Wimbledon lost another seed to a positive COVID-19 test on Thursday as former semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut pulled out of the tournament.

The Spaniard, who lost in four sets to Novak Djokovic in their 2019 last-four tussle, announced his withdrawal as play got under way on day four at the All England Club.

Bautista Agut wrote on Twitter: "Today I notified @Wimbledon of my withdrawal. I have tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, the symptoms are not very serious, but I think it is the best decision. Thank you for your support. I hope to come back soon."

Now aged 34, Bautista Agut was the 17th seed at the championships and had been due to play Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan on Court Three on Thursday afternoon.

Galan receives a walkover into the third round as a result of Bautista Agut's announcement.

The loss of Bautista Agut follows the crushing blow of last year's runner-up Matteo Berrettini having to abandon his Wimbledon mission for the same reason.

Eighth seed Berrettini recently won at Queen's Club for the second straight year and was widely considered a credible challenger to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, but the Italian pulled out ahead of his first-round match on Tuesday.

Croatian Marin Cilic, a former US Open champion and Wimbledon runner-up, also withdrew from the tournament before his opening match after a recent positive test.

Alize Cornet claims several players contracted COVID-19 at last month's French Open, but kept the outbreak quiet in order to avoid mass withdrawals from the tournament.

Wimbledon has already been rocked by two high-profile male players withdrawing after testing positive for the virus, with last year's runner-up Matteo Berrettini and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic both pulling out ahead of scheduled first-round matches on Tuesday.

Now Cornet, who equalled Ai Sugiyama's all-time record of 62 consecutive grand slam main-draw appearances in a win over Yulia Putintseva on day two, claims there were cases at Roland Garros that did not come to light.

"At Roland Garros, there was a Covid epidemic, no one talked about it. In the locker room, everyone got it and we said nothing," she told L'Equipe.

"When it comes out in the press, with big players, it will start to set fire to the lake everywhere and that worries me a little.

"[2021 French Open winner Barbora] Krejcikova withdrew saying she had Covid, and the whole locker room was sick. 

"At some point, we all might have had the flu. The thing is, we have the symptoms, itchy throat… we play and everything is fine, it's fine. 

"At Roland, I think there have been a few cases and it's a tacit agreement between us. We are not going to self-test to get into trouble! 

"Afterwards, I saw girls wearing masks, maybe because they knew and didn't want to pass it on. You also have to have a civic spirit."

Daniil Medvedev set up a Halle Open final meeting with Hubert Hurkacz, overcoming home favourite Oscar Otte to reach his second grass-court final in as many weeks.

The world number one was forced to save a set point in a tight opener before rallying in a tie-break and sailing through the second set in a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win. 

Despite falling to a shock defeat to Tim van Rijthoven in 's-Hertogenbosch last week, Medvedev is now 14-2 on grass since a first-round exit at Halle last year, and was delighted to make up for 2021's performance on one of his favoured surfaces. 

"I didn't play well in Halle last year, so I'm happy that this year I managed to raise my level," he said after the win.

"As I've always said, I love playing on grass, so I'm happy to show to myself that I'm capable of being in the final of one of the greatest tournaments, especially on grass, and of course I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Standing between Medvedev and the second grass-court title of his career is Hurkacz, who required two tie-breaks to edge a thrilling contest with Nick Kyrgios, winning 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4).

Elsewhere, last year's Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini remains on course for back-to-back titles at the Queen's Club Championships after a straight-sets win over Botic van de Zandschulp in the final four.

Berrettini overcame a rain stoppage to secure his eighth consecutive victory, securing a 6-4 6-3 win, and delighted after triumphing in challenging conditions.

"It was a really tough match. We stopped for the rain. I had a lot of chances. It was windy again and really tough to play, but I definitely think it was the best match of the week, so I am really happy and looking forward to the final," the Italian said. 

Berrettini will face world number 48 Filip Krajinovic in Sunday's final, after the Serb cruised past 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-3 6-3.

Daniil Medvedev ended his wait for a first win over Roberto Bautista Agut at the Halle Open as his impressive start to the grass-court season continued.

