Stan Wawrinka said he was "feeling great" after securing his first win in 15 months by downing 14th seed Reilly Opelka at the Internazionali d'Italia.

The three-time grand slam winner made his tour return last month after requiring two surgeries on a left foot injury, but rallied after losing his first set against Opelka to secure a memorable 3-6 7-5 6-2 first-round victory.

Speaking after booking a second-round meeting with Laslo Djere, who beat Borna Coric 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-2, Wawrinka said his desire to play at the top level never left him, despite his injury woes.

"I think in general I was feeling good on the court, physically I was feeling great," he said. "For sure, when you don't win a match in more than a year, you start to think about it more than you should and not focus on the right things. 

"In general, I think it was a great match, a great battle. I stayed positive. I started to feel much better with my tennis by the end of the second set, and in the third set. I'm really happy with this victory.

"After two surgeries, at my age I could easily have stopped playing because my career is way better than what I expected when I was young.

"But I still have this fire in me. I still believe that I can play great tennis. I still believe that I make some big results, maybe not now, but in a few months."

Fellow former grand slam champion Dominic Thiem, who also returned from a long injury-enforced absence last month, fared less well, going down in straight sets to Fabio Fognini.

Having lost to Andy Murray at the Madrid Open last time out, 2020 US Open winner Thiem is still chasing his first victory of the year after losing 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to the 34-year-old Italian.

Elsewhere, 13th seed Denis Shapovalov edged an epic three-hour contest against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-3, responding after being handed a game penalty for shouting expletives at a partisan crowd in Rome during the second set.

The frustrated Canadian was heard to tell spectators: "Shut the f*** up" when being booed after complaining about a second serve being called out by the umpire, but eventually regained his composure to claim a three-set win.

Shapovalov will face Georgia's world number 25 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round after he overcame Daniel Evans 7-6 (7-2) 6-2, while the only other seed to play on Monday, Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, cruised to a 6-3 6-2 victory over Federico Delbonis.

There were victories for John Isner and Dan Evans as the Madrid Open got up and running on Sunday.

Big-serving American Isner overcame Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 and will face either Cameron Norrie or Kwon Soon-woo in the round of 32.

Isner is joined in the next round by Evans, who eased past Federico Delbonis 6-3 6-4 to set up a last-32 meeting with either Roberto Bautista Agut or Jenson Brooksby.

Fellow Briton Jack Draper also enjoyed a straight-sets victory, edging out Lorenzo Sonego 6-4 6-3 to book a clash with number six seed Andrey Rublev, who received a bye.

Monday's action will see wildcard Andy Murray face Dominic Thiem and 10th seed Jannik Sinner take on Tommy Paul.

Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the Sydney Tennis Classic due to testing positive for coronavirus shortly before he was due to face Italy's Fabio Fognini.

The Australian had been one of the tournament's major draws as the home favourite but now cannot compete and that has subsequently thrown his Australian Open participation into question.

Fognini took full advantage of the situation as he saw off lucky loser Daniel Altmaier 6-3 7-5 to move into the second round.

There he will be joined by – among others – David Goffin, with the Belgian winning a game for the first time in eight months as he beat Facundo Bagnis 6-4 6-4 after an injury-ravaged 2021.

Fifth-seed Lorenzo Sonego was the highest seed in action and he was made to work hard for his 3-6 6-3 7-5 win over Hugo Gaston, needing almost two hours and 45 minutes to get the job done.

The day's other game saw Jordan Thompson win on home soil, beating Marcos Giron fairly comfortably 6-4 6-2.

At the Adelaide International 2, Tommy Paul came out on top in the battle of the Americans as he cruised to an impressive 6-2 6-3 win over Frances Tiafoe in just 69 minutes.

Local boy Aleksandar Vukic clinched the biggest scalp of his professional career as the world number 156 – a wild card entry for the tournament – beat Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Arthur Rinderknech and Jaume Munar also progressed, the latter defeating Australia's John Millman.

Andrey Rublev needed almost two hours but his punishing forehand helped him to victory over Diego Schwartzman in the San Diego Open quarter-finals on Friday.

Top seed Rublev won 6-1 7-5 in one hour and 52 minutes over the Argentine, who kept on coming throughout the contest.

