Emma Raducanu felt "extremely grateful" after being made an MBE for her services to tennis.

The 20-year-old was presented with the honour by King Charles III in a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

It comes 14 months after Raducanu's fairytale triumph at the US Open, where she became the first British female grand slam champion since Virginia Wade's Wimbledon victory in 1977.

The then 18-year-old was also the first qualifier to land a major after her straight-sets her win over Leylah Fernandez in the championship match at Flushing Meadows.

In a statement released via her agent, Raducanu said: "It's been great to receive my honour today from his Majesty the King - I feel extremely grateful."

Raducanu did not enjoy a fruitful season in 2022, as she failed to win a trophy or progress beyond the second round in any of the grand slams.

Her deepest run in a tournament came in September, when she reached the semi-finals of the Korea Open, but she had to retire hurt from a semi-final tie with Jelena Ostapenko.

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov steered Canada to Davis Cup glory in Sunday's final against Australia in Malaga, earning the country their first title in the competition.

Canada were runners-up three years ago in Madrid, when a 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime and 20-year-old Shapovalov lost their respective singles clashes with Roberto Bautista Agut and Rafael Nadal.

Three years older and three years wiser, this time the Canadians dominated the trophy match at the expense of 28-time champions Australia.

Shapovalov got Canada off to a flying start by crushing Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2 6-4, setting up the chance for Auger-Aliassime to clinch victory without the need for the contest to go down to a doubles decider.

World number six Auger-Aliassime made no mistake as he fended off Alex de Minaur 6-3 6-4, adding Davis Cup glory to the four singles titles he has gathered this year.

Auger-Aliassime saved three break points in the sixth game of the second set, from 0-40, when a trailing De Minaur was looking to hit back. He then sealed Canada's victory minutes later with a forehand into the corner that his opponent could only return out of court, before being mobbed by team-mates.

Each of Auger-Aliassime's 2022 titles came at indoor hard court events, and he has thrived again in those conditions this week, winning all three of his singles rubbers and a doubles tussle on Saturday against Italy alongside the experienced Vasek Pospisil.

The Canadian pair got the job done just minutes before kick-off time in their country's World Cup game against Croatia.

"The emotions are hard to describe," said Auger-Aliassime. "All of us here, we've dreamt of this moment.

"These guys around me, except Vasek, he's a little bit older than me, we grew up together from the ages of seven, eight years old in Canada dreaming about being on this stage, winning these types of matches, winning a Davis Cup.

"It's really a dream come true, for me personally and I think for all the team. It was a great moment for myself and the country."

Felix Auger-Aliassime is eager to cap a "special year" by leading Canada to Davis Cup glory on Sunday after playing a pivotal role in the semi-final win over Italy.

Standing in the way of Canada, who were runners-up in 2019 but have never won the event, are 28-time champions Australia after Lleyton Hewitt's team beat Croatia on Friday.

The Australians have had a day to recover from their efforts, while Canada's success came on Saturday and they must look to carry momentum into the title match in Malaga.

Lorenzo Sonego gave Italy a 1-0 lead over Canada by beating Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 in an opening clash that lasted three hours and 14 minutes.

That piled pressure on Auger-Aliassime in the next rubber, as he took on Lorenzo Musetti, but it did not show as he powered to a 6-3 6-4 victory to tie the overall match and set up a decisive doubles contest.

Canada captain Frank Dancevic chose Auger-Aliassime over Shapovalov to partner Vasek Pospisil against Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini, and the decision paid off as they earned a 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 win.

It has been a super 2022 already for Auger-Aliassime, who has won his first four singles titles on the ATP Tour and climbed to number six in the rankings, and the year could be crowned from his perspective with the most prized team trophy in men's tennis.

"It's been a special journey, special year," said Auger-Aliassime. "I think this is the most complete team that we have had in the history of Canadian tennis. I feel we deserve to be in that position now.

"I have said it many times throughout the years, this is one of the goals I think for all the guys to go far and to win it all.

