Novak Djokovic was sitting at home at this time last year, tapping out messages of congratulations to the Australian Open champions, no doubt sick to the stomach.

On Sunday in Melbourne, he can complete the journey from outcast to conquering hero, as he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas for the men's singles title at his favourite grand slam.

There are no bankers in tennis – aside from those in the posh seats – but Djokovic has won nine out of nine previous Australian Open finals, and his last nine matches against Tsitsipas.

He is in scintillating form and the hamstring pull that was seemingly troubling him earlier in the fortnight no longer seems a factor, so a Djokovic triumph seems at the very least a probable outcome.

On the line for the Serbian will be a 10th Australian Open title, a record-tying 22nd men's singles grand slam, and the not-so-small matter of the world number one ranking.

Across the net, Tsitsipas is seeking a first major, but he can also vault to number one should he lift the trophy. Tsitsipas and Djokovic have met in a slam final before, but both men have bizarrely claimed to have forgotten all about it.

Djokovic has played so many major finals that perhaps he might have briefly put the 2021 French Open title match out of his mind. For Tsitsipas, however, the message is hard to believe. He lost from two sets up that day, in what was his only final at any of the four majors up to now.

Of course Tsitsipas has no interest in talking about such a personally dark day, and instead his message is that he feels "very optimistic" about this latest opportunity.

Yet Djokovic has been steamrollering opponents, and his latest mission is almost complete. At the age of 35, this would go down as one of his finest grand slam triumphs.

But has this been a revenge mission? Does Djokovic still feel slighted for what happened last year, when the Australian government, led by then Prime Minister Scott Morrison, had him deported amid an almighty vaccination hullabaloo.

Morrison is no longer in that top office, and the Park Hotel immigration detention facility where Djokovic was kept 12 months ago released its last refugees in April.

Those visiting Australia do not have to provide proof of vaccination any more, or a medical exemption. This is a strikingly different Australia to last year, and Djokovic might cut loose with thoughts about his previous treatment after Sunday's final. He said earlier this month he felt he had been turned into a "villain of the world", but his message has been a calmer one in recent days.

For now, he is not getting into how being kicked around like a political football truly felt.

"Honestly, I'm over it," Djokovic said on Friday. "Once I came into Australia, my intentions were always very positive to come back. Of course, the feelings of coming back to Australia this year were different than any other year because of the events of last year.

"I said many times that I don't hold any grudges, that I just love playing in Australia, love being here. That kind of emotion helped me to feel comfortable and to play well. I won Adelaide, now I'm in the finals of the Australian Open. I haven't lost a match in last five weeks in Australia."

He also has bad news for those rivals hoping he joins Roger Federer in retirement soon.

Rafael Nadal, last year's Australian Open champion, is another who might be nearing the end, and it is his record of 22 slams that Djokovic is targeting on Sunday. But Djokovic is playing the tennis of a much younger man, and he is determined to not only break the men's slam record but obliterate it, while wrestling with the emotions that tennis brings out of him.

Djokovic said: "When we're on the tennis court in the midst of a battle, some of the things surface, and I have to deal with it. So it's a great school of life for me.

"Then at the same time I have professional goals and ambitions. Those are grand slams and being number one in the world. Those two probably pinnacles of the professional tennis world have always been there as goals for me. So I do want to make more history of this sport, no doubt.

"I feel game-wise physically I still can sustain and maintain the top level. So as long as that's the case, why not keep going?

"I don't know when the end is going to happen in terms of my professional career. Right now I have the motivation, I have the support of my close ones, which is also something that is probably underestimated and not maybe talked about a lot, but it's a key, especially as a father."

Overall, Djokovic holds a 10-2 record against Tsitsipas, having lost two of their first three meetings. The 10 defeats are the most Tsitsipas has suffered against any player, and this final will mark his 350th career match against a top-10 players.

That is a record in itself, and Djokovic holds a 69.3 per cent win rate in such matches, whereas Tsitsipas has only a 44.3 per cent winning record against players with a top-10 ranking.

Tsitsipas, at 24, is the youngest men's singles Australian Open finalist since Djokovic and Andy Murray, both 23 at the time, contested the 2011 final, and he could become the fifth to take the title before turning 25 in the 21st century, after Federer, Marat Safin, Djokovic and Nadal.

