Toni Nadal's loyalties will be split between nephew Rafael and current charge Felix Auger-Aliassime after the French Open served up a delicious last-16 clash.

Known popularly on the tour as Uncle Toni, the man who was at superstar Nadal's side for so many of his greatest triumphs signed up to coach Canadian Auger-Aliassime last year.

Nadal and 21-year-old Auger-Aliassime have had just one past competitive meeting, three years ago on clay in Madrid, but they will go head to head in Paris in the fourth round, and the prospect could hardly be more appetising.

According to Rafael Nadal, who says he has "zero problem" with the scenario, Uncle Toni "wants the best for me".

But Toni Nadal has been hired by Auger-Aliassime, so in theory, he should want the best for the man who grew up in Quebec, too.

Auger-Aliassime earned a hard-fought 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 win over Serbian Filip Krajinovic on Friday, while Nadal fended off Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp for the loss of only nine games.

There is seemingly no prospect of the Nadals staying away from one another ahead of the tussle.

"I already talked with Toni after my match," said Rafael Nadal after sinking the hopes of Van de Zandschulp.

"For me, it's very simple. He's my uncle. I don't think he will be able to want me to lose, without a doubt, but he's a professional and he's with another player.

"I don't know what's gonna happen, if he's gonna stay in the box or not, but I don't care. I have zero problem with that. So it's not a story at all for me. I know what the feelings are that we have between each other. I know he wants the best for me."

Nadal said he had no issue with Uncle Toni working for another player, adding: "He's old enough to make his own decisions, no?

"I can't thank him enough for all the things that he did for me during so many years. I don't have any problem with any position that he's making. I want the best for him, and he wants the best for me. We are family more than anything else.

"Not only family; we are a family that stay together all the time. We are in the same village. We spend time in the academy together. We lived incredible emotions together. So he's not only an uncle. He's more than that."

All of which may have made for interesting listening for Auger-Aliassime, who has joined Nadal in the world's top 10 since their meeting three years ago, with the Canadian at a career-high ninth in the rankings.

Auger-Aliassime's clay-court form has been patchy this season, and it would be a major surprise if he took the scalp of the 13-time French Open champion, who is defying ongoing foot pain to keep his career going.

Toni Nadal joined Frederic Fontang in Auger-Aliassime's coaching set-up, and it may be the latter who does much of the tactical planning for the next match.

"I don't know if I need insight on how Rafa plays, to be honest," said Auger-Aliassime. "I think we all know what he does well.

"It was black and white from the first time we started working together. We knew it was a possibility that eventually I would play Rafa when I'm working with Toni. And actually now he's present here in this grand slam. But I think Toni will watch from a neutral place and enjoy the match.

"From my part it's another match, another opportunity to try to play a good match and win, but of course it's very difficult. I don't know how Toni feels. Maybe we should ask him, but he hasn't talked to me about it."

Auger-Aliassime called for observers to consider the "bigger picture", and what Toni and his nephew, the record-holding 21-time men's grand slam winner, achieved together.

"It's one match, let's play, but his career and everything is much bigger than this," said the Canadian.

Felix Auger-Aliassime proved no match for Novak Djokovic, who looks well set to claim his first title of 2022.

It has been a frustrating season to date for the Serbian, who reached a final in Belgrade last month before being beaten by rising star Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid earlier in May.

Yet with Rafael Nadal out of the picture, Djokovic is the clear favourite heading into the Internazionali d'Italia semi-finals, after he beat Auger-Aliassime 7-5 7-6 (7-1) on Friday.

The win not only tees up a semi-final against Casper Ruud, who saw off Nadal's conqueror Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (9-7) 7-5, but also ensures Djokovic will spend a 370th week at the top of the ATP rankings, after he slipped below Daniil Medvedev in the live standings.

Djokovic will add 360 points to his total for reaching the last four, and he now has a milestone 1,000th Tour-level win in his sights when he takes on Ruud for a place in the final. The 34-year-old has won a record 37 Masters 1000 titles so far in his career, including five in Rome.

"I thought it was high-level tennis," Djokovic said. "[Auger-Aliassime] did ask me to raise the level and I had to play consistently well.

