The weather could not dampen the spirits of Daniil Medvedev as he reached the fourth round of the French Open for the first time on Friday.

The Russian was in good form as he beat Reilly Opelka 6-4 6-2 6-4 amid rainy conditions in the French capital.

The second seed, who will meet clay-court specialist Cristian Garin next, hit 28 winners to 16 unforced errors in a dominant display on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

It was a display to instil some confidence into Medvedev as he chases the world number-one spot, which he will claim if he reaches the final and Novak Djokovic does not.

"Clay at Roland Garros feels great this year," he said. "As I said after the first round [against Alexander Bublik], now I know that to beat me, the guys have to play well. I am definitely happy with my game and my return today, because I actually hit more aces than him. That's a great achievement.

"I think a little bit [the] rainy conditions, wet, heavy court – which I totally hate on clay – helped me today. In these conditions, even guessing one side, I could still get back to another side if I saw the serve coming the other way."

ZVEREV DIGS DEEP TO PROGRESS

Alexander Zverev joined Medvedev in the last 16, the sixth seed saving three set points in the second set against Laslo Djere before taking nine of the next 11 games to ease to a 6-2 7-5 6-2 win.

"I was down 3-5, 40-0 on his serve and you don't always come back from that score," said Zverev, who will now meet three-time quarter-finalist Kei Nishikori. "He played a fantastic match, he is playing great on this surface so I knew I had to play much, much better than the first two rounds and I did that today."

Twelfth seed Pablo Carreno Busta was also a straight-sets winner, seeing off Steve Johnson to set up a meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas, who survived a stern examination by John Isner.

Having lost the first set to the big-serving American, Tsitsipas recovered to win 5-7 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 at close to midnight local time to extend his winning streak on clay to seven matches.

FOGNINI STUNNED, FOKI EDGES FIVE-SET EPIC

Federico Delbonis stunned 27th seed Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-1 6-3. He will take on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who came through a brutal five-set contest with Casper Ruud that lasted more than four and a half hours.

"I think this match represents Roland Garros," said the man known as 'Foki' to his fans. "This match was very tough. He played unbelievable.

"In the fifth set, we were in [a] battle every game. Every game we wanted to win [and] to break the serve of the other guy. It was, with all [the] emotions inside [and] with all the crowd singing your name, unbelievable!"

Stefanos Tsitsipas has been delighted with the backing he has received at the French Open as he continues his quest to better last year's semi-final run.

The 22-year-old has previously spoke of his fondness for Roland Garros, and he earned a tour-leading 35th win of the season against Pedro Martinez on Wednesday.

It finished 6-3 6-4 6-3 in the second round in favour of the fifth seed, who is yet to lose a set at this year's second grand slam.

Tsitsipas is leading the FedEX ATP Race to Turin, and John Isner stands in his way of a fourth-round place.

"I really like playing in Paris," said Tsitsipas, who won titles in Monte Carlo and Lyon before heading to Roland Garros.

"I feel like the fans have embraced me and made me one of them. So, I'm really glad my tennis is there, my performance is there, and I'm able to deliver not just good tennis but also create a good atmosphere on this court."

Tsitsipas, who at one point dropped his racket while serving, did have to work for his win, though. Martinez broke him in the first and second sets, and the Greek was then denied the opportunity to serve out the win in the third.

Martinez's stand did not last much longer – Tsitsipas' backhand winner in the following game sealing the win.

"I've had good weeks this year, I've had some good results, but, of course, I feel like there's always better," the world number five added.

"I don't see my performance so far as super-excellent and outstanding, but I've been consistent and that's very important."

MEDVEDEV BITES BACK

Daniil Medvedev might finally have settled into life at Roland Garros. The second seed had a dismal record in the French Open heading into this year's grand slam, but despite a shaky start on Wednesday, he defeated Tommy Paul 3-6 6-1 6-4 6-3 to claim a place in round three.

Though Paul made the most of a shaky opening set from Medvedev, the Russian rallied in set two and kept the momentum going, winning 80 per cent of his first-serve points in a victory which took two hours and 18 minutes to round off, and also included eight breaks of serve from the world number two.

Next up is Reilly Opelka, who saw off Jaume Munar. The American has a losing 2-1 head-to-head record against Medvedev, though this is the first time they will meet on clay.