The Russian world number five's victory books his spot in the last four where he will face Briton Cameron Norrie, who upset fourth seed Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-1.

Rublev is featuring in his eighth semi-final of the calendar year and chasing his first title since winning in Rotterdam in February.

He had been a break up in the second set after dominating the first, but Schwartzman broke back.

The second set appeared destined for a tie-break with Schwartzman up 40-0 on serve at 5-6, before Rublev won the next five points to claim victory.

"The second set was very tough and enjoyable for the spectators to watch," Rublev said. "Every game was really tough with amazing points and the set could have gone either way."

Second seed Casper Ruud defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-1 6-4 to book his semi-final spot where he will meet Grigor Dimitrov who beat Aslan Karatsev in three sets.

Ruud's win improved his 2021 record to 45-12, with the 22-year-old Norwegian rising to a ranking of 10.

Andrey Rublev needed almost two hours but his punishing forehand helped him to victory over Diego Schwartzman in the San Diego Open quarter-finals on Friday.

Top seed Rublev won 6-1 7-5 in one hour and 52 minutes over the Argentine, who kept on coming throughout the contest.

The Russian world number five's victory books his spot in the last four where he will face Briton Cameron Norrie, who upset fourth seed Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-1.

Rublev is featuring in his eighth semi-final of the calendar year and chasing his first title since winning in Rotterdam in February.

He had been a break up in the second set after dominating the first, but Schwartzman broke back.

The second set appeared destined for a tie-break with Schwartzman up 40-0 on serve at 5-6, before Rublev won the next five points to claim victory.

"The second set was very tough and enjoyable for the spectators to watch," Rublev said. "Every game was really tough with amazing points and the set could have gone either way."

Second seed Casper Ruud defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-1 6-4 to book his semi-final spot where he will meet Grigor Dimitrov who beat Aslan Karatsev in three sets.

Ruud's win improved his 2021 record to 45-12, with the 22-year-old Norwegian rising to a ranking of 10.

Andy Murray's stay in San Diego was short-lived, as the veteran fell to second seed Casper Ruud in straight sets Thursday. 

World number 10 Ruud prevailed 7-5 6-4 over the three-time grand slam winner, rolling to victory after a shaky start. 

Murray broke Ruud in the 22-year-old's second service game of the match, but could not maintain the advantage as Ruud converted five of six break points in the match. 

Ruud will face ninth seed Lorenzo Sonego, who defeated Sebastian Korda 6-4 6-3, saving six of seven break points against his own serve while converting all three of his chances on Korda's. 

Fourth seed Denis Shapovalov defeated Taylor Fritz 7-6 (9-7) 6-2, saving six set points in the process. 

The Canadian moves on to a quarter-final meeting with Cameron Norrie, who downed Daniel Evans 7-6 (7-3) 6-3. 

Grigor Dimitrov dominated August Holmgren 6-1 6-1 in 56 minutes, winning 83 per cent of his service points.

Dimitrov next faces Aslan Karatsev, who rallied to upset fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

Roger Federer booked his place in an 18th Wimbledon quarter-final as he secured a straight-sets victory over Lorenzo Sonego.

The Swiss great took firm control after winning a topsy-turvy opener to run out a 7-5 6-4 6-2 winner on Centre Court at the All England Club.

He will now face either Hubert Hurkacz or Daniil Medvedev for a place in the semi-finals as he pursues a 21st grand slam title in SW19.

Sonego's resolve was eventually broken in a thrilling first set that saw Federer go a break up before losing his advantage and then getting it straight back when his opponent double-faulted after a brief rain delay.

And although the Italian had two break points in the final game of that set, his failure to take either marked the end of his challenge in earnest.

A Federer break in the fifth game of the second set helped the eight-time Wimbledon champion extend his advantage to two with little fuss.

And he required just 30 minutes to wrap up the third and continue another deep run in a tournament that has seen some of his best tennis down the years.

Data slam: Federer errs despite victory

Although Federer ultimately cruised to victory in this one, things could have been very different had Sonego taken a nip-and-tuck first set.

And the Italian was given every chance to do so by his opponent, whose 17 unforced errors in the opener – to Sonego's nine – ensured the contest remained cagey.