However, Tsitsipas has lost his last three ATP-level finals, and his last six on hard courts, so that does not bode well at all.

Not that the Greek will let such numbers worry him, and perhaps he has forgotten those defeats too.

"I'm playing great tennis. I'm enjoying myself," said Tsitsipas. "I just see no downside or negativity in what I'm trying to do out there. Even if it doesn't work, I'm very optimistic and positive about any outcome, any opponent that I have to face.

"This is something that has been sort of lacking in my game. I genuinely believe in what I'm able to produce. That is more than enough. I go about this way. I strive for it every single day. It might not go the way I want it to, but I put 110 per cent out there."

Stefanos Tsitsipas always felt he had the "ego" to be challenging for grand slams and the world number one ranking after booking his spot in the Australian Open final.

The Greek defeated Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena and will now face either nine-time Melbourne champion Novak Djokovic or Tommy Paul in Sunday's showpiece.

It marks Tsitsipas' second run to a slam final after he was beaten by Djokovic at the French Open in 2021, a match in which he surrendered a two-set lead.

Victory would not only see him win a maiden slam but take ownership of the men's world number one ranking, two ambitions Tsitsipas always believed he could achieve.

"I remember watching it on TV saying to myself, 'I want to be there one day myself. I want to recreate that feeling for me'," he said.

"I knew that's a very long journey to get there. There are certain steps you have to take to give yourself the chance to be competing for something like this.

"But I very much believed it. First of all, it's your ego that speaks. You either have it or not. As a kid, I was very confident. 

"Thank God I was good in my country. Starting from that, I knew if I'm able to get out of my country and compete in other countries, European leagues, European tours, I proved myself over and over again that I'm actually good. 

"I did finish as a junior number one. Now I want to do it in the men's side, in the men's professional tennis."

Asked what had changed since losing to Djokovic in the final at Roland Garros almost two years ago, Tsitsipas said: "I'm playing great tennis. I'm enjoying myself. I just see no downside or negativity in what I'm trying to do out there. Even if it doesn't work, I'm very optimistic and positive about any outcome, any opponent that I have to face.

"This is something that has been sort of lacking in my game. I genuinely believe in what I'm able to produce. That is more than enough. I go about this way. I strive for it every single day. It might not go the way I want it to, but I put 110 per cent out there."

Khachanov has enjoyed back-to-back slam semi-finals having also made the last four at last year's US Open.

The 26-year-old retains belief that he can beyond the semis at future slams.

"Maybe in some situations I could do better. It's always like this. Tennis is always, like any other sport, there is no draw unfortunately in our sport. One guy has to win and to go through," he said.

"I would say I did it second time in a row, consecutive semi-finals. I would definitely go with my head high. Again, rest a couple of days, think with my team for next schedule, again to have a team meeting to discuss those particular situations and moments on what we need to work.

"Hopefully I keep believing that I can pass this step next time, if I am in this situation, hopefully. That's it."

Stefanos Tsitsipas will get a chance to play for his first grand slam title after advancing past Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 in Friday's semi-final.

Tsitsipas was at his aggressive best, compiling a massive 66 winners to go with his 18 aces. It was his highest winner tally of the tournament so far, eclipsing his 48 in five sets against Jannik Sinner, and his 46 in three sets against Quentin Halys.

Despite his high level of play, the first set was closely contested as both players secured a pair of breaks, but Tsitsipas was able to rattle off five consecutive points in the tiebreaker to run away with the opener.

The world number four did not allow Khachanov a single break-point opportunity in a stylish second set, and it was the same story in the third until Khachanov crucially took his one break-point chance as Tsitsipas was serving for the match.

Khachanov showed guts to fight off two match points and take the third in a tiebreaker, but he was just delaying the inevitable as Tsitsipas racked up 17 winners to five and made the fourth set the shortest of the match.

Tsitsipas will face the winner between Novak Djokovic and Tommy Paul in the final, with a chance to become Greece's first grand slam champion at the age of 24.

Data Slam: Tsitsipas conquers his demons down under

It was the fourth time Tsitsipas had reached the final four of the Australian Open, but after failures in 2019, 2021 and 2022, the Greek finally got over the line against his Russian challenger.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Tsitsipas – 18/5

Khachanov – 10/1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Tsitsipas – 66/34

Khachanov – 46/32

BREAK POINTS WON

Tsitsipas – 5/12

Khachanov – 3/4

Stefanos Tsitsipas has no chip on his shoulder about how much hype he receives, despite becoming the youngest player since Roger Federer to reach three successive Australian Open semi-finals.

