weeks.

"Unfortunately I won't make the ATP Finals or the Davis Cup Finals. It is tough and painful for me to miss these two events, which are so important to me, but all I can do is be positive and focus on my recovery. Thank you for the support!"

The 19-year-old became the youngest player to top the ATP rankings after winning his maiden major title at Flushing Meadows in September and ends a magnificent season with a record of 57 wins and 13 defeats.

He has won five ATP Tour titles in 2022, with Masters 1000 triumphs in Miami and Madrid along with his finest hour in New York.

Novak Djokovic outclassed Lorenzo Musetti to reach the Paris Masters semi-finals after Carlos Alcaraz retired due to an abdominal injury.

Djokovic moved into the last four of a Masters 1000 event for a staggering 74th time with a commanding 6-0 6-3 victory over Musetti on Friday.

The defending champion will do battle with Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the final as he eyes a seventh Paris Masters title.

Sixth seed Djokovic made only 10 unforced errors and broke five times, not allowing his Italian opponent to have a game point until early in the second set.

The 21-time grand slam champion only needed 74 minutes to dispatch the unseeded Musetti, moving two victories away from a fifth title of the season.

Meanwhile, world number one Alcaraz's participation in the ATP Finals next week is in doubt after he was injured in his quarter-final against Holger Rune.

Rune won the first set 6-3 and the Dane was 3-1 up in a second-set tie-break when US Open champion Alcaraz brought the match to a premature end.

As Alcaraz prepares to discover whether he can play in the season-ending tournament in Turin, Rune can look forward to facing Felix Auger-Aliassime in his maiden Masters 1000 semi-final.

Auger-Aliassime beat Rune to take the title in Basel last weekend and the Canadian stretched his winning run to 16 matches by beating Frances Tiafoe 6-1 6-4.

Tsitsipas was the last man to seal his place in the semi-finals, getting the better of Tommy Paul, who beat Rafael Nadal earlier in the week, 6-2 6-4.

Carlos Alcaraz is unsure if he will be fit for the ATP Finals after the world number one retired from the Paris Masters due to an abdominal injury.

The world number one cut short his quarter-final against Holger Rune in the French capital during a second-set tie-break after he lost the opener 6-3 on Friday.

Alcaraz stated after his retirement that it is too early to say whether he will be able to play in the prestigious season-ending tournament in Turin which starts on November 13.

The US Open champion said: "I don't know if I'll make it to the Masters Cup [ATP Finals]. Right now I have to do some tests to see how I am before going to Turin.

"I am focused on trying to improve my abdomen and trying to be 100 per cent in Turin."

The Spaniard felt there was no point in taking any chances.

He added: "At the end of the set, I felt bad. My abdomen was getting bad and I preferred to retire to see it and take care of it.

"I can't stretch. I couldn't serve well, I couldn't hit my forehand and when I turned the body I feel pain, I feel the abdomen in all the movements.

"I was playing thinking about it and feeling the pain, so it was better to withdraw."

Rune will face Felix Auger-Aliassime in his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, with both players finishing the season strongly.

Auger-Aliassime beat Frances Tiafoe 6-1 6-4 for his 16th consecutive win to set up a repeat of a final in Basel that the Canadian won last weekend.

Felix Auger-Aliassime climbed to sixth in the ATP Finals chase as he earned yet another title at the Swiss Indoors in Basel.

The Canadian had not won any of his eight career finals before this season, but he has now come through four of five in 2022.

Three of those have been in Auger-Aliassime's past three tournament entries, as he followed up successes in Florence and Antwerp by beating Holger Rune on Sunday.

Rune had himself won last time out against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Stockholm final, but he was brushed aside by Auger-Aliassime 6-3 7-5.

The world number nine threatened to wrap up the victory in double quick time as he raced through the opener, with Rune responding in the second set to drag the match out to 100 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime fended off a break point early in the second and two more later in the set, protecting his serve throughout and then going on the offensive.