If Federer is to keep his Wimbledon dream alive as the quality of his opponents increase, he will need to play with greater precision.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Federer – 32/26
Sonego – 23/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Federer – 4/1
Sonego – 4/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Federer – 5/15
Sonego – 1/3

Alex De Minaur claimed the first grass-court title of his career with a hard-fought three-set victory over Lorenzo Sonego in the Viking International final.

De Minaur lost the first set against his Italian opponent, who reached a career-high ranking of 26 earlier this month, but the Australian fought back to prevail 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

Having forced a decider, it was De Minaur who had the most left in the third-set tie-break, which decided an entertaining contest that lasted two hours and 40 minutes.

It marked De Minaur's second title of 2021 following his success at the Antalya Open back in January.

Prior to Saturday, all four of De Minaur's ATP titles had come on hard courts.

However, an excellent backhand return of a second serve set him up for a forehand smash to clinch a triumph that should give him great confidence heading into Wimbledon.

De Minaur starts his campaign at the All England Club on Monday with a testing opening clash against Sebastian Korda while Sonego faces Pedro Sousa.

Speaking at the presentation, De Minaur paid tribute to Sonego, who recently lost his grandmother.

"Everyone should congratulate Lorenzo for an incredible week. Everyone should be scared of you at Wimbledon next week," said De Minaur.

"It's been a long week, I've played some great tennis, I've managed to pull through a very tough win.

"Hopefully I can keep it going through Wimbledon, I can't wait to go there next week."

Daniil Medvedev reached the first grass-court final of his career as he saw off Pablo Carreno Busta at the Mallorca Championships.

Medvedev, the top seed, had to come from a set down against his Spanish opponent, winning 3-6 6-3 6-2 to tee up a showdown against Sam Querrey.

The world number two has won 10 ATP Tour titles, but they have all come on hard courts.

"I know that I can play well on grass," said Medvedev, who followed up a quarter-final run at Roland Garros with a first-round defeat to Jan-Lennard Struff at the Halle Open.

"Unfortunately we don't have that many tournaments, only one ATP 500 and one grand slam. It's going to be a special feeling [if I] win my first title on grass.

"I still don't have one on clay, even if I have one final. Adding these titles, especially on different surfaces, can help your confidence and it’s just a great thing for your career."

 

World number 13 Carreno Busta had looked sharp in successive straight-set wins en route to the semi-finals, and started Friday's encounter in good form.

He had not dropped serve across the first four sets of his campaign in Mallorca and extended that streak by saving three break points in the opening set.

However, Medvedev – who has been drawn in the same half as Roger Federer at Wimbledon – rallied and served out the one-hour, 56-minute victory with an ace.

Querrey, meanwhile, will be going for his first ATP Tour title since 2017 after he cruised to a 6-4 6-3 win over unseeded Adrian Mannarino.

Another player who is hunting for his first Tour triumph on grass is Alex de Minaur, who defeated Soon Woo Kwon 6-3 7-6 (7-2) to progress to the Viking International final.

The world number 18 has won four hard-court titles and will go up against Lorenzo Sonego for the crown in Eastbourne.

Sonego beat De Minaur's compatriot Max Purcell 6-1 3-6 6-1. The Italian triumphed at the Sardegna Open in April.

Gael Monfils missed out on a place in the Belgrade Open quarter-finals as the second seed was stunned by qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-4).

World number 15 Monfils would have been expected to breeze through against Carballes Baena, whose lone ATP title came back in February 2018.

But Monfils was trounced in the first set and, despite coming back from a break down to win the second, he could not avoid a shock loss as Carballes Baena reversed a 4-1 deficit in the decisive tie-break on Wednesday.

Carballes Baena's triumph sets up a last-eight clash with eighth seed Federico Delbonis, who beat Thiago Monteiro 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-4 at the ATP 250 event in Serbia.

Dusan Lajovic also moved through to the quarters after easing past Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-4, with Andrej Martin the fifth seed's opponent after upsetting third seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-4).

Elsewhere, top seed Lorenzo Sonego suffered a second-round exit at the Emilia-Romagna Open as Sebastian Korda claimed a surprise win.

Korda entered the tournament with just one clay-court win to his name in 2021 but followed up a first-round success over Andreas Seppi with a 6-1 7-5 defeat of Sonego.

Yoshihito Nishioka is his next opponent after the Japanese saw off Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-2.

