Fifth seed Filip Krajinovic made a comfortable start to his Sofia Open campaign on Wednesday, defeating Alexandar Lazarov 6-0 6-3.

Krajinovic was the only seeded player in action and he was dominant against home hope Lazarov, who is ranked 462 in the world.

The Serbian swept the first set without conceding a break point and finished the job by claiming the last four games in the second despite Lazarov putting up more of a fight.

Elsewhere, Krajinovic's compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic crashed out to Italian Gianluca Mager, who fired down 11 aces and forced 10 break-point opportunities to earn an impressive 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win.

Australian James Duckworth, meanwhile, had to launch a comeback before ultimately prevailing 3-6 6-4 6-4 against Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori to book a round two match with Benoit Paire.

The number one seed and defending champion Jannik Sinner will begin his campaign on Thursday with a last-16 contest against Egor Gerasimov.

Second seed Gael Monfils will play Ilya Ivashka, who defeated Pablo Andujar in straight sets, with the winner to face Mager, who is the first man in the quarter-finals.

Alex de Minaur will also be in action against American Marcos Giron.

Marcos Giron moved through to the second round of the Sofia Open, but needed 10 match points to overcome Jaume Munar 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-4.

Giron lost the first set in a tie-break, however, the American fought back in an encounter lasting nearly three hours on Tuesday.

Twenty minutes of match time came in the final game, which encompassed all of Giron's match points.

Munar successfully staved off the first nine and had seven break points of his own. Yet his resistance was finally broken as Giron prevailed at the ATP Tour tournament.

Next up for Giron is a meeting with Australian third seed Alex de Minaur.

Eighth seed John Millman enjoyed a more routine 6-2 6-4 victory over Mikael Ymer, while there were also victories for Laslo Djere, Dimitar Kuzmanov and Egor Gerasimov.

Hubert Hurkacz collected his fourth ATP Tour title after defeating Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets at the Moselle Open.

The Pole did not drop a set on his way to the final and produced yet another impressive outing to down Carreno Busta 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 in just 82 minutes.

Carreno Busta did, however, take an early lead and have Hurkacz reeling from a break down in the first set but the 24-year-old, who defeated former world number one Andy Murray this week, responded efficiently.

Having come from 3-1 down to 4-4, Hurkacz did not look back as his sharp first serve caused Carreno Busta all sorts of problems, most notably to secure the first-set tiebreaker with ease.

The pair continued to exchange breaks at the beginning of the second set but Hurkacz played well from the baseline and held serve to clinch his first trophy outside of the United States.

His victory means he holds a 4-0 record in ATP Tour finals and also saw him inflict revenge on Carreno Busta, who won the previous head-to-head clash in Cincinnati last month.

Hurkacz will be looking for doubles glory on Sunday as well, as he teams with international compatriot Jan Zielinski.

Kwon Soon-woo claimed his maiden ATP Tour title with a straight-sets defeat of James Duckworth at the Astana Open.

The South Korean came out on top in the battle of the unseeded first-time finalists on Sunday, winning 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in Nur-Sultan.

Kwon won 86 per cent of points behind his first serve and came from behind in both sets to be crowned champion.

Australian Duckworth failed to convert three set points in a tie-break and Kwon made him pay, grasping his first opportunity to go a set up.

Kwon was broken in the first game of the second set, but the battling world number 82 hit straight back to draw level.

Duckworth, who had not dropped a set en route to the final, was broken again to trail 4-2 and he was unable to find a way back as the 23-year-old Kwon celebrated his finest hour.

 

Hubert Hurkacz and Pablo Carreno Busta will do battle for the Moselle Open title after the top two seeds reached the final with straight-sets victories on Saturday.

Top seed Hurkacz defeated German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to stand on the brink of a third title of the year.

The world number 13 from Poland won 79 per cent of the points on his first serve and sealed victory in an hour and 37 minutes.

Gojowczyk saved five break points but was unable to pull off an upset in Metz.