"I'm really proud of everybody's effort. It's been a great journey. It's the last day tomorrow of Davis Cup for this year, so we're ready to give it all."

Lleyton Hewitt hailed a mighty Australian effort as his team reached the Davis Cup final with a stunning win against Croatia in Malaga.

Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson beat the Olympic champion pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the deciding doubles to earn a 2-1 team victory and set up a showdown on Sunday against Canada or Italy.

Borna Coric got the better of Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first rubber on Friday, earning a 6-4 6-3 victory to put Croatia in the driving seat.

After a shock title success at the Cincinnati Masters in August, Coric was looking to end his year on another huge career high.

However, Marin Cilic could not seal the deal for Croatia as he slumped 6-2 6-2 to Alex de Minaur in the surprisingly one-sided tussle that followed.

De Minaur broke the Cilic serve four times and held his own throughout, typically with plenty of comfort, as he took down the 2014 US Open champion.

That meant the contest came down to the doubles, and Purcell and Thompson held their nerve in a gargantuan battle with Mektic and Pavic, coming from behind to score a 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 6-4 victory.

"I couldn't be prouder of the whole team," team captain Hewitt said, quoted on Tennis Australia's website.

"We knew we were the underdogs coming into this today and we like being in that position. It's a place I really enjoyed as a player and also as a captain."

Hewitt was a star of the team when Australia last won the Davis Cup or even made the final, all the way back in 2003. That was the country's 28th triumph in the competition, and now they have a chance to go after number 29.

"To put us in the final, that feeling, I can't describe it," said Thompson.

Canada face Italy on Saturday in the second semi-final.

Canada will play Italy in the Davis Cup semi-finals after coming from behind to defeat Germany 2-1 in Malaga.

Initially a wildcard for the finals as the highest-ranked losing nation in the qualifiers, the 2019 runners-up are through to the last four for the second time in three years - and fourth time overall.

Felix Auger-Aliassime overcame Oscar Otte in straight sets - condemning him to a fourth straight singles defeat - to set up a doubles decider and cancel out Denis Shapovalov's earlier loss to Jan-Lennard Struff.

Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil appeared in trouble when they lost the opening set 6-2 against Tim Puetz and Kevin Krawietz, who had won all eight Davis Cup matches when paired together.

But the Canadian duo, who hit a combined 11 aces during the contest, rallied to force a deciding set, which they took 6-3 to inflict a first defeat on their opponents.

Earlier in the day, Italy also came through a deciding doubles match to beat the USA and secure their first semi-final appearance since 2014.

Despite missing the injured Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini, the Italians were appearing in their first quarter-final for six years, and they made a strong start with Lorenzo Sonego hitting 17 aces on the way to defeating Frances Tiafoe 6-3 7-6 (8-6).

Targeting only their fourth semi-final since 2007, 32-time winners USA rallied with Taylor Fritz overcoming Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets to force the first deciding double match of the finals.

There, just one break per set was enough for Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini to beat Tommy Paul and Jack Sock 6-3 6-3, and send the 1976 champions through.

Borna Coric and Marin Cilic led Croatia to a 2-0 win against hosts Spain in the Davis Cup to set up a last-four clash against Australia.

Coric fought hard to beat Robert Bautista Agut 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in the first contest on Wednesday in Malaga.

In a match that lasted just shy of two hours, Coric hit 12 aces on his way to tying Mario Ancic for fourth place in Croatia's all-time leaders in the Davis Cup with his 13th singles win.

"I didn't know that fact to be honest," the 26-year-old said on court. "It's a very nice fact, Mario is a legend of Croatian tennis and obviously it does mean a lot to me that I am there with him."

His experienced team-mate Cilic had a harder time of things, needing to come back from a set down to overcome Pablo Carreno Busta 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in a thriller.

Like Coric, Cilic relied heavily on aces, smashing 20 through the contest, but he was made to sweat by Carreno Busta, who took the first set.