Jaume Munar and Richard Gasquet also progressed, as did Jan-Lennard Struff, Norbert Gombos, Marco Cecchinato and Tommy Paul.

 

Novak Djokovic dug deep in the face of fierce Roman resistance to set up a showdown with Rafael Nadal in the men's final at the Internazionali d'Italia.

World number one Djokovic came from a set down overnight to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6 7-5 7-5 early on Saturday, before returning to the court to face Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the evening.

The Rome crowd raucously rallied behind Sonego, who beat Andrey Rublev earlier in the day, and the 26-year-old rose to the challenge but eventually fell to a 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 defeat.

Djokovic had match points before serving for it at 6-5 in the second set, yet it was to prove a stirring game as the noisy home crowd encouraged Sonego, who snatched a gutsy break. The tie-break looked set to be wholly one-sided when Djokovic raced 3-0 ahead, but it was soon back on serve, partisan spectators at the Foro Italico roaring in delight at a double fault from the Serbian.

From 4-2 behind, Sonego surged to 6-4 ahead in the tie-break. He failed to convert a first set point when ripping a forehand into the net, but the set was his when Djokovic sent a backhand service return long.

Sonego then had 0-40 against the Djokovic serve at the start of the decider, but he could not force the break, and the top seed gained strength from that escape, eventually cruising to victory.

Five-time Rome champion Djokovic said on Amazon Prime: "I bounced back very well after the second set. Maybe if he started with a break up in the third, things would look differently. I also had my chances and I only had myself to blame for not closing the match in straight sets.

"But he's a quality player, very dynamic, it's not easy to play against him and obviously he had the crowd behind him. It was an electric atmosphere. In the end I managed to close out the match really well."

Looking ahead to tackling Nadal, Djokovic said: "I need to recover. Hopefully I'll have fresh legs because that's what I definitely will need and it's necessary to have a chance against Rafa. He also had some tough matches [this week] and hopefully I'll be fresh and I'll give it all."

While Djokovic and Sonego thrashed away into the night, nine-time champion Nadal had no such workload issues on Saturday.

Nadal beat Alexander Zverev on Friday to set up a semi-final against American Reilly Opelka, and the Spaniard snatched a 6-4 6-4 win from that contest to reach the title match.

Novak Djokovic's Internazionali BNL d'Italia quarter-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas was halted by persistent rain on Friday with the world number one a set and a game down.

Reigning champion Djokovic, who is seeking a sixth triumph in Rome, struggled to get going against Tsitsipas and trails 6-4 2-1 ahead of the scheduled resumption of play on Saturday.

The top seed lost serve in the first game and continued to make some uncharacteristic errors that saw him trail 4-1 at one point.

While Djokovic did earn a first break in the sixth game, Tsitsipas stood firm to take the opening set and was in total control when again breaking his opponent early in the next set.

However, soon after the Greek had opened up a 2-1 advantage, the worsening conditions led to a pause in proceedings and organisers were eventually forced to bring the day's play to an end.

Djokovic, who converted just one of his six break point opportunities, will return to the court on Saturday and will need to improve if he is to join Rafael Nadal in the final four.

Nadal exacted some revenge on Alexander Zverev earlier on Friday to reach the semi-finals for a 12th time.

The Spaniard lost to Zverev at the same stage of the Madrid Open seven days ago but responded to questions over his form by easing through this latest encounter.

Nadal, who saved two match points before beating Denis Shapovalov on Thursday, raced 4-0 ahead in the first set against Zverev and had little trouble seeing the job through.

Aiming for a record-extending 10th title in the Italian capital, Nadal saved all eight break points he faced in the second set to advance 6-3 6-4 in two hours.

"I played more solid than Madrid. Conditions are different," he said in his post-match interview. "Here the conditions are a little more normal. I was able to control a little bit more."

"I'm happy. I played a very solid match with not many mistakes, playing the way that I have to. It's an important victory for me against a great player."

Nadal will face Reilly Opelka for a place in the final, the American beating qualifier Federico Delbonis 7-5 7-6 (7-2) to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.

Opelka entered the tournament on a six-game losing streak, but he kept his good run going in Rome by earning the only break of the opening set in the 12th game.

Both players held throughout the second set and it was big-serving Opelka who prevailed 7-2 in the tie-break.