There was a shock elsewhere, as 11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut was dumped out by Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen.

ZVEREV GETS SNAPPY AFTER RAGGED DISPLAY

World number six Alexander Zverev was made to work for his place in round three, as he overcame Roman Safiullin 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 7-6 (7-1).

Zverev trailed in both the second and third sets, as the 24-year-old needed two tie-breaks to beat the qualifier.

"Obviously, I don't do it on purpose," Zverev said. "I don't go into the match and say, 'Okay, my tactic is I'm going to be a break down, I'm going to fight back and come back'.

"That's not how it works. I'm a break down most of the time because I play unfocused games or the opponent plays well."

Zverev will play Laslo Djere in round three, and despite his frustration after the match, the German has moved onto 20 wins for the season, which already includes titles in Acapulco and Madrid.

Djere beat fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, and if Zverev should keep winning, he may well face a quarter-final against Casper Ruud, the promising Norwegian player who beat Kamil Majchrzak 6-3 6-2 6-4 to make it to the third round at Roland Garros for a third straight season.

Standing in the way of Ruud and the last eight is Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who went the distance to defeat Botic Van De Zandschulp.

Dominic Thiem conceded his game was "just not there" after he let a two-set lead slip in a shock first-round loss to Pablo Andujar at the French Open.

Thiem had looked in command against a player with no previous top-five wins to his name. However, he crumbled thereafter, further opening a bottom half of the draw that is there for the taking with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Federer all in the top half.

It left the two-time finalist at a loss to describe a massive upset that was the defining story of a day that saw Alexander Zverev, the man Thiem beat in last year's US Open final, battle to a five-set win.

There were no such exertions for Stefanos Tsitsipas, who cruised to a straight-sets win over Jeremy Chardy after the 9pm (local time) curfew in Paris robbed his opponent of the backing of the home crowd at Roland Garros.


"JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH"

Thiem denied any talk of him lacking motivation against Andujar, the Austrian instead pointing to a complete loss of form as the reason for his collapse.

Speaking in the media conference after his 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4 loss in nearly four and a half hours, Thiem said: "The game was just not there today.

"All the shots are missing power, they're not accurate enough. [I am] moving not well enough. Everything in my game, there are some percents missing, I actually don't really know why because since I stepped back on court it's already two months and I was really practising well."

Andujar might not have a top-five win, but he beat Federer – currently at number eight in the rankings after an injury absence – recently in Geneva.

Still, Thiem felt it was his own failings that were pivotal.

"Shots were there in practice and it got better in Madrid and Rome, but Lyon and here, the shots and how I moved was not the real me or my version who is able to play for big titles," Thiem said. "It's just not good enough at the moment. It's a very tough situation."

ZVEREV MAINTAINS PERFECT FIVE-SET RECORD

Zverev appeared set to join world number four Thiem in falling at the first hurdle when he fell two sets down to German compatriot Oscar Otte, the qualifier making just his third main draw appearance at a slam and playing in his first tour-level match this year.

But Zverev racked up 50 winners as he fought back to claim a 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-2 6-0 victory, stretching his perfect record in five-setters at Roland Garros to seven matches.

It marked the second time Zverev has produced a turnaround from two sets down, having achieved that feat to reach the US Open final by beating Pablo Carreno Busta, who overcame Norbert Gombos in straight sets on Sunday.

TSITSIPAS SEES OFF CHARDY

In terms of laying down an early marker, it was Tsitsipas who perhaps produced the greatest statement of intent on day one, though the coronavirus restrictions meant there were no fans on court to see it.

Had there been spectators, they might have helped Chardy prevail in the key moments in a tight opening set that saw Tsitsipas save a set point and then win it on a tie-break.

From there, the fifth seed was always in command and surged to a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-1 triumph.

HURKACZ HIT BY BOTIC BLITZ

Roberto Bautista Agut and Karen Khachanov were routine winners on day one while Cristian Garin prevailed in four sets against Juan Ignacio Londero.

Dan Evans, the 25th seed, went out as he lost in four sets to Miomir Kecmanovic and injury ended the hopes of 16th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Dimitrov had three match points at 6-2 6-4 5-1 against American Marcos Giron but let them slip and promptly lost the next eight games before retiring with a back problem.