The fourth of four break opportunities at 5-5 was seized, and Auger-Aliassime – fresh from beating world number one Carlos Alcaraz – served out the match at the third attempt.

The 22-year-old has never previously made the season-ending Finals but moved ahead of Andrey Rublev with his latest success.

World number one Carlos Alcaraz was stunned in the Swiss Indoors Basel semi-finals as Felix Auger-Aliassime set up a final clash with Holger Rune.

Auger-Aliassime saw off the US Open champion in just 82 minutes as he won 6-4 6-3 to take his unbeaten run to 12 matches.

The Canadian was in irresistible form on Saturday, with his shot placement in decisive moments proving far more consistent and lethal than his counterpart, hitting 23 winners to Alcaraz's eight.

Twenty-two-year-old Auger-Aliassime is still fighting to qualify for the ATP Finals for the first time and victory in Sunday's final will move him up to sixth in the rankings having won each of his two previous tournaments in Antwerp and Florence.

"It's amazing," Auger-Aliassime said. "I never expected it, when I was in Florence three weeks ago, or after the US Open. I'm just really happy that all my work is coming together.

"I've always believed that I can play this way, that I can be consistent in that way, but one thing is to believe and the other is to actually do it. It's nice to feel that way, it's nice to come out on the court and win that many matches in a row. So hopefully this is just the beginning of seeing me play this way."

Rune awaits after the Dane beat Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (10-8) despite being 6-2 down in the second-set tie-break. He will move into the top 20 for the first time as a result of that win.

The final of the Vienna Open will be contested by Daniil Medvedev and Denis Shapovalov, who came through their respective semis in straight sets.

Top seed Medvedev was exceptional against Grigor Dimitrov, with the Russian's serve proving especially important in his 6-4 6-2 win.

Medvedev won 87 per cent of points on his first serve to leave Dimitrov frequently struggling for momentum, and the former world number one recognised that impact.

"The serve is probably the most important shot in tennis," he said. "I was lacking it a little bit this season, I was doing too many double faults. Sometimes in important moments my serve could have been a little bit better. I was working a lot with my coach to try and find this rhythm [again], and so far I'm serving good here. I'm really happy about it and that's also why I'm playing so good."

Shapovalov ultimately romped to an impressive win over Borna Coric.

A tight first set was followed by the Croatian getting bageled as Shapovalov won 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 to reach his second final of the year.

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).

Holger Rune surprised top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas with a straight-sets victory in Sunday's Stockholm Open final to land his second ATP title.

Still just 19, Rune added to his maiden crown in Munich five months ago with a 6-4 6-4 triumph over world number five Tsitsipas in a match lasting 95 minutes.

Tsitsipas, who was seeking a 10th ATP title and a third this season, had not dropped a set in his previous three matches en route to the final.

However, he was broken in the third game of both sets against Rune, who is the second teenager after Carlos Alcaraz to win multiple ATP titles in 2022.

Rune fired 20 winners and saved the only break point he faced – that coming in the sixth game of the second set – on his way to becoming the first Danish champion in this event.

"It was an unbelievable match from my side," Rune said in his on-court interview. "I knew it was going to be difficult, but I just tried to stick to the game plan. 

"I had to play my best tennis today, and it was good that I could find the level. I am super happy. It was very close to perfection. 

"I was making a lot of returns and playing pretty well behind my serve. Stefanos is an amazing player, who always makes it difficult. It was a super fun match to play."

Matteo Berrettini is set to tackle Davis Cup team-mate Lorenzo Musetti in an all-Italian Napoli Cup final on Sunday after defying advice to pull out with a foot injury.

Former Wimbledon runner-up Berrettini beat American Mackenzie McDonald 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 at the hard court event, while Musetti came through 6-3 6-4 against Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

Providing Berrettini is healthy to participate in the final, the tournament looks set to deliver a crowd-pleasing trophy match, but it was touch and go whether the Rome native would get through the McDonald match.