The world number one, who reached the final at 's-Hertogenbosch last week only to suffer a shock defeat to Tim van Rijthoven, had not beaten Bautista Agut in three previous matches.

But his duck against the Spaniard is over following a 6-2 6-4 win, which set up a semi-final meeting with Oscar Otte after the German saw off Karen Khachanov in three sets.

"I remember all the matches we had… He was playing some [great] tennis and it was tough for me to win," Medvedev said of his previous meetings with Bautista Agut. 

"Today I had my plan, managed to keep it going. Definitely got more edge on the most important points, because he had more break points than me. It was not easy, and I'm happy to win."

Hubert Hurkacz, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, is also into the last four after edging Felix Auger-Aliassime in two tie-breaks and will face Nick Kyrgios, who beat Paulo Carreno Busta in straight sets.

Elsewhere, Matteo Berrettini was victorious at the Stuttgart Open and is on course to go back-to-back at the Queen's Club Championships after seeing off Tommy Paul 6-4 6-2 to progress to the semi-finals.

Botic van de Zandschlup is his next opponent, the Dutchman overcoming Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-4.

Meanwhile, Filip Krajinovic had to come from a set down to end Briton Ryan Peniston's run at the quarter-final stage, with his reward a meeting with former US Open champion Marin Cilic, a straight-sets victor over Emil Ruusuvori.

 

Andrey Rublev was a surprise first-round loser at the Halle Open, while numerous seeds fell on the first day of the Queen's Club Championships.

Rublev came unstuck against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, succumbing to a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 loss as the world number eight crashed out in Germany.

Laslo Djere progressed after Henri Squire retired when 4-3 down, while sixth seed Pablo Carreno Busta secured a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) over French Open quarter-finalist Holger Rune.

Ugo Humber got the better of a topsy-turvy affair against qualifier Radu Albot, eventually triumphing 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 and Mackenzie McDonald defeated Marc-Andrea Huesler in straight sets.

Fourth favourite Taylor Fritz went down 6-3 6-3 against British wildcard Jack Draper, his first career win against a top-20 ranked player.

Reilly Opelka, the eighth seed, crashed out in the first round to New Zealand's Alex de Minaur, who claimed a straightforward 6-4 6-4 win.

Grigor Dimitrov, who won the event in 2014, battled past third seed Cameron Norrie 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-4, while Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina eased past compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5 6-4.

Alexander Bublik was 6-3 up before Italian Lorenzo Musetti retired, while seventh seed Marin Cilic capped the day's play in London by beating home hope Liam Broady 6-1 4-6 7-5.

Casper Ruud weathered an early storm as he saw off Marin Cilic and set up a shot at Rafael Nadal in the French Open final.

The Norwegian has this week become the first man from his country to reach a grand slam quarter-final, then he bettered that by advancing to the semi-finals, and now the final beckons after a 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2 triumph.

A clay-court specialist, who has more match wins, finals and titles among ATP Tour players than anyone else since the start of the 2020 season, Ruud showed the expertise that could make him a handful for 13-time champion Nadal on Sunday. Ruud describes Nadal as his "idol".

This match was interrupted during the third set by a climate change activist who fastened herself to the net, but Ruud, who had forged ahead in the set, kept his head in the trying circumstances.

Cilic had made a strong start, but the 33-year-old Croatian's assault became less threatening as Ruud got a grip on proceedings. At 5-4 ahead in the second set, Ruud fell 0-40 behind on serve but retrieved that precarious situation in style, sealing the game and levelling the match with a marvellous backhand winner down the line.

Suddenly erratic, Cilic missed a routine smash to give Ruud a break point at the start of the third set, and although the server saved that one, another misfired overhead from the Croatian meant the game slipped away.

A delicious floated low backhand across court and out of Cilic's reach gave Ruud a double break, and he was not knocked out of his stride by the intervention of the activist, with the players briefly led off court.

The man from Oslo wrapped up the third and tore through the fourth set, serving out to love at the first time of asking, and now the ultimate challenge awaits.