Also crashing out was Hubert Hurkacz, the 19th seed undone by Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp, who came from two sets down in a stunning display.

Van de Zandschulp won seven of his 14 break points and reeled off 55 winners in an incredible turnaround to seal a 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-2 6-4 win.

Stefanos Tsitsipas teed himself up for the French Open in dominant fashion as he claimed his second title of 2021 with a straight-sets win over Cameron Norrie at the Lyon Open. 

Tsitsipas looked sharp throughout the week in central France and was in clinical form on Sunday, pouncing on some minor mistakes from Norrie to triumph 6-3 6-3. 

Norrie was by no means an easy opponent, but five double faults handed Tsitsipas an edge he duly made the most of. 

This year's Monte Carlo champion had to claw back three break points in the opening game of the match but was firmly in control from then on. 

A break to make it 5-3 enabled the Greek to serve for the first set – an opportunity he took at the first time of asking – and another clinical break put him 4-3 up in set two.  

Tsitsipas' third and final break came on the second match point on offer, with Norrie overhitting a forehand to seal the world number five's 33rd Tour win of the season.  

Having dropped just one set throughout his run this week, Tsitsipas will now switch focus to Roland Garros, where he reached the semi-finals in 2020.  

"I felt in a good shape from the beginning of the tournament, felt like things were going my way," he said in a post-match interview.  

"I'm proud of today's match. I knew it would be a difficult one against Cameron who has played great this week, winning against good players and showing what his left hand can do on clay. I had to handle the nerves and I'm proud of my performance and the way I stayed focused.  

"It's about getting there [Paris] as early as possible, getting in practice and getting in shape for the big Parisian grand slam which I adore and love. Hopefully, something good can come out of it." 

Stefanos Tsitsipas was happy to be kept "humble" as he needed three sets to defeat teenager Lorenzo Musetti in the Lyon Open semi-finals.

The world number five won his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo and reached the final in Barcelona before cruising into the last four in France without dropping a set.

However, he was forced to come from behind to beat Musetti 4-6 6-3 6-0 on Saturday to set up a showdown with Cameron Norrie.

Musetti, who broke into the top 100 for the first time this year after losing to Tsitsipas in the semi-finals in Acapulco, broke at 2-2 in the opening set as he caused havoc with drop shots.

It was not until Tsitsipas moved 5-3 ahead in the second set that the Italian's resistance finally seemed to break as he failed to win another game.

"It was important I had a match like this," Tsitsipas said. "It makes me stay humble and focus on some detailed things I can potentially improve and get better at on clay.

"I had to stay calm. It was difficult to be a set down and have to kind of refresh myself and come anew in the second set. He was still putting [in] a lot of work and making me work for every single point. It wasn't easy."

Tsitsipas will contest the final against Norrie, who got better as the day wore on across his quarter-final and semi-final matches.

Norrie concluded a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over Arthur Rinderknech before dispatching eighth seed Karen Khachanov 6-1 6-1 in superb fashion.

"Everything was working well: serving well, returning well, anticipating the ball well," said the 25-year-old, who reached his second Tour final at this year's Estoril Open.

"I came forward when I needed to and was aggressive with good depth. It was nice to come through like that.

"I had a tough loss in my last final so it's nice I can get another opportunity so soon. It's going to be tough against Stefanos. He's in the zone as well, so it's going to be an interesting final."

Stefanos Tsitsipas insists it must be purely business when he tackles Italian teenager and fellow tennis artisan Lorenzo Musetti in the Lyon Open semi-finals.

Ahead of a tilt at the French Open, for which he is among the favourites, world number five Tsitsipas has been tuning up his game at this week's ATP 250 tournament.

The Greek star was sharp in posting a 6-3 6-4 win over Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka, and 19-year-old Italian Musetti awaits him on Saturday.

Tsitsipas dropped just four games when he crushed Musetti in an Acapulco semi-final in March, but he senses more of a threat this time from the exciting youngster.

"We played in different conditions. Acapulco was a hardcourt match and with altitude," said Tsitsipas, speaking on Amazon Prime. "The conditions here are different. He's someone who enjoys playing on clay.