Cilic fought back to win the second, and was a break ahead in the third before his Spanish opponent broke back and looked set to take the tie to a rubber clash in the doubles.

The decider went to a tie-break though, with Cilic coming back from 4-1 down to seal victory for his country in front of a disappointed Spanish crowd.

Croatia will now face Australia on Friday after they defeated the Netherlands 2-0 on Tuesday thanks to wins for Jordan Thompson and Alex De Minaur.

Carlos Alcaraz turns a "deaf ear" to comparisons between himself and fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

A stunning season for Alcaraz has seen him become the youngest world number one in ATP history at the age of 19.

He won two Masters 1000 titles and his maiden grand slam at the US Open in September.

Alcaraz was ruled out of the ATP Finals with an abdominal injury, but Nadal's elimination in Turin ensured Alcaraz would end 2022 as the youngest ever year-end number one.

Such accomplishments have seen him compared by some to countryman Nadal, who won the French Open aged just 19 in 2005 on his way to becoming one of the most decorated men's tennis players of all time.

But Alcaraz refuses to entertain such talk, instead speaking of his admiration at what the now 36-year-old Nadal had achieved over his long career.

"There is no point in comparing," Alcaraz told reporters. "It doesn't matter that now I am world number one, Rafa's entire career counts for a lot.

"It is a pleasure, for every tennis lover, to see Rafa on the court."

He added he hopes to achieve "at least half" of what Nadal has, in a career spanning over two decades and encompassing 22 grand slam titles.

Alcaraz, meanwhile, is trying to "regain strength before returning to the court" as he eyes the new season, and acknowledged he will start with a target on his back due to his 2022 success.

"The season is going to be difficult because I am going to start as the favourite," he explained. "There is going to be a lot of pressure on me.

"But I try to keep the good part and see that all this does not go to my head. In the end, beating your idols is an incredible achievement.

"I try to take it normally and never forget that whatever happens in the future, I have to enjoy tennis and play at my level."

Novak Djokovic has no doubt in his own mind he is the best tennis player in the world, regardless of what the rankings say.

After clinching a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title by downing Casper Ruud in Turin, Djokovic reflected on a turbulent 2022 season in which he was unable to play in two of the four grand slam events.

His refusal to accept a COVID-19 vaccination meant Djokovic was denied permission to compete at the Australian Open and US Open, while the various tennis authorities' reaction to the Ukraine crisis meant no ranking points were on offer at Wimbledon.

Indeed, Djokovic successfully defended his title at the All England Club, but in doing so he lost all of his 2,000 points for being the 2021 champion.

As such, he entered the ATP Finals as the world number eight, with his unbeaten run at the tournament seeing him collect 1,500 points and jump up to fifth on the ATP ranking list.

Carlos Alcaraz is the number one for now, after a stellar season for the 19-year-old Spaniard in which the highlight was his US Open victory, but Djokovic will be the favourite with many for the Australian Open, with authorities expected to allow him to play next year.

Asked if he was the world's best player, Djokovic said: "I'm not. I'm fifth."

That came with a smile from the Serbian, who added: "This week I probably am [the best]. Overall the rankings are showing who had the best year, and Alcaraz is the number one in the world. Not much to say about that.

"But in my mind I always see myself as the best player in the world, of course. I have that kind of mentality and that kind of approach. Regardless of who is across the net, regardless of what the surface is, regardless of what season it is, what number of the professional season in my career we're facing, I mean, it's always the same. The ambitions are as high as possible.

"That kind of approach, I feel it brought me to where I am sitting here today as a 35-year-old, holding one of the biggest trophies in the sport."

The 21-time grand slam winner, one behind Rafael Nadal on the men's all-time singles list, said the prospects for future success come down to his "love and passion" for tennis.

"As long as that's there I'll do anything in my power to challenge the young guys for the biggest trophies," Djokovic said.