Data slam: Ruud racing through the rounds

Ruud has become the first man since Sweden's Robin Soderling in 2009 to reach his first Roland Garros fourth round, quarter-final, semi-final and final in the same year. Soderling lost in straight sets to Nadal in the final.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Ruud – 41/21
Cilic – 51/56

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Ruud – 16/0
Cilic – 10/2

BREAK POINTS WON/LOST

Ruud – 5/15
Cilic – 2/9

A female climate change activist chained herself to the net on Court Philippe-Chatrier during the French Open semi-final between Marin Cilic and Casper Ruud.

The woman, who identified herself online as a 22-year-old named Alizee, came from the stands during the third set.

She wore a T-shirt bearing the slogan "We have 1028 days left".

The shirt also carried the web address of the Derniere Renovation organisation, which is aligned to similar groups worldwide.

That website portrayed the woman on its front page, with the headline: "A citizen disrupts the semi-final of Roland Garros."

That was confirmation it was a pre-planned exercise, with the woman quoted as saying: "We are in 2022 and it is time to look at the reality in the face, the world to which politicians are sending us is a world to which Roland Garros will not be able to exist.

"Today, I went onto the court because I can't take the risk any more of not doing anything in the face of the climate emergency."

The group's website urged the French government to take action, saying it had sent it an ultimatum, declaring citizens had "entered into civil resistance".

"France has been condemned by its own courts for climate inaction. The future of this country is literally destroyed. To waste time is to perish," the group added.

The incident was an embarrassment to French Open organisers, with security inside the main show court unable to prevent the woman marching out onto the court and locking herself to the net.

Play was interrupted with the players briefly taken off court, before the woman was removed from the court by four security men and the match resumed.

Andy Murray says he can draw inspiration from Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic's impressive French Open form as he eyes a resurgence at Wimbledon.

Nadal and Cilic are in the semi-finals at Roland Garros, and could well book themselves an appearance in the final against each other on Friday.

Having beat Dutchman Gijs Brouwer 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) to book a quarter-final spot in the Surbiton Trophy this week, Murray admits he can look to the pair for proof of longevity.

"I can take some inspiration from those guys," the 35-year-old stated after reaching the last eight in London.

"I don't know whether it's Rafa's last run or not because he seems to be doing physically really well during the event, so I hope he's able to continue going for a while.

"Cilic as well, he's someone I grew up with in the juniors and played a lot with. He has just made the semis of the French for the first ever time at 33 and is playing really well."

Having sat out the clay courts at Roland Garros to prepare on grass for Wimbledon, Murray will hope a deep run in the Surbiton Trophy can prepare him well.

"I have done a lot of training, practised a lot, so now I need the matches and hopefully I'll get a bunch of matches to get me ready for Wimbledon," he added.

Marin Cilic beat Andrey Rublev in a five-set classic on Court Philippe-Chatrier to reach the French Open semi-finals for the first time.

The 2014 US Open winner produced an incredible quarter-final display as he dominated a final-set super tie-break to down the Russian 5-7 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-2) after four hours and 10 minutes of absorbing tennis.

The win means the Croatian, the 20th seed at this year's edition of Roland Garros, has reached at least the semi-finals of all four grand slams, with the French Open the only major at which he has yet to reach a final.

Rublev enjoyed the upper hand early on, claiming the first set with a display of clinical serving and forcing the all-important break in Cilic's final service game, as the seventh seed failed to give up a single break point during a strong start. 

But Cilic bounced back in the second, breaking with a big forehand winner in Rublev's first game on serve before clinging on in a series of drawn-out service games of his own.

The 33-year-old had to be more patient in the third, breaking in game seven with a winner to end a 16-shot rally to turn the match on its head, only for Rublev to fight back to force a decider.

The Russian won 92 per cent of first-serve points during a big-hitting fourth set, finally breaking in the eighth game before neither player could convert their one break point apiece in the decider, as an epic encounter required the use of the newly introduced super tie-break.

After four hours of intense back-and-forth, Cilic produced a classy display to blow a visibly frustrated Rublev away, claiming the tie-break 10-2 to set up a final-four meeting with either Casper Ruud or Holger Rune.

Speaking after the win, Cilic hailed the quality on display during the titanic tussle, saying: "It was an incredible battle and Andrey played incredibly well. It was an incredible performance [from both players].