"I thought I could have finished the job earlier, but credit to him for fighting back. 

"I know Felix well. He's been around the top of the men's game for quite a few years. He's got a lethal serve, honestly. He's hitting his spots in the box incredibly well with the serve, and it was not easy for me at all to return.

"He's also returning well, he's moving well. He's a very complete player."

The other semi-final will see second seed Alexander Zverev, who beat Cristian Garin 7-5 6-2, take on Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Greek Tsitsipas overcame Jannik Sinner 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, becoming the first player to reach 30 wins on the ATP Tour in 2022.

"We have similar game styles but he is one of the most difficult players to play against on the Tour," Tsitsipas said, previewing his clash with Zverev.

"I have a lot of respect for him. He has achieved a lot so far and I try and look up to him with the things he has achieved."

Rafael Nadal suffered his earliest Internazionali d'Italia exit since 2008 at the hands of Denis Shapovalov on Thursday, but Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarter-finals. 

'King of Clay' Nadal fell to a 1-6 7-5 6-2 defeat to Shapovalov in the third round in Rome, with the Canadian surging to victory after winning 12 straight points from 2-2 in the deciding set. 

The legendary Spaniard stormed through the first set thanks to a series of brilliant returns, but his opponent dominated at the net in the second to take the match the distance. 

Shapovalov then flipped the narrative on its head by winning 14 of a possible 22 return points to set up a quarter-final meeting with Casper Ruud, who beat Jenson Brooksby 6-3 6-4. 

Djokovic is one win away from retaining his status as world number one after taking just 75 minutes to see off three-time grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-2. 

After a lengthy spell out injured, Wawrinka ended a 15-month wait for an ATP Tour victory at Foro Italico before the Serbian brought his run to an end. 

"It is great to see Stan back and winning. He won two tough matches. You can see he is still not physically where he wants to be. But, nevertheless, he is Stan Wawrinka and he can hurt you if you give him time," Djokovic said. 

"I managed to do well from the beginning. I really moved him around the court and held my serve comfortably except for that loss of my serve in the second set." 

Felix Auger-Aliassime stands between Djokovic and the number one spot after overcoming lucky loser Marcos Giron 6-3 6-2. 

In the other half of the draw, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jannik Sinner will play out an entertaining quarter-final after they beat Karen Khachano and Filip Krajinovic respectively. 

Alexander Zverev, the defeated finalist in Madrid last week, beat Alex De Minaur 6-3 7-6 (7-5) and will battle Cristian Garin for a place in the final four.

Novak Djokovic had few issues seeing off Aslan Karatsev to reach the last 16 of the Internazionali d'Italia on Tuesday as he bids to remain world number one.

Djokovic needs to reach the semi-finals in Rome to ensure Daniil Medvedev cannot usurp him atop the ATP rankings next week, and he made a solid start with a 6-3 6-2 victory over another Russian in the second round.

Karatsev did initially pose a threat, with both players breaking at the first opportunity, but Djokovic's superiority gave him the edge in the first set and then saw him cruise in the second.

Djokovic – who will face either Stan Wawrinka or Laslo Djere next – acknowledged he undoubtedly benefited from Karatsev's wastefulness, however.

"You never know with him," Djokovic said. "If he's feeling the ball, he can be very dangerous because he stays so close to the line, puts pressure on his opponents.

"He was missing a lot of balls today, though. He gave me a couple of breaks there in the first and second sets, but I'll take this win for sure.

"It's a straight-sets win against a quality opponent, and I'm looking forward to the next challenge."

Fifth seed Casper Ruud also progressed to the last 16 but was tested by Botic van de Zandschulp, with the Norwegian eventually coming through 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4.

But Andrey Rublev, who had won six of his previous seven matches, was a surprise second-round casualty as he fell to Filip Krajinovic in straight sets, with the Serbian claiming a 6-2 6-4 win.

Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov were the other seeds to reach the last 16 on Tuesday. The former was pushed hard by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 success, while the latter could face Rafael Nadal next up.