Tsitsipas defeated Jiri Lehecka in straight sets on Tuesday to seal his place in the last four in Melbourne.

In the process, the 24-year-old reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the third consecutive year, matching the feat of the great Federer between 2004 and 2006.

The world number four also became the fourth male player in the Open Era to stay unbeaten in his first six grand slam quarter-finals after Rod Laver, Patrick Rafter, and Andre Agassi.

However, Tsitsipas insists he is not worried by how much attention his accomplishments get.

When asked if no longer being talked about as one of the next generation's figureheads meant he now has a chip on his shoulder, the Greek replied: "No, I don't really think about it.

"Every single opponent has his own background, his own sort of dynamic they put out on the court.

"I kind of forgot that Jiri today was a next gen player. Never thought about it.

"I approach every single opponent of mine with the same mindset. I never put labels on them. Each and every match that I get to play against them is a new chapter in my book."

Tsitsipas also believes he has already been through the early stage of his development, and now views himself as one of the maturer players.

"I passed through this myself. At some point it fades out a little bit 'cause you are an adult," he said.

"I had my fair share of that. There's no other 'gen' after that, it's just adulthood. 

"It's mindset. It's clearly mindset. Nothing more."

Asked if this could be the tournament in which he breaks his grand slam duck, Tsitsipas said: "I'm feeling great with my tennis. I don't think I felt so good in a long time.

"I will definitely say yes to it. I've said it, I'm a different player, playing different. My mentality is different. When I'm out on the court, I don't really think of negatives, to be honest. I just go out there and play the game."

Stefanos Tsitsipas has invited Margot Robbie to watch him at the Australian Open after charging through to the semi-finals in Melbourne.

The Greek tennis star says he is a huge fan of the Australian actor and would love her to support him from the Melbourne Park stands.

His surprise shout-out to Robbie came after Tsitsipas scored a 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 win against unseeded Czech Jiri Lehecka in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Tsitsipas was partway through explaining his impressive display to on-court interviewer Jim Courier, detailing how it took "experience and some good Spartan attitude" to get the better of Lehecka, when he mentioned the 32-year-old Hollywood star.

Robbie, married to English film producer Tom Ackerley, became well known in Australia and the UK for her role in the soap opera Neighbours before turning to Hollywood.

Her career includes prominent roles in movies including The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad and I, Tonya, as well as being the voice of Flopsy Rabbit in the Peter Rabbit film series.

"Can you hear them? Australia is such a great country," Tsitsipas said, reacting to roars from the crowd.

"I like a lot of great Aussie things. One of my favourite actresses comes from Australia, Margot Robbie."

Former Australian Open champion Courier, surprised by that unprompted mention, said: "Are you pitching right now?"

That prompted Tsitsipas to say: "It would be nice to see her over there one day."

Was that an invitation to Robbie?

"Absolutely," Tsitsipas said.

The 24-year-old Greek player soon stressed that his Robbie fandom was not the main reason for him enjoying Australia.

"That's not it," Tsitsipas said. "The people are very welcoming. I've said that so many times and will keep saying it because it's true.

"I grew up in a place that's very similar in terms of conditions and lifestyle and find myself feeling home when I'm here because it's not too tropical, and it's not too humid, and it very much feels like home.

"The French players have Roland Garros as their home grand slam, the British players have Wimbledon, the Americans have the US Open; for me, the Australian Open is always going to be my home grand slam.

"I would love one day hopefully winning the Aussie Open and giving a bit portion of the prize-money to build a school in Victoria which is the state of education. I'd like to do that."

Stefanos Tsitsipas stormed into a third consecutive Australian Open semi-final with a straight-sets victory over Jiri Lehecka on Tuesday.

Tsitsipas has bowed out at the last-four stage in three of the past four years, but the Greek will get another chance to reach a first final after beating Lehecka 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

The third seed from Greece fired down nine aces and hit 36 winners on Rod Laver Arena, winning without having his serve broken to set up a meeting with Russian Karen Khachanov.