"We share a similar game style I think with a one-handed backhand, which is beautiful to see, but tomorrow it's going to be serious business I knew he can play good on this surface. I know he can elevate his game, so it's important for me to be in the semi-finals."

Musetti overcame Slovenian Aljaz Bedene 6-3 7-6 (7-2) in their quarter-final, scrambling through a chaotic second set in which he trailed 5-2 at one stage but then reeled off four straight games, only to fail to serve out.

Thankfully for the youngster, he pulled through the tie-break.

"It was a crazy end," said Musetti. "I was 6-5 up, and at 30-30 played a really bad volley and hit an underarm serve. Sometimes I go out of my mind. I am really proud of myself as I was 2-5 down in the second set and I stayed focused. I tried to play each point at my best."

Russian Karen Khachanov marked his 25th birthday with a 6-1 7-6 (7-3) win over Frenchman Richard Gasquet, veteran doyen of the single-handed backhand.

Khachanov faced a wait to learn who he must face in the semi-finals, however, with Cameron Norrie and Arthur Rinderknech level at one set all overnight, after rain forced an early end to play.

At the Geneva Open, Norway's Casper Ruud will tackle Canadian Denis Shapovalov in Saturday's final.

Ruud saw off Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-3 6-2, while Shapovalov earned a 6-4 7-5 win against Uruguayan qualifier Pablo Cuevas.

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 had to battle back more than once before eventually getting the better of Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rome, keeping alive his hopes of a sixth Internazionali BNL d'Italia title.

The reigning champion was in trouble when play was halted in the quarter-final clash on Friday, trailing by a set and a break before persistent rain forced an early end to proceedings.

However, Djokovic was able to get back on level terms before the duo played out a see-saw deciding set that twice saw Tsitsipas hold control.

The sixth seed – seeking a first win over the world number one on clay at the third attempt – even had the chance to serve out for the match when 5-4 ahead, only to falter with the finishing line in sight.

Djokovic instead claimed three games in a row to finally prevail after three hours and 16 minutes on court. He has little time to recover, though, as his semi-final match is scheduled for later on Saturday.

Next up will be Italian Lorenzo Sonego, the home favourite having produced a comeback of his own to see off Andrey Rublev 3-6 6-4 6-3 in another contest held over from Friday.

Djokovic will hope for a more straightforward encounter after being pushed all the way by Tsitsipas, who will rue his missed chances.

The Greek led 2-1 in the final set after clinching a break that led to his opponent throwing his racket in frustration, earning him a code violation.

He had openings to extend that advantage in the fifth game before losing his serve in the eighth, only to quickly forge his way back in front to move to the brink.

Yet a gripping set of tennis that saw a combined total of 16 break-point opportunities somehow went Djokovic's way, a memorable victory wrapped up when Tsitsipas slashed a tired-looking backhand wide.

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.

Rafael Nadal saw off Alexei Popyrin to reach the Madrid Open quarter-finals on a day that saw Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas suffer surprise defeats.

World number two Nadal, chasing a record-extending sixth title on home soil, advanced 6-3 6-3 in a time of one hour and two minutes on Thursday.

Popyrin, playing in his first last-16 match at a Masters 1000 event, broke Nadal in the sixth game of the opening set but the Spaniard otherwise looked comfortable.

Nadal converted four of his six break points to advance through to the last eight for a 15th time, where Alexander Zverev awaits.

"It was difficult," Nadal said in his on-court interview. "The court today was slippery, it was very fast, very dry conditions. The ball was flying a lot. The beginning was super tough. 

"He was hitting every ball and hitting the spots. I'm happy with the victory. It was an important victory, he came here playing well. Every match is tough."

Zverev, who won the competition in 2018, beat British number one Dan Evans 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to set up a meeting with Nadal

However, second and fourth seeds Medvedev and Tsitsipas saw their participation come to an end at the hands of Cristian Garin and Casper Ruud respectively.

Medvedev, who is still yet to reach the quarters in Madrid, lost the only break of serve in the third game of the opening set but recovered by taking the second set in a tie-break.

Garin dominated the deciding set, the world number 25 breaking Medvedev twice and, after a short delay to fix a broken net, advanced 6-4 6-7 (7-2) 6-1.