Meanwhile, across seven first-round matches, Cameron Norrie, Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman were the biggest names to advance, though 11th seed Hubert Hurkacz was dumped out by the unseeded David Goffin.

Rafael Nadal saved four match points before seeing off David Goffin 6-3 5-7 7-6 (11-9) to book his place in the Madrid Open quarter-finals.

A five-time champion in the Spanish capital, Nadal is looking to match Novak Djokovic's career record of 37 ATP Masters 1000 titles this week.

Returning to action for the first time since losing to Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final, after which he discovered he had a stress fracture of a rib, Nadal was taken all the way by Goffin.

Indeed, the Belgian qualifier won four straight games from 5-3 down in the second set to force a decider, but he saw four opportunities to advance to the quarter-finals go begging.

Nadal subsequently prevailed to reach his 99th Masters 1000 quarter-final, setting up a last-eight showdown with teenage compatriot Carlos Alcaraz.

Birthday boy Alcaraz, who turned 19 on Thursday, celebrated with a hard-earned 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 victory over Britain's Cameron Norrie.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev reached his fifth successive quarter-final at this event after beating Lorenzo Musetti, who retired with a thigh injury shortly after losing the opening set, at 6-3 1-0 down.

Next up for Zverev is Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Rotterdam Open champion, who is targeting a first clay-court Masters 1000 semi-final. Auger-Aliassime won 90 per cent of points on first serve in a commanding 6-1 6-2 victory over Jannik Sinner.

Stefanos Tsitsipas also produced a strong-serving display in his 6-3 6-4 triumph over Grigor Dimitrov. Last season’s French Open runner-up hit 10 aces along the way.

The fourth seed set up a showdown with Andrey Rublev, who had eight aces as he overcame Dan Evans 7-6 (9-7) 7-5.

Meanwhile, Hubert Hurkacz will play Djokovic in the last eight after hitting 16 aces in his 7-5 6-3 win over Dusan Lajovic. Djokovic's much-anticipated clash with Andy Murray was called off, with the Briton unwell, handing his Serbian rival a walkover.

Top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime fell to Sebastian Korda in the Estoril Open quarter-finals, while Casper Ruud was sent packing at the BMW Open. 

Auger-Aliassime won just 50 per cent of points behind his first serve as Korda claimed an impressive 6-2 6-2 success over the Canadian in one hour and 29 minutes. 

In the semi-finals Korda will take on fellow American Frances Tiafoe, who edged out Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 7-5 in a tight encounter. 

The other last-four clash will see Albert Ramos Vinolas take on Sebastian Baez. 

Ramos Vinolas bested Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-2 to set up his meeting with Baez after the Argentine rallied from a set down to defeat Richard Gasquet 3-6 6-1 6-4. 

At the BMW Open, second seed Ruud fell to Botic van de Zandschulp in the quarter-finals. 

The Dutchman won their only previous encounter en route to the last eight at last year's US Open and he triumphed 7-5 6-1 in Munich. 

"Maybe the score is easier than it really was," said Van de Zandschulp. "The first set [was] really tight, I think. A great battle in the first one. I had some opportunities to break him in the beginning and didn't take them. Gladly [at] five-all I made the break and held the serve at 6-5. 

"[The] second set was a little bit easier, but I think I played really well today." 

Next up for Van de Zandschulp is Miomir Kecmanovic, who defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-5) 6-2. Holger Rune will continue his impressive run against Oscar Otte in the other semi-final after they overcame Emil Ruusuvuori and Alejandro Tabilo respectively. 

Felix Auger-Aliassime survived an early scare to reach the Estoril Open quarter-finals with victory over Carlos Taberner on Thursday.

The top seed is targeting a second title of 2022, having already triumphed in Rotterdam earlier in the campaign.

However, his quest looked in doubt when Taberner dominated the opening set 6-1.

But the world number 10 responded in equally commanding fashion; controlling the next two sets to prevail a 1-6 6-2 6-2 victor.

Auger-Aliassime, who also overcame Taberner in Barcelona last week, will play Sebastian Korda in the last eight after the American beat Benjamin Bonzi 6-3 6-3.