"There was a lot of heart and one had to go down. Today was my day, but Andrey also played an incredible match, bad luck to him.

"Unfortunately I lost that fourth set, I thought I was close to getting the break at some points and Andrey played some great games, but when you play this long there's always going to be ups and downs."

Data Slam: Cilic joins greats in completing semi-final set

Cilic's superb win made him just the fifth active men's player to have reached at least the semi-finals at each of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, after world number one Novak Djokovic and former number ones Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Cilic - 88/71

Rublev - 35/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Cilic - 33/2

Rublev - 15/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Cilic - 2/7

Rublev - 2/8

Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the French Open in straight sets to Marin Cilic, who hailed the victory as one of the best of his career after producing a scintillating display on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Second seed Medvedev was blown away 6-2 6-3 6-2 in just one hour and 45 minutes, with the 33-year-old Cilic not looking back after forcing successive breaks to wrap up the first set.

Having broken Medvedev's serve six games into the opener, the 2014 US Open champion did likewise en route to clinching the second set, with Cilic winning 90 per cent of first-serve points over the course of a dominant display.

If Medvedev still harboured hopes of a comeback at that point, they were swiftly dashed in the third set as Cilic maintained his relentless pace, breaking the world number two in each of his first two service games as he went on to record his first career win over the Russian.

Medvedev failed to force a single break point during a miserable outing under the floodlights, with the near-flawless Cilic not registering a single double fault as he reached his first grand slam quarter-final since the 2018 US Open.

Speaking on court after teeing up a last-eight meeting with Andrey Rublev, Cilic said the win was one of the best of his career.

"It was an absolutely fantastic match, from the first point until the last. I enjoyed the atmosphere, I enjoy the night sessions here," he said.

"I played incredible tennis, one of the best matches of my career, from start to finish, and I just enjoyed being here.

"We only have one opportunity to play this sport so I try to always give my best, even when things don't go my way.

"When you're working hard and when you're really persistent, really consistent with your training, good things come. It's a great feeling to be playing again like this."

Aslan Karatsev staved off a match point to earn a meeting with Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Internazionali d'Italia. 

After coming from a set down to force a decider against Lloyd Harris in his opening match in Rome, Karatsev held serve when facing match point in a back-and-forth tie-break. 

The Russian had already missed a chance to break for the match but did not fail at the second attempt, completing a 3-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7) win to book a date with world number one Djokovic.

Djokovic will be eager to get back on track after suffering a defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

Filip Krajinovic's reward for a 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4) victory over Frances Tiafoe is a showdown with Andrey Rublev, while Cristian Garin will take on the in-form Alcaraz following a 6-3 6-2 success over wildcard Francesco Passaro. 

Marin Cilic was the other main-draw winner on Sunday, cruising past Matteo Arnaldi 6-1 6-4 in an hour and 20 minutes. 

Novak Djokovic set up a last-16 clash with Andy Murray at the Madrid Open, impressing in a straight-sets victory over Gael Monfils while Murray overcame Denis Shapovalov.

The 20-time grand slam champion eased to a 6-3 6-2 win in the Spanish capital, assuring him of a record-extending 369th week at the top of the ATP world rankings and teeing up a mouth-watering contest with one of his greatest rivals.

The Serb hailed his victory as representing his best performance of 2022, saying he was pleased with his progress after falling to a final defeat against Andrey Rublev on home soil in last month's Belgrade Open.

"[It was] probably the best match of the year so far for me," Djokovic told Tennis TV after the win. "I haven't played many matches and am still finding my groove.

"But [it's] a very good win against a very tricky opponent. I had a week, 10 days to get ready for this match, and for this tournament I have done everything I possibly can to build my fitness and also improve on all aspects of the game, on the court. 

"I'm really glad that it paid off, because I felt good on the court. It's the right process, and it's the right direction."

Djokovic will face Murray for the 37th time, and the first time since 2017's Qatar Open, after the three-time grand slam winner rolled back the years to overcome Shapovalov 6-1 3-6 6-2 in an absorbing two-hour contest later on Tuesday.