Hurkacz said: "Peter played a really great match. He was super tough to play against, so I am proud of myself that I managed my emotions and played a good tie-breaker.

"I was trying to keep holding serve to stay in the second set and ended up taking the set in the tie-breaker."

Carreno Busta ended Gael Monfils' bid to win the title on home soil, the Spaniard triumphing 7-5 7-6 (10-8).

Monfils was 5-3 up in a second-set tie-break but failed to force a decider as Carreno Busta advanced for a showdown with Hurkacz.

James Duckworth is into his first ATP Tour final after beating eighth seed Ilya Ivashka 6-3 7-6 (7-4) at the Astana Open.

The Australian will face Kwon Soon-woo, who upset second seed Alexander Bublik 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Hubert Hurkacz's fine season continued as he ended Andy Murray's run at the Moselle Open on Friday.

Top seed Hurkacz beat Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer on the way to the semi-finals at Wimbledon, and previously beat Murray in Cincinnati.

Hurkacz is ranked 13th in the world and is pushing for a place at the ATP Tour Finals, and he edged closer to a fourth career title by defeating Murray again in Metz.

The 24-year-old prevailed 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 over the former world number one, who was playing in his first ATP Tour quarter-final of the year.

"Andy is an unbelievable competitor, he has achieved so much throughout his career," Hurkacz said. "He is coming back from a tough injury and playing at a very high level, so he is amazing and you can be inspired by his results."

Next up for Hurkacz is Peter Gojowczyk, who overcame Marcos Giron 3-6 6-1 6-3 and is backing up his recent US Open run in strong fashion.

The other last-four match will take place between French home favourite and third seed Gael Monfils, who has reached his first tour semi-final since February last year, and Pablo Carreno Busta.

Carreno Busta, the Spanish second seed, needed three sets to beat Holger Rune, while Monfils had an easier time of it against Nikoloz Basilashvili, winning 6-3 6-3.

At the Astana Open, second seed Alexander Bublik beat Carlos Taberner 6-3 6-4, as he hunts a first singles title.

A crowd favourite in Kazakhstan, whom he has represented since 2016, Russian-born Bublik faces a semi-final against Soonwoo Kwon, who got past Laslo Djere.

Fifth seed John Millman succumbed to fellow Australian James Duckworth, who will face Ilya Ivashka for a place in the final.

Andy Murray is building confidence after he claimed back-to-back wins for the first time since Wimbledon by defeating Vasek Pospisil at the Moselle Open.

Murray followed up Tuesday's triumph against Ugo Humbert with a straight-sets victory over the Canadian, reaching the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-3 success.

The last eight will see Murray face either Lucas Pouille or top seed Hubert Hurkacz, who he lost to in Cincinnati last month.

However, Murray has since played an exceptional five-setter with Stefanos Tsitsipas at the US Open and the former world number one and three-time grand slam champion is feeling increasingly positive about his game.

"This period has been the most tournaments I've played [recently] and my body feels good and I'm starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match," Murray said in his on-court interview. 

"[I'm] starting to see the points and how I want to play them again, which is great. There have been times in the past year where I've been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing and stuff, which for me was always a strong part of my game and it made me feel quite uncomfortable on the court when I was feeling that way.

"I'm starting to get that back and the results are coming and my tennis is getting better."

The two other last 16 matches saw second seed Pablo Carreno Busta defeat Mikael Ymer 7-5 6-2, while fifth seed Lorenzo Sonego fell victim to a comeback from teenager Holger Rune, who prevailed 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4.

Pouille came from behind to set up his clash with Hurkacz with a three-set win over qualifier Brayden Schnur, and Peter Gojowczyk was victorious in another first-round match.

At the Astana Open, defending champion John Millman came through a marathon match with Jaume Munar to reach the quarter-finals. The Australian took victory 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 after three hours and nine minutes.

Seventh seed Laslo Djere needed three sets to see off Lorenzo Musetti but eighth seed Ilya Ivashka had little difficulty beating Timofey Skatov in straight sets.