Unseeded Czech Lehecka was broken in his first service game and Tsitsipas did not give him a look-in from then on in the first set.

The 21-year-old Lehecka had the favourite in trouble in the fourth game of the second set, but saw five break-point opportunities come and go.

Tsitsipas clinically won the tie-break to move a set away from the semi-finals, but Lehecka put up a great fight but was frustrated when he was unable to convert another three break points before the favourite held to lead 4-3.

Another tie-break looked possible until Lehecka's excellent run in only his second main-draw appearance came to an end when he netted a backhand following a thunderous cross-court winner from a fired-up Tsitsipas.


Tsitsipas maintains perfect quarter-final record

A first major title has so far eluded Tsitsipas, but he keeps knocking on the door and is two wins away from achieving that dream.

The 24-year-old is the fourth male player in the Open Era to be unbeaten in his first six grand slam quarter-finals after Rod Laver, Patrick Rafter, and Andre Agassi. 

 

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Tsitsipas – 9/2
Lehecka– 7/4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Tsitsipas– 36/28
Lehecka– 38/32

BREAK POINTS WON

Tsitsipas – 2/6
Lehecka – 0/8

Stefanos Tsitsipas wanted to keep the secrets of his late resurgence to himself after he finally saw off Jannik Sinner in five sets in the Australian Open fourth round.

The number three seed looked to be easing to victory when he claimed the first two sets, but Sinner fought back to force a decider.

Tsitsipas managed to rediscover his earlier form though to finally seal a 6-4 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-3 victory and book his place in the quarter-finals.

The Greek is the youngest player to reach three consecutive quarter-finals at the Australian Open since Novak Djokovic (from 2008 to 2010).

"It was all about getting myself relaxed and ready for the big battle in the fifth set," he explained at a press conference. "Of course, things weren't going my way after being two sets to love up. It seemed like the momentum switched dramatically, to me at least. There was a big gap that I couldn't fill in.

"But I made a few technical adjustments in the fifth, gave myself an opportunity to play a bit more loose. That really helped me serve better. I think I kept on moving. I kept on being active to be on these returns that I couldn't get in the previous sets."

Tsitsipas struggled on his own serve in particular, facing 26 break points in all, but his resilience saw him save 22 of them, and his dramatic improvement in the deciding set got him over the line when it appeared certain the Italian would become only the second player ever to come from two sets down to beat Tsitsipas at a grand slam (after Djokovic in the 2021 French Open final).

"There were some things, for sure, that I can look back to now and say that was not the best thing to do," the 24-year-old added. "I think it's also important to keep it to myself.

"We have certain things that we want to keep to ourselves and get back and improve. Not everything has to be public. Not everything has to be exposed and said.

"But it's a feeling. It's something that showed something different earlier in the match. And for some reason I decided not to follow or I give myself an idea that I can do things more extreme.

"That didn't seem to work at all. But the most important thing, I did fight. When I came to the most important part of the match, I regrouped and did it the way I did it in the first two sets."

Tsitsipas will face Czech 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka in the last eight.

Jiri Lehecka had not anticipated still being in the Australian Open at this point but his latest victory against a seeded player saw him advance to the quarter-finals on Sunday.

The Czech youngster produced another impressive showing to beat number six seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-3) in the fourth round.

Despite having never won a main draw match at a grand slam prior to this tournament, Lehecka has now defeated three seeds, having also dispatched of Borna Coric (21) and Cameron Norrie (11) during his passage to the last eight.

"Honestly, it feels amazing," he said after the victory. "To be in the quarters, I wouldn't believe it if somebody told me this when I was on my way over here.

"I'm super excited for everything that will come next. Of course, I'll try to do my best to recover well and to show my best tennis again in my next match."

While his Canadian opponent utilised his serve well, hitting 20 aces, it was on net points where Lehecka thrived, winning 33 of 41 while Auger-Aliassime managed just 11 of 26.

The 21-year-old has another big test next as he faces third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, having lost to the Greek in their one previous meeting in Rotterdam in February despite winning the first set.

"I'll be super excited [to face Tsitsipas]," Lehecka said. "I will go for that revenge, for sure. I know that he will remember how we played last year in Rotterdam. One set I was the better player on the court. Then he overtook the match. But I think that he will remember, and he will know what my strengths are.