Meanwhile, Santiago finalist Sebastian Baez is through to his third quarter-final of 2022. The world number 59 recovered from a set down to deny third seed Marin Cilic 1-6 6-1 6-4.

Richard Gasquet awaits after the 2015 champion beat Hugo Dellien 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Over in Munich, second seed Casper Ruud took a while to find his groove before overcoming Slovakia's Alex Molcan 3-6 6-4 6-4.

Following Alexander Zverev's exit on Wednesday, the Norwegian is the highest remaining seed and is targeting a second title of the season having triumphed in Buenos Aires two months ago.

Next up for him is Botic van de Zandschulp, who won 86 per cent of his points on first serve as he defeated Egor Gerasimov 6-2 6-3.

Meanwhile, Oscar Otte stunned third seed Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to reach his second quarter-final in as many weeks, having also reached that stage in Belgrade.

The German will play Cordoba runner-up Alejandro Tabilo, who advanced following the retirement of opponent Hugo Gaston through injury. 

Carlos Alcaraz produced some supreme tennis as he overcame world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open.

Having already played earlier on Friday, defeating compatriot Jaume Munar 6-3 6-3, 18-year-old Spaniard Alcaraz went the distance against Monte Carlo champion Tsitsipas.

Showing his proficiency on clay, Alcaraz triumphed 6-4 5-7 6-2 to set up a semi-final against Alex de Minaur, who prevailed 6-3 5-7 6-1 over Cameron Norrie.

Alcaraz, the fifth seed, was in excellent form against the top seed and last year's runner-up, and cruised ahead in a dominant first set, striking 14 winners to Tsitsipas' five.

Indeed, Tsitsipas – who had beaten Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets earlier in the day – could not hide his frustration when he smashed the ball hard Alcaraz's way to give up the set, much to the anger of a partisan crowd.

Alcaraz seemed en route to having things wrapped up quickly as he followed up a supreme backhand winner with a sensational drop shot, yet from 4-1 down, Tsitsipas reeled off four straight games to nudge himself ahead, breaking to take the set.

That comeback took just too much out of Tsitsipas, though, with Alcaraz roaring into a 4-0 lead in the decider and, after fending off two breakpoints, sealed his biggest win so far at the first time of asking to reach a fourth semi-final of 2022.

Alcaraz has won all three of his meetings with the Greek and will break into the top 10 of the ATP rankings next week, becoming the youngest player to do so since Spanish great Rafael Nadal in 2005, following his first title in Barcelona.

Indeed, he will be the ninth youngest player overall to make the top 10 and the 20th teenager to do so, though the first since Andy Murray in 2007.

"Probably my biggest win on clay court. It was unbelievable," said Alcaraz. 

"Unbelievable game that I played, unbelievable atmosphere that I lived today on court. It was unbelievable everything. The atmosphere here, the crowd, the level that I played, the level of the match. It was incredible.

"I'm playing an incredible level. And I think that I'm ready to get the title."

Vying for a place in the final in the other semi will be Diego Schwartzman and Pablo Carreno Busta, who both produced remarkable turnarounds in their quarter-final matches.

Schwartzman came back to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 3-6 6-2 6-3, following on from an earlier win over Lorenzo Musetti. 

Carreno Busta, meanwhile, toppled Casper Ruud 4-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3, though only after saving three match points in the second set in a victory that took three hours.

At the Serbia Open, second seed Andrey Rublev defeated qualifier Taro Daniel 6-3 6-3 to progress to the semi-finals.

In windy conditions in Belgrade, Rublev had little trouble in securing a 74-minute win, teeing up a clash with Fabio Fognini and moving to 21-5 for the season.

Rublev has met the Italian on nine occasions previously, losing five times and winning on four occasions.

"It's going to be tough. Fabi, he's super talented, he can play amazing and it's going to be a tough match with a lot of long rallies, so I just need to do my best and we will see what happens," said Rublev.

Fognini made light work of defeating Oscar Otte 7-5 6-4.

Top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime crashed out of the Grand Prix Hassan II after he was beaten 6-4 2-6 7-6 (9-7) by world number 65 Alex Molcan.