There were also wins for James Duckworth, Kwon Soon-woo, Emil Ruusuvuori and Carlos Taberner.

Novak Djokovic may have missed out on completing a Grand Slam in 2021 but his "crazy" achievements across the year have received praise from Roger Federer. 

Djokovic fell at the final hurdle in his bid to secure a clean sweep of the majors, losing in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev at the US Open.

The Serbian's defeat at Flushing Meadows means Rod Laver remains the last man to claim all four majors in one year, the Australian doing so for a second time in 1969 having previously managed the feat seven years earlier. 

Neither Federer, who missed out on playing in New York due to knee surgery, nor Rafael Nadal have done so in their stellar careers, though the Swiss is certain a calendar slam is still possible.

"Will it actually happen again, that a player will win all four grand slams in their career? I think so," Federer said.

"We have seen with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and of course with me as well that this is possible.  

"It is extremely hard, of course. But I have the feeling, more than ever, that we can dominate on all kinds of ground where we have all found our own game.  

"The problem is mentally and physically it is not getting any easier for any of us. So, what Novak was able to accomplish this year has to be highly rated. It was absolute top class. It was crazy." 

Federer confirmed he would be out for "many months" when revealing he would require a third procedure on his problematic right knee in the space of 18 months.

However, the 40-year-old – who sits tied with long-time rivals Djokovic and Nadal on 20 grand slam singles titles – has suffered no setbacks in his recovery so far, putting him on course for a competitive return to the ATP Tour in the 2022 season.

"I'm feeling actually really good, considering, you know, that things are not as I hoped they would be, but I'm recovering well and the rehab is going really good, I must say," Federer said. 

"I've had no setbacks. You know, every day is a better day. I'm feeling strong and excited for what's to come."

Federer has not played since losing in straight sets to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarter-finals back in July.

Lorenzo Sonego made an impressive start at the Moselle Open as the fifth seed defeated Marton Fucsovics in straight sets. 

The Italian recorded his 25th win of the year on the ATP Tour on Monday, winning 6-3 6-2 in 73 minutes while not even conceding a break point to Fucsovics. 

"I was really focused," said Sonego. "Marton is a great player and it was a tough match. I liked my tennis and I am really happy.  

"I am confident because this year has been my best. I am now number 24 in the world, which is my best ranking. I have played my best tennis this year." 

Vasek Pospisil also moved through, beating home wildcard hope Gregoire Barrere 6-3 6-4. 

Hubert Hurkacz is the top seed at the ATP 250 event in Metz, with Gael Monfils and Andy Murray among the other stars yet to play their first match. 

At the Astana Open, which has the same ranking points available, Miomir Kecmanovic was a 6-4 6-2 winner over Fernando Verdasco. 

Seventh seed Laslo Djere, meanwhile, had to battle hard to end a four-match losing streak on the ATP Tour. He edged into the last 16 with a gruelling 6-4 3-6 6-4 win over Colombia's Daniel Elahi Galan. 

The highest-ranked players in the tournament are Russian Aslan Karatsev and home hope Alexander Bublik. 

Second seed Bublik will start his campaign against Kecmanovic, whose victory over Verdasco was his first win since the Tokyo Olympics in July. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine, having previously declared he would only do so if the ATP Tour made it mandatory.

Greek world number three Tsitsipas revealed last month he would not get a jab due to concerns over side effects.

The ATP Tour has persisted in encouraging players to get vaccinated, with Novak Djokovic the most high profile to have stated he was opposed to it, and Tsitsipas has now backtracked on his original stance.

"I will get vaccinated this year," the 23-year-old told Greek outlet Antenna TV. "So I can go to restaurants and shops. I support all those who get vaccinated.

"I am not a doctor; I am a tennis player, so I may not have the most substantiated opinion when it comes to medical issues."

The French Open runner-up was subject to backlash in his homeland following his initial comments on the vaccine, with a series of top figures questioning his thought process.