"He will feel that I can get him under pressure. At the same time, I know that he's a great player. I mean, he's number four in the world.

"I know how to play against him."

For the first time in 20 years, four or fewer of the top eight seeds in the men's singles will progress to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Daniil Medvedev's defeat to Sebastian Korda on Friday meant he joined Casper Ruud, Taylor Fritz and defending champion Rafael Nadal in heading home early from the season's first grand slam.

According to Opta, it is the first time since 2003 that the round of 16 in Melbourne will include four or fewer of the top eight players in the competition.  

Nine-time champion Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, is struggling with injury ahead of his third-round tie with Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday, while world number six and fifth seed Andrey Rublev faces a tough test against Dan Evans.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is sure of his place in round four after the Greek third seed beat Tallon Griekspoor in straight sets. Felix Auger-Aliassime will go up against Jiri Lehecka for a place in the last eight.

 

Lucia Bronzetti downed Valentini Grammatikopoulou to seal Italy's place in the final of the inaugural United Cup.

Despite losing to Poland in their City Final in Brisbane, Italy claimed a place in the Sydney play-offs as the best-placed runner-up.

Having led 2-0 overnight, Italy were pegged back by Stefanos Tsitsipas' battling 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 win over Matteo Berrettini.

That put the pressure on Bronzetti's meeting with world number 199 Grammatikopoulou.

Yet despite losing her two previous matches against Grammatikopoulou, world number 54 Bronzetti made no mistake, cruising to a 6-2 6-3 victory.

Italy will now face the United States, who beat Poland 5-0 in their semi-final, in the final on Sunday.

Wins for Hubert Hurkacz and Magda Linette saw Poland advance to the City Finals of the United Cup in Australia on Tuesday.

Hurkacz made it through a tough encounter against Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to give Poland a 2-1 lead in their Group B tie with Switzerland in Brisbane, before Linette came from behind to beat Jil Teichmann 5-7 6-4 6-1 to clinch it.

Poland will face Italy in the Brisbane final, whose 5-0 whitewash of Norway included Matteo Berrettini sealing victory with a 6-4 6-4 win over Casper Ruud.

In Perth, Croatia advanced to the City Finals after a dramatic day that saw Caroline Garcia get France on the board with a straight sets win against Petra Martic, before Adrian Mannarino came from a set down against Borna Gojo to serve for the match as he looked to bring his country level at 2-2.

However, Gojo broke back in a tense encounter before winning a deciding tie-break to send Croatia through to face Greece, who sealed a 4-1 win against Belgium.

Stefanos Sakellaridis recovered from going a set behind to beat Zizou Bergs, before Maria Sakkari overcame Elise Mertens 6-1 7-5, with Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas adding some gloss to the score with a mixed doubles success against Kirsten Flipkens and Michael Geerts. 

Spain and Australia were unable to progress but the hosts at least had the consolation of securing a victory thanks to wins for Jason Kubler against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, and the mixed doubles duo of John Peers and Sam Stosur against Jessica Bouzas Maneiro and David Vega Hernandez.

The USA had already secured their Finals berth against Great Britain in Sydney, but were ruthless as they finished off their tie against Germany to win 5-0.

After Jessica Pegula beat Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-2, Frances Tiafoe also defeated Oscar Otte in straight sets, before the American duo combined to beat Siegemund and Daniel Altmaier 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 10-7 to complete a clean sweep.

Rafael Nadal suffered his second defeat in as many matches after going down 3-6 6-1 7-5 against Alex de Minaur at the United Cup.

The 22-time grand slam champion, who was also beaten by Great Britain's Cameron Norrie in his opening match, is still seeking his first victory of the season with the Australian Open just around the corner.

Home favourite De Minaur delighted the Sydney crowd by recovering from a set and break down to claim his maiden win over the world number two.

"I think it's definitely up there [as one of my best wins]," he said. "It's one of those achievements that you have unlocked in your career.

"But also, it's a big win for myself, one that I really needed. I'm going to cherish and use, take all the confidence from this and be able to hopefully take it to have a good [Australian] summer."

Spain and Australia are unable to progress to the City Finals, but Nuria Parrizas Diaz levelled the Group D tie with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Maddison Inglis.