Making his debut in Marrakech, Auger-Aliassime arrived off the back of an impressive start to 2022.

Indeed, the world number nine had already triumphed in Rotterdam and been runner-up to Andrey Rublev in Marseille.

But he came unstuck at the hands of the player ranked 56 places lower, with Molcan securing his first career win over a top-10 player.

The Slovakian crucially broke in game nine on the way to taking the opening set. Auger-Aliassime, who hit 10 double faults during the contest, responded by dominating the second, while the players exchanged breaks in a decider that went to a tie-break.

The top seed forced match point at 7-6 up, but Molcan held on by reeling off the next three to secure a dramatic victory.

David Goffin, meanwhile, claimed his 300th tour-level win as he came from behind to defeat three-time champion Pablo Andujar.

Andujar had seen off second seed Dan Evans in the first round but, despite making a fast start against Goffin, it was the Belgian who triumphed 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

Federico Coria overcame Mirza Basic in straight sets, while Roberto Carballes Baena defeated Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-2 7-6 (7-4) and Richard Gasquet saw off Pavel Kotov.

Daniil Medvedev comfortably saw off Andy Murray in their third-round match at the Miami Masters, winning 6-4 6-2 on Saturday.

Medvedev must reach the semi-finals in order to retake the top spot in the ATP rankings from Novak Djokovic in April, and he got off to a positive start in Miami, not facing a single break point in his 90-minute win.

"On the days when you serve good, your opponent doesn't have this freedom to return, it helps you," Medvedev said post-match.

"[In the] second set, the scoreline was easier, it was much tougher in the beginning, but when your opponent knows you're probably going to get some aces and it's not going to be easy for him to return, he gets pressure on his serve and many times that is what happens in close matches."

Medvedev will face Pedro Martinez, who defeated Cristian Garin 7-6 (6-2) 6-2.

Reigning Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz got his title defence off to a good start with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 victory over Arthur Rinderknech.

Following defeats for Murray and John Isner, the Polish world number 10 is the only former champion left in the draw.

A number of men's seeds were beaten in their second-round matches on Saturday, however, including Canadian duo Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov.

Miomir Kecmanovic continued his good run of recent form, defeating Auger-Aliassime in straight sets 6-4 6-2, while South African Lloyd Harris beat Shapovalov 6-4 6-3.

For his third consecutive ATP 1000 match, meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas was pushed to three sets by an unseeded American.

After some entertaining hitting, with both looking to finish points early, the Greek third seed claimed four straight breaks of serve to eventually defeat Jack Wolf 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-1.

Third seed Alexander Zverev has been knocked out of the Indian Wells Masters by Tommy Paul in his first game since his expulsion from last month's Mexican Open for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Unseeded American Paul triumphed over the German 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-2) in two hours and 17 minutes, rallying back from a break down in the final set.

Paul hit less winners, 26-21 to Zverev but made less unforced errors 25-19, while his serve and volley game was a key feature.

"I played a really high level today," Paul said during his on-court post-game interview. "The last time I played him, I played well, I put pressure on him so I knew how i wanted to play so I came out and executed him well.

"I played well when it came down to the breaker, so I'm pretty happy with my performance."

Zverev had not played since being expelled in Acapulco after a stunning outburst where he struck his racquet on the umpire chair several times after a doubles defeat.

Ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was a major casualty, going down to Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes.

The Canadian had 36-27 winners but was let down by 43-26 unforced errors, along with converting only two of his 10 break points.

Van de Zandschulp had failed to take three match points in the second set but showed composure to finish the job in the third.

Wild card Andy Murray was also eliminated in the second round, blowing three set points in the first set before going down to 31st seed Alexander Bublik 7-6 (11-9) 6-3 in two hours and one minute.

Last year's Wimbledon runner-up and Italian sixth seed Matteo Berrettini needed more than two hours to get past world number 86 Holger Rune 6-3 4-6 6-4.

Seventh seed Andrey Rublev defeated Dominik Koepfer 7-5 6-4 to extend his win streak to 10 matches, while 11th seed Hubert Hurkacz beat Oscar Otte 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Other seeds to be eliminated were 22nd seed Aslan Karatsev who went down 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to American Steve Johnson, while 24th seed Marin Cilic lost 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to Miomir Kecmanovic.