"The COVID-19 vaccine has not been tested enough because it is new and has some side effects," said Tsitsipas.

"I know some people who've had them. I'm not against it, I just see no reason for someone in my age group to be vaccinated [yet].

"For us young people I think it's good to pass the virus because we'll build immunity.

"I don't see it as something bad. As I said, it isn't obligatory, everyone has freedom to decide for themselves what's right and what's not. At some point we should all do it, I'm not saying the opposite.

"The time will come when we will not be given many options, but until then I want to see a better version of the vaccine that gives us more pluses than minuses."

Tsitsipas is set to play for Team Europe at the Laver Cup this week after missing Greece's Davis Cup tie with Lithuania due to a foot injury.

Novak Djokovic was "playing for history" and suffered from nerves in his US Open final defeat to Daniil Medvedev, according to previous champion Dominic Thiem, who backed the 34-year-old to return "stronger than ever" in 2022.

Medvedev prevented Djokovic from becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four grand slams in a single year, beating him 6-4 6-4 6-4 in Sunday's thrilling showpiece.

Djokovic was seen in tears during the third set as his hopes of adding the US Open to his run of wins at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year slipped away.

But Thiem tipped Djokovic to bounce back from the disappointment of defeat and return in 2022 even stronger.

"One unbelievable goal slipped out of his hands yesterday," Thiem told Stats Perform.

 

"I expect him to be as strong as ever in 2022. I think after he won in Roland Garros, everybody was only talking about the calendar slam – first about the golden slam, and then about the calendar slam.

"He [Djokovic] was under pressure. Nobody can feel that or anything like that because of it being the calendar slam.

"I can feel it in a smaller way, probably from last year's final and from some other matches. And at some points it's just getting to you. And so, I really felt for him as well towards the end of the match.

"So, it can happen that it also makes him even stronger next year when all these talks and all this pressure is not that big anymore."

Thiem, who missed the tournament with a wrist injury that will rule him out until 2022, believes nerves were a factor in Djokovic's defeat but agreed with Medvedev's assessment of the Serbian as the greatest of all time – though he could not set him apart from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

"For me, there are three GOATs in the game, and each of them has achieved something very unique," Thiem said of the trio locked on 20 major titles each.

"So it's still the same for me as it was before. The three of them are the best in the history to me.

"And I'm only super happy to be in the same era with them and to be able to compete with them. Hopefully many more times next year again."

Despite all appearances as he ploughed through the draws at all four grand slams this year, world number one Novak Djokovic does have a breaking point. 

Djokovic hit it on Sunday, falling 6-4 6-4 6-4 to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final as the 20-time major champion finally proved unable to will himself out of an early hole. 

It was the fifth successive match in which Djokovic had dropped the opening set at Flushing Meadows, and the Serb superstar acknowledged afterward all of the energy he expended to get to the brink of the first men's calendar Grand Slam –since 1969 and a record 21st major title might finally have caught up with him. 

"Could be, could be [time spent on court a factor]. I had more hours on the court spent from Daniil, that's for sure," Djokovic said at his post-match news conference. "But was also emotionally very demanding period for me in the last five, six months. Slams and Olympics and playing at home in Belgrade.

"Everything was coming together for me here and kind of accumulating all the emotions that I've been through.

"Unfortunately I didn't make it in the final step. But when you draw a line, you have to be very satisfied with the year. Three wins, three slams and a final. For the last couple of years I've been very transparent and vocal about my goals, to play my best tennis at slams. I'm managing to do that.

"Of course, I was short today for another slam title, but I have to be proud with everything that my team and I have achieved. And in tennis we learn very quickly how to turn the next page.

"Very soon there are some more challenges, more things that are coming up. I have learned to overcome these kind of tough losses in the finals of slams, the ones that hurt the most."

This defeat sent a range of emotions surging through the emotional 34-year-old as he sat courtside while awaiting the trophy presentation. 

Asked what was going through his mind at that moment, Djokovic's initial answer was succinct. 