The duo are one of only two male pairs to have met in each of the four grand slam finals (along with Djokovic and Rafael Nadal), while Djokovic holds a 25-11 lead across their previous meetings and has won both of their two encounters at the Madrid Open, one of which was their first-ever meeting in 2006.

Elsewhere in the draw, it was a day of few shocks in Spain as seeds Rublev and Carlos Alcaraz ensured their own progress to the last 16.

Rublev recovered from a poor first-set showing to down Great Britain's Jack Draper 2-6 6-4 7-5, while home favourite Alcaraz remained on course for a potential meeting with compatriot Nadal after earning a 6-3 7-5 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Finally, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 3-6 6-4 in a competitive first-round affair to set up Wednesday's enticing last-32 clash with world number three Alexander Zverev.

Denis Shapovalov crashed out of the Qatar Open after losing in straight sets to France's Arthur Rinderknech in their quarter-final on Thursday.

The top-seeded Canadian lost in just an hour and 20 minutes as Rinderknech sealed a 6-4 6-4 victory to seal his place in the semi-finals in Doha.

Shapovalov struggled throughout, making nine double faults and having to face 10 break points, of which he managed to save eight.

Rinderknech will now face Nikoloz Basilashvili after the Georgian fought back to beat Marton Fucsovics 1-6 6-3 7-5.

The other semi-final will see Karen Khachanov take on Roberto Bautista Agut, with the Russian also coming from a set down in beating Marin Cilic 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Bautista Agut followed up Wednesday's 6-0 6-1 victory against Andy Murray by again winning comfortably against fellow Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, scoring a 6-1 6-1 success.

The number two seed won 74 per cent of points when landing his first serve as he sealed victory in an hour and 17 minutes.

At the Open 13 in Marseille, Rotterdam champion Felix Auger-Aliassime increased his winning streak to six matches after beating French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 to head through to the quarter-finals.

"It was a special moment," Auger-Aliassime said after his win. "When the match was coming to the end, I knew it was going to be a special moment, a full-circle moment. He was my top idol growing up and I saw myself in him at times."

Auger-Aliassime will play world number 49 Ilya Ivashka next, while top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also went through after a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win against Hugo Gaston. The Greek star will play Russian Roman Safiullin in the last eight.

Ninth seed Benjamin Bonzi beat fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-3 and will go up against Aslan Karatsev in the next round, while Lucas Pouille overcame Radu Albot 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-2) and will tackle Andrey Rublev next.

Andy Murray suffered one of the heaviest losses of his career in the second round of the Qatar Open, while Andrey Rublev escaped an early exit at the Open 13. 

Former world number one Murray went down 6-0 6-1 to last year's runner-up Roberto Bautista Agut in Doha on Wednesday. 

It was just the fourth occasion in which the three-time major champion has lost a match while winning only one game or fewer in his career – the last time being a defeat by the same scoreline to Roger Federer at the ATP Finals in 2014. 

Murray's fellow Briton Dan Evans also endured a second-round loss, going down 4-6 7-5 6-4 to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina – Bautista Agut's next opponent. 

Denis Shapovalov bounced back from his first-round loss to Jiri Lehecka in Rotterdam last week by dropping just eight points on serve as he claimed a 6-4 6-0 victory over Alex Molcan inside 52 minutes. 

Next up for the Canadian will be Arthur Rinderknech after the Frenchman came from a set down to defeat seventh seed Alexander Bublik 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-4. 

Nikoloz Basilashvili faced little trouble in overcoming Elias Ymer 6-4 7-5 and his reward is a quarter-final against Marton Fucsovics, who got the better of Kwon Soon-woo. 

Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic will meet in the last eight after they respectively eliminated Emil Ruusuvuori and Botic van de Zandschulp. 

In Marseille, second seed Rublev was made to work hard for a place in the Open 13 quarter-finals by home hope Richard Gasquet. 

Gasquet went a break up in the third set and, after surrendering his advantage, stopped Rublev serving out the match to force a tie-break. 

However, the world number seven did not waste his next opportunity as he sealed a 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) success. 

Aslan Karatsev also booked his place in the last eight, while there were wins for Frenchmen Benjamin Bonzi and Lucas Pouille too. 

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