Andrey Rublev was crowned champion at the Open 13 Provence after downing Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-5 7-6 (7-4) in the final.

Auger-Aliassime defeated Rublev in Rotterdam last week on the way to securing his maiden ATP Tour title, though all of their past meetings had required a deciding set.

Canadian Auger-Aliassime immediately broke Rublev, but the world number seven battled back to eventually claim the first set after a tense 56-minute opening exchange.

The pair twice exchanged breaks in the following set, with Rublev failing to serve out for the match at 5-4 before saving a set point at 5-6 down.

Rublev rallied from that point onwards, however, claiming his ninth tour-level triumph after a second set tie-break.

The Russian will look to become just the third man in the tournament's 30-year history to win the singles and doubles titles in the same edition when he takes to the court with Ukraine's Denys Molchanov in the doubles final.

Andrey Rublev will hope to gain revenge on Felix Auger Aliassime when they meet in the final of the Open 13 Provence.

Rublev lost in three sets to Auger Aliassime in the semi-finals in Rotterdam this month and they set up a reunion with victories in Marseille on Saturday.

A third successive win over a French opponent booked world number seven Rublev's place in the final as he saw off Benjamin Bonzi in three sets.

Bonzi, playing in his first Tour-level semi-final, threatened an upset, but Rublev raised his game in the final set to secure a 6-3 4-6 6-3 win.

"[Coming into] this week I was really motivated," Rublev said afterwards. "I was so excited to compete, to try to play at a good level, to win some matches and it's my first final of the season so I''m really happy and we will see what happens tomorrow [Sunday].

"It was super tough. Benjamin is playing really great this year, he beat great players this week and I'm happy to be in the final."

Auger Aliassime, fresh off winning his maiden ATP Tour crown in Rotterdam, progressed to another final with a 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) defeat of Roman Safiullin.

The Canadian needed two hours and 27 minutes and a pair of tie-breaks to see off the world number 163 but can now look forward to a 10th career final.

Roberto Bautista Agut followed two sprints with a gruelling slog as he battled past Karen Khachanov to reach the final of the Qatar Open.

Spanish second seed Bautista Agut had dashed past Andy Murray and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina for the loss of just three games in Doha, but Khachanov proved far more obdurate.

After a slow start, eventually Bautista Agut picked up the pace and emerged a 2-6 6-3 7-5 winner in two hours and 24 minutes of toil, earning a shot at Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili in Saturday's final.

Bautista Agut praised Russian Khachanov for making him scrap for the win.

"He was playing very fast," said Bautista Agut, quoted on the ATP website. "He was playing very solidly, he was defending very well and he hit many unbelievable passing shots. I had to play incredibly well tonight. I enjoyed tonight so much."

Third seed Basilashvili is the defending champion this week and made light work of France's Arthur Rinderknech, tying up a 6-4 6-2 victory.

In Marseille, Greek top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was stunned by Russian qualifier Roman Safiullin in the Open 13 quarter-finals. World number 163 Safiullin had a staggering 13 break points against the under-performing Tsitsipas serve, and although 11 of those were saved, the two that were not decided the match.

Safiullin, for his part, faced one break point and saved it on the way to a 6-4 6-4 victory. He made his presence felt at the ATP Cup in Australia at the start of the year and, although results have been disappointing since, the 24-year-old is doing well again in France this week.

Next for Safiullin will be last week's Rotterdam champion Felix Auger-Aliassime, who saw off Belarusian Ilya Ivashka 6-3 6-4 in the last match of the day. After losing his first eight finals on the ATP Tour, Auger-Aliassime may well be closing in on a second title in eight days.

Saturday's other semi-final will see Russian second seed Andrey Rublev tackle Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi, who reached the last four of a main-tour event for the first time by crushing Aslan Karatsev 6-1 6-3.

Rublev dug deep to edge out French wildcard and former top-10 player Lucas Pouille 6-3 1-6 6-2.

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.

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