A spirited fightback from Nick Kyrgios saw the Australian beat second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Halle Open on Wednesday.

Kyrgios suffered a disappointing semi-final defeat to Andy Murray in Stuttgart last week, but looked greatly improved against Tsitsipas as he recovered from a set down to win 5-7 6-2 6-4.

It was the second serve of both men where Kyrgios shone, winning 76 per cent (28 of 37) of points on his second serve, and 58 per cent (23 of 40) on his opponent's.

"Stef is one of the best players in the world at the moment and he's going to have some amazing results and I'm sure many, many grand slams," Kyrgios said following his win.

"I don't know if I can say the same for me, but I'm happy to still be able to produce this level with the tournaments I play. It is a testament to how hard I do work when I'm not playing."

He will face Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarter-finals after the Spanish sixth seed beat Sebastian Korda 6-4 0-6 6-3.

Elsewhere, Hubert Hurkacz will face Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last eight after defeating Ugo Humbert 7-6 (7-5) 6-3, while the Canadian also won in straight sets against Mackenzie McDonald 7-6 (9-7) 6-1.

The one remaining first round match saw number one seed Daniil Medvedev beat David Goffin 6-3 6-2 to set up a second round clash with Ilya Ivashka.

At the Queen's Club Championships, sixth seed Denis Shapovalov was eliminated by Tommy Paul 6-4 2-6 6-4, with the American now scheduled to face Stanislas Wawrinka in the second round.

It means that six of the eight seeds in west London were knocked out in the first round, with Matteo Berrettini and Marin Cilic the only remaining seeds. The latter sealed his place in the quarter-finals on Wednesday with a 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 win over Alexander Bublik.

Cilic will play Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori in the last eight after he beat home favourite Jack Draper 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

The best contest of the day came between Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Alex de Minaur, with the former coming from behind to win 4-6 6-4 7-5 to set up a quarter-final with Botic van de Zandschulp, who beat Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

Nick Kyrgios made his return to clay with a win on Tuesday, defeating Mackenzie McDonald 4-6 6-3 6-4 at the US Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston.

It was the first time Kyrgios had played on clay since his infamous meltdown at the Rome Masters in 2019, where he threw a chair across the court and walked off, handing Casper Ruud a win by default.

After a meandering first set, the Australian world number 94 sparked into life when he saved the first of two break points with a second serve ace in the third game of the second. From there, Kyrgios opened up his shoulders and became more assertive from the baseline, as well as serving 18 aces in the closing two sets.

While again admitting clay is not his favourite surface, the 26-year-old was nevertheless pleased by the manner of the win against McDonald.

"He [McDonald] beat me in Washington where I used to play pretty well, and he's a tricky one because he doesn't make too many errors, and clay's obviously not my preferred surface," he said post-match.

"I just served really well, and just started playing more aggressive and found another gear. I would slip and slide a little bit, but my game actually suits the clay quite well."

While US seventh seed Tommy Paul secured a walkover 6-7 (4-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-2 win against Peter Gojowczyk, Chilean fifth seed and defending champion Cristian Garin also came from a set down to beat Jack Sock 4-6 6-3 7-5.

American sixth seed Frances Tiafoe faced relatively simpler work, defeating unseeded countryman Marcos Giron in straight sets 6-4 6-4.

Two all-American matches also opened play in Houston on Tuesday, with JJ Wolf securing a 6-4 6-4 win over eighth seed Jenson Brooksby in the first, and Steve Johnson defeating Denis Kudla 6-3 4-6 6-4.

Top seed Daniil Medvedev made quick work of Mackenzie McDonald in his opening match at the Indian Wells Masters, cruising to a 6-4 6-2 victory on Saturday.

Medvedev – the US Open champion – has lost only three of his last 41 sets, and has never dropped one to McDonald in five career meetings with the American as he maintained his red-hot form. 

Russian star Medvedev is now 37-5 on hardcourts this year and appears well-positioned to make it past the third round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time as he awaits Filip Krajinovic.

"I'm actually really pleased, because usually I haven’t played well in Indian Wells and I haven’t been playing that well in practices before [the tournament]," Medvedev said in his on-court interview. "[I am] really happy with my performance. That’s the most important [thing] no matter how I played before the tournament."

RUBLEV ROLLS PAST TABERNER

Medvedev's countryman Andrey Rublev closed out the night session with a 6-3 6-4 defeat of Carlos Taberner, who was facing a top-10 opponent for the first time. 

Fourth seed and world number five Rublev won 66 per cent of points on his first serve and hit 30 winners to Taberner's 12. 

Rublev improved to 47-16 this season, 31-9 on hard courts, and will face Tommy Paul in the third round. 

 

SHAPOVALOV WINS IN NEAR-WALKOVER

Most of the seeded players in action had an easy time of it, none more so than Canadian ninth seed Denis Shapovalov.

Shapovalov's opponent and countryman Vasek Pospisil retired with an apparent back injury after dropping the first three games of the match. 

Sixth seed Casper Ruud blew past Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1 6-2, while eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz downed Alexei Popyrin 6-1 7-5. 

Diego Schwartzman had to work harder to advance, the 11th seed outlasting qualifier Maxime Cressy 6-2 3-6 7-5. 

Top-ranked American Reilly Opelka, the 16th seed, beat Taro Daniel 7-5 6-3 for his first main-draw victory at Indian Wells in four attempts. 

Daniel Evans also went the distance to defeat Kei Nishikori 4-6 6-3 6-4, while former world number three Grigor Dimitrov, 2021 Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev and Frances Tiafoe were among the other players to advance.

Italian teenager Jannik Sinner has claimed his third career ATP Tour title with a three-set victory over Mackenzie McDonald in the Citi Open final on Sunday.