"I don't know what the future holds, but I know that what I hold in my mind is a huge hunger still to win trophies, make history of this sport, compete on the highest level all around the world, bring good emotions to sports fans, tennis fans."

Djokovic was greeted after the final by Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, another sporting evergreen at the age of 41, albeit very much in his career twilight.

The same cannot be said yet for Djokovic, who may have several seasons left at this high level.

His coach, former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, watched on admiringly as Djokovic won 7-5 6-3 in Turin against Ruud on Sunday.

According to Croatian Ivanisevic, the key to Djokovic's success in his mid-thirties is his relentless work rate.

"He's practising even harder than when he was 22," said Ivanisevic. "That's why he's still so good and that's why he's still going to be even better.

"The will to practise, the will to improve, the will to be better is amazing. He's taking care of his body. In my time we stopped tennis at 30, 31. You were already an old guy ready to leave.

"They all talk about, yes, young players are coming. It's great for tennis. You have the youngest number one in the world who made unbelievable things this year, Carlos. But look at Novak. He's still hungry, he's still winning the tournament, playing unbelievable tennis. He's still already thinking now about preparation for next season.

"Till he's like that, in his mind he's going to be always competitive, favourite to win majors and the big tournaments."

Novak Djokovic ended his "roller coaster year" on a roaring high with victory at the ATP Finals, matching Roger Federer's record of six titles by sinking the hopes of Casper Ruud.

The Serbian said he had spent the season "on the needles", his colourful way of describing the nervousness and discomfort he had experienced during a campaign which saw him prevented from playing in Australia and North America.

Djokovic, who has refused to take a COVID-19 vaccination, has seen his career suffer because of that firm stance. He was thrown out of Australia in January, a humiliating way to begin the year.

Yet there is little doubting the 35-year-old remains the pre-eminent player on tour heading towards the 2023 season, even with the rise of Carlos Alcaraz, who ends the year as world number one.

A first ATP Finals triumph for Djokovic came in 2008, and he then won four in a row from 2012 to 2015, and now he has carried off the trophy once more, plus a cheque worth $4.74million, the biggest prize ever paid out in tennis.

"Seven years, it's been a long time. At the same time, the fact I've waited seven years makes this victory even sweeter and even bigger," Djokovic said.

Speaking on Amazon Prime, Djokovic said the win after all he has gone through felt "huge".

"I probably talked about this season and how unusual it is 1,000 times prior to this interview, so I'm not going to repeat what most people who follow tennis know," he said.

"[It's] just a big relief and satisfaction, and also I look forward to having a couple of weeks off, because I've been on the needles the entire year, whether for tournaments or waiting for permissions to go somewhere, so I'm really glad I managed to end it in a positive way."

He is the oldest champion in the tournament's 53-year history, breaking a record held by Federer, who was 30 when he won in 2011.

Djokovic said it was "really, really impressive" for Ruud to have reached grand slam finals in Paris and New York, and the ATP Finals title match, in a stellar year for the 23-year-old Norwegian.

But Djokovic was ruthless in Sunday's final, emerging a 7-5 6-3 winner thanks to a break of serve in each set, earning a fifth title of his disrupted year following wins at Wimbledon, Rome, Astana and Tel Aviv.

Thanking his team and supporters during the trophy presentation for "going through some tough times" with him, Djokovic said there were moments where he had needed "a shoulder to lean on, a shoulder to cry on".

The 21-time grand slam winner added: "It's been a roller coaster year really, something I've never experienced ever before in my life, and only we know what we've been through."

Novak Djokovic ended his tumultuous year on a breathtaking high by dismantling Casper Ruud to win the title match at the ATP Finals, pocketing almost $5million in the process.

The man who was deported from Australia after a vaccination and visa dispute in January, then refused entry to the United States later in the campaign, scorched to a 7-5 6-3 victory against rising star Ruud.

This was a sixth triumph for Djokovic at the ATP Finals, matching Roger Federer's record, and at the age of 35 he is also the oldest champion at the event. Federer was previously the oldest, being 30 when he captured the 2011 title in London.