"Relief," he said. "I was glad it was over because the build up for this tournament and everything that mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot. It was a lot to handle.

"I was just glad that finally the run is over. At the same time I felt sadness, disappointment, and also gratitude for the crowd and for that special moment that they've created for me on the court."

Djokovic heaped praise on his opponent, saying he expects Medvedev to win more grand slams in the years ahead after the Russian broke through for his first.

That inevitably sparked thoughts of the coming generational change in the men's game, dominated for so long by Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (35) and Roger Federer (40).

With an astonishing 60 grand slam titles between them, their eventual departure from the stage will open up opportunities for Medvedev, Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Alexander Zverev and other younger players. 

Djokovic insisted he is not quite done yet, but he does believe that transition already is in progress. 

"The older guys are still hanging on," he said. "We're still trying to shine the light on the tennis world as much as we possibly can.

"I'm speaking on my own behalf. I still want to keep going, try to win more slams, play for my country. Those are the things that motivate me the most I think at this point.

"But the new generation, if you want to call them this way, is not anyone new. It's already current, established. Of course, they are going to take over.

"I think tennis is in good hands because they're all nice guys and very, very good, high-quality tennis players. They got something to offer on and off the court.

"We are hoping that the transition will be smooth in terms of the attention and the popularity of this sport. It's very important.

"We all, of course, want to win on the court, but at the same time we all at the top represent this sport. We need to be aware of that, take this responsibility and try to bring more fans to the world of tennis.

"At the end of the day that's what counts and that's what keeps our sport alive."

In Tokyo, it had been Alexander Zverev who denied Novak Djokovic his Olympic dream in a competition partially defined by controversy over the searing heat. In stifling temperatures inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday, the world number one saw his calendar Grand Slam hopes ended by a man often known for losing his cool.

Daniil Medvedev is among the most mercurial players on the ATP Tour. To watch Medvedev outwit his opponents when he is focused is one of the great joys of the modern game. When things go against him, though, his temper and his performance can unravel in a hurry.

To Djokovic's misfortune, in one of the biggest matches of his remarkable career, he came up against an inspired Medvedev enjoying obvious clarity of thought in a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win in the US Open final that means tennis' 'big three' remain locked on 20 grand slam titles apiece.

Medvedev is no stranger to heroics at tennis' largest stadium. Two years ago he enjoyed a rollercoaster journey in New York. Seeing red after being given a code violation for snatching a towel from a ballboy, Medvedev was mercilessly booed in a third-round match with Feliciano Lopez and openly goaded the fans thereafter in his on-court interview.

The booing continued in the subsequent round, but Medvedev's story that year was one of redemption, which ended with him receiving great credit for a remarkable near-comeback in a five-set epic final with Rafael Nadal.

Fast forward to a clash with another of the players firmly in the conversation for the best of all time and Medvedev sustained the levels he produced for two and a half sets against Nadal for three glorious sets as he ruthlessly took possession of a day that was supposed to belong to Djokovic.

Prior to the final, Djokovic had dropped the opening set in four of his previous matches at Flushing Meadows, winning three times in four sets and once in five.

As such, there was little reason not to expect a Djokovic comeback when Medvedev forged ahead in the showpiece.

However, in Medvedev, Djokovic found a foe completely unwilling to indulge his hopes of another recovery effort.

Coach Gilles Cervara labelled Medvedev a "genius" before the 2019 final and, when he plays as he did in clinching his first major title, it is tough to argue with that assessment.

As the elasticity of his movement enabled Medvedev to defend with an ease that belied the pressure of the occasion, Djokovic was simply unable to find a way through in the second set, which was decided with the artistry of the Russian's drop shot.

Djokovic could only hit into the tramlines having scurried in a desperate effort to meet such a shot, and that sense of desperation was evident when uncharacteristically poor play at the net from the Serbian gave Medvedev command in the third.

A pair of double faults played a role in Medvedev initially failing to serve out the match, the ice-cool focus escaping him for a brief moment, but there was to be no repeat when his second opportunity came as he finally clinched a maiden major on his third wedding anniversary.