"I don't even know how I did it," Berrettini said. "I wasn't feeling very good. I asked for the physio because my foot was hurting. It happened so many times in my career that I had to fight through so many things, not just thinking about the tennis ball."

He added, quoted by the ATP: "I didn't want to retire. My team told me, 'I think you should stop'. But I tried and I found a way."

Berrettini and Musetti have never gone head-to-head before. Berrettini has won two titles this year, both on grass, in Stuttgart and at London's Queen's Club, while 20-year-old Musetti scooped his maiden ATP title on clay in Hamburg.

At the European Open in Antwerp, Sunday's final will see American Sebastian Korda tackle Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, in a battle of two in-form players.

Korda was runner-up last week in Gijon, while Auger-Aliassime took the title in Florence, adding to his Rotterdam triumph from February.

Korda wrestled his way past a recently resurgent Dominic Thiem, scraping a 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victory, before Auger-Aliassime was given a mighty battle by veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet, winning through in two tight sets, 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-3) his margin.

Like Berrettini and Auger-Aliassime, Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas has a third title of the year in his sights this weekend.

Tsitsipas swept through to the final of the Stockholm Open with a 6-2 6-2 win over Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori, setting up a clash with 19-year-old Danish player Holger Rune.

For Rune, there was no such straightforward path into the final as Alex de Minaur pushed him all the way, with the Australian eventually edged out 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 after two hours and 50 minutes.

Dominic Thiem saved three match points before beating Hubert Hurkacz for the first time to reach the semi-finals of the European Open on Friday.

Thiem was on the brink of being knocked out by the top seed in Antwerp, but fought back to win 3-6 7-6 (11-9) 7-6 (7-4).

The 2020 US Open champion fended off all three match points in a second-set tie-break to take a thrilling quarter-final the distance and then came out on top in another breaker to advance.

Thiem will do battle with Sebastian Korda for a place in the final after the American emphatically defeated eighth seed Yoshihito Nishioka 6-0 6-2.

Richard Gasquet moved into the last four at the expense of David Goffin and will face Felix Auger-Aliassime, who came from a set down to beat Dan Evans.

Matteo Berrettini remains in the hunt to win the Tennis Napoli Cup on home soil after a 6-2 6-3 quarter-final triumph over Taro Daniel.

Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta crashed out in Italy, losing 7-5 6-2 to Miomir Kecmanovic, who will face Lorenzo Musetti after he got the better of Daniel Elahi Galan. Mackenzie McDonald will come up against Berrettini after getting past Zhang Zhizhen.

Stefanos Tsitsipas sealed a Stockholm Open semi-final spot with a 7-5 6-3 win over Mikael Ymer and will take on Emil Ruusuvuori, who eliminated Frances Tiafoe.

Holger Rune and Alex de Minaur meet in the other last-four match in the Swedish capital following wins over Cameron Norrie and Denis Shapovalov respectively.

Holger Rune maintained his impressive form by beating Thiago Monteiro in straight sets to reach the second round of the Stockholm Open on Monday.

Rune was beaten by Marc-Andrea Huesler in the final of the last tournament he entered in Sofia following a quarter-final appearance in Metz.

The Danish teenager, who last week announced Patrick Mouratoglou had joined his team for the rest of this season, defeated Monteiro 7-5 6-2 on his debut in the Swedish capital.

Rune did not face a break point and won 86 per cent of points on his first serve as he booked a meeting with Cristian Garin.

Garin beat qualifier Jason Kubler 6-2 6-4, while Maxime Cressy and Aslan Karatsev advanced to the last 16 at the expense of Ilya Ivashka and Lukas Rosol respectively.

Richard Gasquet consigned Stan Wawrinka to an early exit at the European Open, coming from a set down to win 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in a battle of two of the most experienced players on the circuit.

Fifth seed Dan Evans beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-3 6-4 in the first round in Antwerp, while his fellow Brit Jack Draper was an emphatic 6-1 6-2 winner against Jenson Brooksby of the United States.

Page 1 of 2
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.