The tournament has since moved to Turin, and Djokovic reels in $4.74million for a victory that shows he remains the player to beat, wherever and whenever he gets the chance to play.

Serbian superstar Djokovic had two chances to break in the second game but Ruud resisted, and the younger man saved another break point in the eighth game too, but a further opportunity came at 6-5 after Ruud paddled a backhand into the net. The 23-year-old Norwegian sent the ball long in the next rally to slip behind.

It was becoming a masterclass from Djokovic and he was pummelling the ball from the back of the court, breaking Ruud's serve for a 3-1 lead in the second set. Djokovic later won a 36-shot rally to set up championship point, sealing victory with an ace down the centre.

Ruud, a runner-up this season at the French Open and US Open, had watched each of Djokovic's previous ATP Finals victories on television, and this time he had a prime spot to witness the 21-time grand slam winner at the top of his game.

Try as he might, Ruud could not find a way to fight back once the stranglehold was with Djokovic, who heads towards 2023 with his appetite for the biggest trophies in tennis far from sated.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 9/0
Ruud – 6/1

WINNERS

Djokovic – 31
Ruud – 17

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 2/5
Ruud – 0/0

Casper Ruud swept through to a showdown with Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals, making light work of Andrey Rublev to reach the trophy match.

The 23-year-old Norwegian has enjoyed a stunning season, reaching two grand slam finals, and his 6-2 6-4 semi-final dismissal of Russian Rublev was impressively authoritative.

After Ruud coasted through the opening set, the occasion fell wholly flat when Ruud broke serve in the first game of the second, and did so again in the third game.

Rublev sat shaking his head at his chair in the break between games, also shrugging his shoulders towards his support team and looking lost for ideas.

He only began to make an impact after slipping 4-0 behind, and at 5-2 he broke Ruud's serve to narrow the gap and give the Turin crowd hope the contest could take off.

At 5-4, it was briefly tense, but Ruud served for the match for a second time and this time made it count, sealing victory with a brilliant backhand winner to become the first Scandinavian finalist at the ATP Finals since Stefan Edberg in 1990.

Ruud will overtake Rafael Nadal and end the year at number two in the ATP rankings should he carry off the title on Sunday; however, he has a 0-3 career record against Djokovic. Djokovic earlier battled past Taylor Fritz by winning a pair of tight tie-breaks to earn a straight-sets victory in the first of Saturday's semi-finals.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Ruud – 10/0
Rublev – 9/0

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Ruud – 20/0
Rublev – 19/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Ruud – 4/4
Rublev – 1/1

Roger Federer believes the intense tennis tour schedule can have a negative impact on the mental health of players.

Federer, now retired, won 20 grand slam titles between 2003 and 2018 before stepping away from the sport in September of this year, and he is well aware of the challenges players face.

A number of big-name stars have spoken out about their mental health, including Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios, and Federer feels the packed tennis calendar does not help players.

"When players retire at a super young age, I totally understand it," Federer told a press conference in Tokyo. "The tour is tough... travel, practice, jetlag.

"Nobody is allowed to say, 'Oh, I'm tired today', because it looks like you're weak, and that's why players end up having sometimes mental problems.

"You're supposed to show strength. But we're also not machines, we’re also just human beings."

Federer played on the tour for 25 years before calling it a day, and he is making the most of being able to finally relax, saying: "As a tennis player you're always thinking about your next practice, your next match. It never lets you go.

"I don't think I was that much aware of it, how much that thought is always there, and it rides with you, until you retire and then you realise that stress all drops away."

He pointed to doping tests, and the fact players must constantly make authorities away of their whereabouts.

"We have to fill out the doping forms every single day, one hour during the day, where you are," Federer said. "You're always aware in the back of your head, they could be coming any moment, especially in that hour.

"Once that all drops away you actually feel quite lighter, relieved that you can actually live normally again after 25 years."