So history denied. Not because of the heat, but because of a man keeping his cool in the face of the greatest challenge in the men's game and harnessing the genius that is now recognised by many more than just his coach. Extremely gracious in defeat, a potentially momentous day for Djokovic is now one he will want to forget. Instead, Medvedev and his wife have an anniversary to remember.

Novak Djokovic set aside the deep disappointment of missing out on the calendar Grand Slam by backing new US Open champion Daniil Medvedev to be a multiple major winner.

World number one and 20-time slam champion Djokovic had strung together a stunning run of wins at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, and he was a red-hot favourite to complete the set in New York.

A clean sweep of all four slams in a year had not been achieved since Rod Laver won the lot in 1969, and the great Australian was in the crowd as history appeared to beckon on Sunday.

Medvedev had other ideas and swept to a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win in two hours, 16 minutes, collecting his first title at this level but perhaps the first of many.

The world number two was tipped by a number of experts, including former world number one Jim Courier, to take the Flushing Meadows glory, and he came good as a flagging Djokovic paid the price for taking a circuitous route to the final.

Top seed Djokovic dropped the opening set of each of his matches from the third round onwards, spending more than five hours more on court than Medvedev on the way through the draw.

Speaking at the trophy presentation, Djokovic said: "I'd like to start off by saying congratulations to Daniil. Amazing. Amazing match, amazing tournament. If there is anyone that deserves a grand slam title now, it's you, so well done.

"You're one of the greatest guys on the tour. We get along very well. I wish you many more grand slams, many more majors to follow. I'm sure you will be on this stage in the future again."

Djokovic had appeared to well up before the final game of the match, on what was an emotional day for the Serb superstar.

He had demolished a racket in the second set as his rage grew, but come the end of the match he was looking to be sanguine.

Rather than airing his certain sense of frustration at falling just short of such a rare feat as a calendar Grand Slam, Djokovic looked for the positives.

And there was one that stood out, with the man who has often felt unloved by tennis crowds expressing his joy at the New York spectators showing him plenty of affection.

They had turned out in the hope of witnessing a famous moment in sporting history, which may have partly explained their raucous rallying behind the 34-year-old.

"I was thinking in both scenarios, kind of visualising myself standing here in front of you guys and what would I say," Djokovic told the crowd.

"I would like to say tonight that even though I have not won the match my heart is filled with joy and I am the happiest man alive, because you guys helped me feel very special on the court.

"You guys touch my soul. I've never felt like this in New York, I've never felt like this. Thank you so much for your support, everything you have done tonight for me. I love you and I'll see you soon."

British tennis was on a super Saturday high at the US Open as Emma Raducanu took centre stage – after Joe Salisbury, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett celebrated title success.

Salisbury completed a remarkable doubles double, adding the mixed title to the men's crown he secured on Friday, and Reid and Hewett teamed up to clinch a calendar Grand Slam in wheelchair men's doubles.

After Salisbury and American partner Rajeev Ram won the men's doubles title by beating Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, Salisbury returned on Saturday to land another title, the fourth major of his career.

Salisbury teamed up with another American partner, Desirae Krawczyk, to see off Mexican Giuliana Olmos and Salvadorean Marcelo Arevalo 7-5 6-2 on Arthur Ashe Stadium, in the match directly before the women's final.

Raducanu, the world number 150, was going for glory in the women's singles final against another unlikely finalist in Canada's Leylah Fernandez.

If she was seeking inspiration from fellow Britons, it was in plentiful supply, with wheelchair maestros Reid and Hewett scoring a 6-2 6-1 doubles victory over Japan's Shingo Kunieda and Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez.

That meant they sealed a clean sweep of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2021, becoming the first men's wheelchair duo in history to perform that feat.

France's Stephane Houdet previously won a calendar Grand Slam in the event, but he played with two different partners during the 2014 campaign, landing three titles with Kunieda and one with Joachim Gerard.

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