Tsitsipas, who held championship point against Nadal in the Barcelona Open final, failed to break Ruud on a single occasion as he fell 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

Alexander Bublik is next up for Ruud after beating Aslan Karatsev 6-4 6-3, while Matteo Berrettini - 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 winner against Federico Delbonis - will meet Garin.

Also vying for a place in the semi-finals are John Isner and Dominic Thiem, who are set to face off after beating sixth seed Andrey Rublev and Alex de Minaur respectively.

Rafael Nadal won the Barcelona Open for the 12th time after saving a championship point in a to end Stefanos Tsitsipas' perfect record on clay this year in a thrilling final.

World number three Nadal, playing just his third tournament of the year, is gearing up for a tilt at a record-extending 14th French Open title.

By defeating the man who landed the Monte Carlo Masters title last week, Nadal showed he is moving through the gears on his favourite surface before heading to Paris.

He won 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 to maintain his 100 per cent record in finals at this tournament on home soil, but Tsitsipas was left to reflect on a missed opportunity after the 20-time grand slam champion fended off a championship point at 5-4 in the final set.

Nadal trailed 4-2 in the opening set as Tsitsipas signalled he was up for the challenge and brimming with confidence, but back came the 34-year-old to sweep up the next four games.

Tsitsipas broke first in the second set too, inching 2-1 in front, and the Greek looked every bit a warrior capable of living with the best for much of the contest.

It was a rout when these two met in the Barcelona final three years ago, Nadal dropping only three games, but here he needed to work far harder, in what was the 69th clay-court final of his stellar career.

Tsitsipas beat Nadal from two sets down in the Australian Open quarter-finals in February, so dropping the opener here was not cause for panic, but nor was gaining the early break in the second any reason to be confident he would be taking the match to a decider.

Nadal duly broke back but then let two championship points slip by in the 10th game, with Tsitsipas serving. A smash followed by a superb drop volley from Tsitsipas meant the match remained alive.

Tsitsipas could not convert 0-40 on Nadal's serve in the next game, but he won a thrilling tie-break to take the contest all the way.

There was not a solitary break point in the decider until Tsitsipas was a point away from claiming the title in the 10th game, but the King of Clay dug in to hold.

He rubbed salt in the wounds by securing the elusive break in the next game and dropped to the clay in delight after serving it out, ending a pulsating showdown that was finally settled in three hours and 38 minutes.

Rafael Nadal.and Stefanos Tsitsipas will do battle for the Barcelona Open title on Sunday after both cruised into the final in straight sets.

Nadal beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-2 to stand on the brink of being crowned champion for a 12th time at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899.

The top seed won 77 per cent of points on his first serve and returned superbly in yet another sublime clay-court exhibition.

Nadal broke Carreno Busta in his compatriot's first service game and ominously charged into a 5-1 lead in imperious fashion on Pista Rafael Nadal.

Carreno Busta broke back to prolong the opening set, but the 20-time grand slam champion wrapped it up in 45 minutes before swiftly taking charge of the second.

The world number three breezed into a 4-0 advantage and did not face a solitary break point as he took just shy of an hour and a half to set up a showdown with Tsitsipas, who knocked him out of the Australian Open at the quarter-final stage in February.

Tsitsipas maintained his magnificent form with a 6-3 6-3 defeat of Jannik Sinner.

The in-form Greek won the Monte Carlo Masters last weekend and matched Andrey Rublev's ATP tour-leading total of 26 victories this season by steering past Sinner.

Second seed Tsitsipas has won all 17 sets he has played on clay this season, having saved all four break points that Sinner earned.

Rafael Nadal fended off Kei Nishikori to reach the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open along with the in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday.

Top seed Nadal secured an opening-set bagel in just 30 minutes, but Nishikori hit back to force a decider before the 20-time grand slam champion prevailed 6-0 2-6 6-2.

Nishikori hit only three winners as he was blown away in the first set, but broke twice in the second to ensure Nadal was taken to three sets in back-to-back matches for the first time in this tournament – having overcome Ilya Ivashka in the second round.

The world number three saved three break points from 0-40 down in the final set and Nishikori saw another two come and go, with a more clinical Nadal breaking twice to advance.

Nadal will now face unseeded Brit Cameron Norrie, who also won the first set 6-0 and was 5-3 down to David Goffin in the second when the Belgian retired due to a leg injury.