The day's other quarter-final between Lorenzo Sonego and Andrey Rublev also fell victim to the bad weather and will get under way on Saturday.

Novak Djokovic returned following a rain delay to beat Taylor Fritz in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia after Felix Auger-Aliassime dumped Diego Schwartzman out.

Djokovic, playing his first match since a shock loss to Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals of the Serbia Open on home soil, dispatched American Fritz 6-3 7-6 (7-5) on Tuesday.

The world number one, who missed the Madrid Open, won the first three games of the match and saved both break points he faced in the opening set.

Fritz had broken for a second time in the second set to level at 5-5 when the rain came at the Foro Italico, but the top seed was able to come back out on court to finish off the job and will face Cameron Norrie or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round.

Auger-Aliassime secured the third victory over a top-10 opponent in his fledgling career, beating eighth seed Schwartzman 6-1 6-3 to move into round three.

The 20-year-old Canadian only needed 64 minutes to send the Argentine packing, converting five of the six break-point opportunities he earned.

Matteo Berrettini saw off Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6 6-2 6-4 in the first round less than 48 hours after the Italian was beaten by Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Open final.

Gael Monfils was unable to win his first match since the Australian Open, as Lorenzo Sonego got the better of the fit-again Frenchman, who had been sidelined with a calf injury, 6-4 5-7 6-4.

Reilly Opelka moved into the last 16 with a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Lorenzo Musetti, while Pablo Carreno Busta's withdrawal due to lower back pain handed Kei Nishikori a walkover.

Daniil Medvedev and David Goffin were unable to start their second-round matches due to the weather in Rome.

Pablo Carreno Busta won his first home ATP Tour title at the Andalucia Open on Sunday, while Lorenzo Sonego triumphed in Cagliari.

Hunting a fifth Tour title, top-seed Carreno Busta needed three sets to overcome compatriot Jaume Munar 6-1 2-6 6-4 in Marbella.

It is his 200th tour-level win, though it took him two hours and 21 minutes to claim his maiden Spanish title, and his first win since 2019.

Carreno Busta certainly had to work hard for it, with Munar having battled to 4-4 in the decider.

Yet a seventh break point of the ninth game was taken by Carreno Busta, whose powerful backhand return forced his 23-year-old opponent into an error.

Meanwhile, Sonego became the first Italian since Filippo Volandri in October 2006 to win an ATP Tour title on home soil as he overcame Laslo Djere in the Sardegna Open. 

Serbian Djere was on a nine-match winning streak in Italy, but Sonego – who won the doubles title on Saturday – succeeded 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Sonego is the first player since Feliciano Lopez at the 2019 Queen's Club Championships to win both the doubles and singles titles, and the first Italian to do so since Matteo Berrettini at the 2018 Swiss Open Gstaad.

It represents a second tour-level triumph for world number 34 Sonego, who previously won the 2019 Antalya Open.

Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta and fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar will meet in the Andalucia Open final on Sunday. 

Carreno Busta was pushed all the way by Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a pulsating semi-final, ultimately coming through 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5). 

"It was so close. I don't know what happened in the second set," Carreno said. "At the beginning of the match, I was very focussed on my game and being aggressive. 

"After that, Albert, of course, started to push [back] more and [I] started to lose my level a little bit. 

"I just kept fighting all the time, and I want to thank everyone [in the crowd] for their support. This is what we missed last year, the crowd. It's very important to play these kinds of very close matches with a crowd like this."

He will take on Munar after the 23-year-old edged past Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. 

Munar, who reached a final on the ATP Challenger Tour last week, said: "I feel happy and excited. I've been working a lot during the last [few] months. 

"It's a gift for me to be here in a final, and especially in Marbella which is one of my favourite places. I feel excited."

Elsewhere, Lorenzo Sonego is aiming to become the first Italian to win an ATP Tour clay-court title on home soil for 15 years when he takes on Laslo Djere in the final of the Sardegna Open on Sunday. 

Sonego, 25, overcame American Taylor Fritz 6-4 5-7 6-1 to give himself the opportunity to add to his Antalya Open title from 2019. 

Standing in his way is Serbian Djere, who cruised past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2 6-0 in just 52 minutes. 

Djere was in control from the outset and from 3-2 in the first set went on to win nine straight games, helping him to his third ATP Tour final.

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