Novak Djokovic sealed his place in the final of the ATP Finals after edging past Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) in Turin on Saturday.

The Serbian, who is bidding to equal Roger Federer's record of six ATP Finals titles, overcame Daniil Medvedev in a bruising three-hour contest on Friday, and he was again made to work hard for victory against spirited American Fritz.

Djokovic struck first in the opening set with a break to love in the fifth game, yet Fritz responded immediately to level at 3-3.

A tie-break was needed to separate them after that, with Djokovic's superb forehand winner sealing the first set in style.

Fritz broke Djokovic in the opening game of the second set, but a simple missed backhand from the American helped his opponent break back to make it 5-5.

That set the stage for a high-quality tie-break, which Djokovic ultimately won to claim victory in one hour and 54 minutes.

"I had to fight to survive," Djokovic said on court afterwards. "I didn't feel very reactive today or very comfortable.

"I knew coming into today's match from yesterday's gruelling battle against Medvedev it would take me some time to adjust and find the dynamic movement I need against Fritz, who is one of the best servers on the tour.

"I am very pleased to have overcome this one as I don't think it was one of my best days with my tennis, but I managed to hang in there."

Should Djokovic beat Casper Ruud or Andrey Rublev in Sunday's final, he will claim the largest payday in tennis history, with $4,740,300 up for grabs for sealing the trophy undefeated.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 4/1
Medvedev – 15/1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 21/19
Medvedev – 31/26

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 2/2
Medvedev – 2/2

Andrey Rublev produced a stirring fightback to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas and reach the last four of the ATP Finals for the first time on Friday.

Rublev had failed to make it out of the group stage on each of his first two appearances at the season-ending showpiece.

It initially looked as if he would fall short once again in this winner-take-all clash with Tsitsipas, with both men looking to join Novak Djokovic in progressing from the Red Group.

He was outclassed by Tsitsipas in the first set but showed the grit to recover from 0-30 down in the opening game of the second to find a crucial hold of serve.

That proved the catalyst for a stunning turnaround, as Rublev dominated with his fierce forehand and a series of superb passing shots to seal a 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory in Turin.

He will face Casper Ruud on Saturday for a place in the final.

Rublev told Prime Video of that semi-final encounter: "I'm really looking forward because Casper is such a nice person, great player, great fighter, he has achieved so many things this season, so it's going to be a really good challenge for me."

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Rublev – 10/2
Tsitsipas – 10/2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Rublev – 36/22
Tsitsipas – 25/12

BREAK POINTS WON

Rublev – 3/5
Tsitsipas – 1/3

Novak Djokovic finished with a perfect group-stage record at the ATP Finals after beating Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) in a lengthy three-hour contest on Friday.

Djokovic – who is bidding to equal Roger Federer's record of six ATP Finals titles – sealed his spot in the last four by beating Andrey Rublev on Wednesday, but he was in no mood to do the already-eliminated Medvedev any favours in Turin.

The 21-time grand slam winner dominated the opening set, winning 89 per cent of points behind his first serve and hitting several outstanding cross-court forehand winners.

Djokovic began the second set in similar fashion, but saw his standards dip when he returned to the court following a long stoppage at 5-5.

The rejuvenated Medvedev forced a tie-break with a delightful drop shot before taking advantage of a rare double fault from Djokovic to level the match. 

With the exhausted Djokovic visibly shaking ahead of the decider and his semi-final against Taylor Fritz looming, the Serbian's commitment to Friday's dead rubber could have been called into question, but he found a second wind to take the match away from Medvedev.

Djokovic was on the ropes when he saw his serve broken for the first time in the tournament nine games into the third set, but he hit back immediately and then forced another tie-break. 

The Serbian was back to his exquisite best from there on as he sealed the win by hitting a huge forehand winner down the line, though the drawn-out nature of his victory could yet play into Fritz's hands.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 9/3
Medvedev – 16/2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 53/43
Medvedev – 47/35

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 2/6
Medvedev – 1/6 

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