Newly-crowned Monte Carlo Masters champion Tsitsipas defeated Alex de Minaur 7-5 6-3, stretching his straight-sets winning streak to seven matches.

Next up for the second seed is a meeting with Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-2 6-3, while Jannik Sinner beat Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (11-9) 6-2.

Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman and Pablo Carreno Busta also made it through.

Two seeds fell in the Serbia Open, with Federico Delbonis taking out Dusan Lajovic 6-3 2-6 6-4 and Taro Daniel defeating John Millman 3-6 6-2 6-3.

Gianluca Mager moved into the quarter-finals at the expense of Alexei Popyrin and Aslan Karatsev battled past Aljaz Bedene 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-5) in Belgrade.

Stefanos Tsitsipas landed the first Masters 1000 title of his career as he scored a thumping 6-3 6-3 win over Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo.

The Greek star had lost his previous two finals at this level, with Rafael Nadal denying him in Toronto and Novak Djokovic beating him in Madrid.

However, he had the measure of Russian Rublev on the Monte Carlo clay on Sunday, breaking his opponent's serve three times and giving away nothing on his own delivery.

Tsitsipas, who lives in Monte Carlo, said he had experienced an "unbelievable week", declaring it was the pinnacle of his career to date.

"I can't describe the feelings right now," he said on Amazon Prime. "I'm overwhelmed by so many different emotions.

"It's incredible I'm able to be in the position I am, and I think we both deserved being in the final and put on an amazing fight and an amazing show.

"Generally I would consider it the week of my life so far. I knew he was going to be a very difficult opponent to face and there were a lot of nerves coming into that match.

"I've played him in the past, he always wants to bring the best out of us when facing each other."

Rublev beat 11-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal in the quarter-finals, but the 23-year-old could not hit the heights of that performance in the title match.

Tsitsipas, 22, said: "I'm just proud of the way I managed to behave and to be out on the court today.

"The clay-court season couldn't start better and it's the best thing right now, winning my first Masters 1000, and it's even more special doing it here on home soil in Monte Carlo and doing it on clay which is my favourite surface."

Andrey Rublev reflected on an "amazing feeling" as he booked a Monte Carlo Masters final appearance against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Russian has had a remarkable week at the Masters 1000 event that included a stunning win over 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

Rublev continued his fine run with a 6-3 7-5 win over Casper Ruud on Saturday to ensure he will do battle against Tsitsipas in his first final at this level.

Tsitsipas comfortably saw off Dan Evans – who had beaten Novak Djokovic earlier in the tournament – winning his semi-final 6-2 6-1.

Rublev had 21 winners in his 80-minute victory over Ruud and has a record of 24-4 this season, the ATP Tour's best.

"It is an amazing feeling - it is my first [Masters] final, so I am really happy," said Rublev. 

"We will see what is going to happen [in the final]. I will try to do my best.

"Casper is a really amazing player, especially on clay. Since the beginning he put a really high intensity [on the court] and was really tough. 

"I knew that I needed to raise my level if I wanted to fight against him, because if I [did] not raise the level I [would] lose for sure."

Rublev defeated Tsitsipas in straight sets on his way to winning an ATP 500 title in Rotterdam last month.

Six of his eight ATP titles have come since the start of last year.

It took Tsitsipas, who has not won a tournament for 14 months, only one hour and nine minutes to see off the challenge of Evans, forcing 11 break points to the Briton's one.

"I am indeed pleased with the performance," Tsitsipas said, with the Greek yet to drop a set in Monte Carlo.

"I found ways to play at my best. It was really difficult to maintain my level of consistency and I am really happy I managed to deal with all the different moments during the match.

"I'm feeling good. I'm feeling energised. I still have plenty of gas and energy left in me. I was able to have all of my matches done in two sets, so that is a big plus. 

"I am happy to be able to play that way, just take it match by match, approach each individual match with the same intensity and energy - I'm really focused for Sunday."

Rublev has won three of his six career meetings with Tsitsipas and one of their two battles on clay.

Tsitsipas will be competing in his third Masters final, having lost to Nadal and Djokovic in his two previous appearances, the last of which came two years ago in Madrid.

Overall, Tsitsipas has won just five of his 13 ATP finals.

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