The USA, who required just two points against Germany to advance to the next stage, set up a showdown with Great Britain after Taylor Fritz and Madison Keys enjoyed straight-set successes over Alexander Zverev and Jule Niemeier respectively. 

Italy moved to the brink of joining them in the City Finals after taking a 2-0 lead over Norway. Lorenzo Musetti overcame Viktor Durasovic in straight sets, while Martina Trevisan edged out Malene Helgo in three.

Greece require one win from their final three matches against Belgium to also advance, Stefanos Tsitsipas hit 12 aces on the way to defeating David Goffin 6-3 6-2 to level the Group A showdown at 1-1.

Poland's winner-takes-all Group B clash with Switzerland is also finely poised at 1-1. World number one Iga Swiatek beat Belinda Bencic 6-3 7-6 (7-3), before Marc-Andrea Huesler's 6-3 6-2 victory against Daniel Michalski.

Maria Sakkari sealed victory for top-seeded Greece over Bulgaria in the United Cup with a straight sets win over Viktoriya Tomova.

Team-mates Stefanos Tsitsipas and Despina Papamichail had already won their matches on Thursday, and Sakkari's 6-3 6-2 triumph gave Greece an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Michail Pervolarakis was defeated by Dimitar Kuzmanov in the final singles match between the nations, but Tsitsipas and Sakkari teamed up to earn Greece a 6-4 6-4 success in the doubles encounter to end on a high.

World number 16 Matteo Berrettini helped Italy topple Brazil by overcoming Thiago Monteiro 6-4 7-6 (9-7).

That gave Italy a 2-1 lead, and Lucia Bronzetti finished the job by demolishing Laura Pigossi in straight sets, with Brazil powerless to overturn the deficit despite Berrettini and Camilla Rosatello's defeat in the doubles match.

US Open semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe clinched a win for the United States over the Czech Republic after opponent Tomas Machac retired with an ankle injury with the score at 6-3 2-4.

Petra Kvitova had defeated Jessica Pegula 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in the third singles match to give Czech Republic hope, but Tiafoe's win settled the contest before Pegula and Taylor Fritz joined up for success in the doubles.

Great Britain were 3-2 victors over Australia despite a pair of defeats on day two in Sydney.

Cameron Norrie's triumph over Nick Kyrgios' replacement Alex De Minaur on day one had helped Great Britain to a 2-0 lead over the hosts, and Harriet Dart prevailed over Maddison Inglis to wrap up the victory.

Dan Evans was then beaten 6-3 7-6 (7-3) by Jason Kubler before Dart and Jonny O'Mara fell to defeat in the doubles, but Great Britain's strong start saw them through.

France and Switzerland completed 5-0 sweeps of Argentina and Kazakhstan respectively, with Caroline Garcia winning both her singles and doubles matches in straight sets while Stan Wawrinka saw off Alexander Bublik 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

Stefanos Tsitsipas opened his United Cup campaign with a comeback victory over Grigor Dimitrov in Perth.

ATP world number four Tsitsipas is one of the headline names in action at the event, which is acting as a warm-up tournament for the Australian Open.

After going a set down to his Bulgarian opponent in his first game of the inaugural tournament, Tsitsipas hit back with a strong second set before holding his nerve in a tense tie-break in the decider, securing a 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-4) win.

Tsitsipas's team-mate Despina Papamichail continued Greece's strong start, also coming from a set down to beat Isabella Shinikova 3-6 6-4 6-1.

Great Britain opened with a pair of victories, Cameron Norrie and Katie Swan earning straight sets triumphs over their Australian counterparts in Sydney.

Norrie, who was initially set to play Nick Kyrgios prior to the Wimbledon finalist's withdrawal due to an ankle injury, eased to a 6-3 6-3 victory over Alex De Minaur, while Swan defeated Zoe Hives. 

The United States are also taking a 100 per cent record into day two of the tournament, after Taylor Fritz and Madison Keys overcame Jiri Lehecka and Marie Bouzkova respectively, while France pair Arthur Rinderknech and Alize Cornet got off to winning starts against Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo and Maria Lourdes Carle.

In Brisbane, Swiss hope Belinda Bencic secured a 7-6 (7-0) triumph over Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan and Beatriz Haddad Maia, the Brazilian world number 15, dispatched Italy's Martina Trevisan 6-2 6-0.

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

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