The sixth seed triumphed in two hours and 52 minutes, winning 7-5 4-6 7-5 over the unseeded American, who was competing in his first ATP Tour final.

The Washington, D.C. victory was 19-year-old Sinner's first ATP 500 title and his third on tour, having triumphed in Sofia late last year and Melbourne earlier this year.

Home favourite McDonald put plenty of pressure on Sinner, forcing the Italian to save seven break points for the match.

McDonald also staved off 16 break points in an enthralling contest where the Italian sent down nine aces to the American's five.

Sinner lost his serve twice in the opening set and needed 11 set points but still won 7-5, before the American hit back, dropping further behind the baseline to good effect in the second, levelling it with a 6-4 win.

The Italian claimed an early break in the last to open up a 3-0 lead, before failing to convert two championship points at 5-2.

McDonald brought it back to 5-5, with numerous dramatic rallies throughout, before the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion broke in the 12th game to triumph in the third set.

American Mackenzie McDonald toppled former champion Kei Nishikori in three sets to claim a spot in the Citi Open final on Sunday against fifth seed Jannik Sinner.

McDonald triumphed over unseeded Japanese Nishikori 6-4 3-6 7-5 in two hours and 45 minutes in Washington DC.

The 26-year-old American's win qualifies him for his maiden ATP Tour final, sending down 4-1 aces while getting a slight edge with his return.

Nishikori, who triumphed in DC in 2015, fought back when trailing a set and a break in the second with four straight games to send it to a third.

The 31-year-old Japanese appeared to have the momentum but McDonald responded to outlast him.

McDonald will face 19-year-old Sinner who overcame another emerging talent, American 20-year-old Jenson Brooksby, 7-6 (7-2) 6-1.

Sinner becomes the first Italian to reach the final in DC and also progresses to his first ATP 500 decider.

The Italian continued his fine run in DC, having not yet dropped a set all tournament, marking a return to form after being on a four-match losing run.

Sinner saved three set points at 5-6 in the first to fight back to take the lead in a tiebreaker before a dominant second.

Vasek Pospisil launched a stunning tirade during his three-set defeat to American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday.

The Canadian former world number 25 was docked a point for verbal abuse, subsequently conceding the first set, before a meltdown during the change of ends.

Pospisil used a profanity in reference to ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi when speaking to chair umpire Arnaud Gabas.

“[Gaudenzi was] screaming at me in a player meeting for trying to unite the players — for an hour and a half," Pospisil said to Gabas. "If you want to default me, I’ll gladly sue this whole organisation.”

He did fight back to win the second set but ultimately lost to McDonald 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Pospisil, who is nowadays ranked 67th, was joined among the first-round exits by last week's Mexican Open semi-finalist Dominik Koepfer, who went down 6-1 6-4 to wildcard Hugo Gaston as he claimed his first career Masters 1000 win.

Sam Querrey, ranked 63rd, also bowed out 6-3 6-4 to Lu Yen-hsun, who will meet world number two Daniil Medvedev in the second round.

YOUNGSTER BEATS VETERAN

Australian youngster Alexei Popyrin secured his maiden win at the Miami Open, knocking out the oldest player in the draw Feliciano Lopez 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Popyrin, 21, claimed his first ATP Tour title last month in Singapore and backed that up with a strong display against the 39-year-old former top 20 Spaniard.

Recent Open 13 Marseille runner-up Pierre-Hugues Herbert got past Portugal's Pedro Sousa 6-1 6-3, while South Africa's Lloyd Harris defeated Emilio Nava 6-4 7-6 (9-7).

Frances Tiafoe won in the final match of Wednesday, coming from behind to beat Stefano Travaglia 5-7 6-4 6-2.

 

COMEBACK CAM

Brit Cameron Norrie produced a heroic final-set fightback to claim his spot in the second round, where he will face Grigor Dimitrov.

Norrie trailed 5-1 in the third set against Yoshihito Nishioka, before winning 6-1 3-6 7-5, winning the last six games to clinch victory.

The 56th-ranked Brit sent down eight aces in the victory, although he got the edge on return and converted seven of his 10 break points.

SECOND ROUND

Top seed Medvedev will face Lu on Thursday, while third seed Alexander Zverev will take on Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori.

Norrie will meet Dimitrov, while 11th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime faces Herbert and eighth seed David Goffin will take on James Duckworth.

Harris has a match-up against seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Rafael Nadal's bid to win a record 21st grand slam title remains on track, while there is a distinctly Russian flavour to the quarter-final line-up at the Australian Open.

World number two Nadal eased past Italian 16th seed Fabio Fognini behind closed doors at Melbourne Park in sunny and warm conditions on Monday.

Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev ensured Russia made history en route to the quarters in Melbourne.


FAMILIAR TERRITORY FOR NADAL

Nadal reached the Australian Open quarter-finals for the 13th time in his career after outclassing Fognini 6-3 6-4 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

Stuck on 20 slam championships alongside Roger Federer, who is absent in Melbourne, Nadal is also looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win each of the four majors twice.

The 2009 Australian Open champion was too good for Fognini as Nadal continued his fine run of not dropping a set en route to the last eight in 2021.

Only at the French Open, where he is a 13-time champion, has Nadal reached the quarter-finals more often (14) than at the Australian Open. Federer (15) and John Newcombe (14) are the only men to have reached more Australian Open quarter-finals.

Nadal, who hit 24 winners against Fognini, will face fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the semi-final after ninth seed Matteo Berrettini withdrew with an abdominal strain before Monday's showdown.

 

HISTORY FOR RUSSIA​

For the first time in the Open Era, three Russian men have advanced to the quarter-finals of a slam.

Medvedev – the fourth seed – and Rublev joined countryman Aslan Karatsev in the last eight following their respective triumphs on Monday.

Runner-up at the 2019 US Open, Medvedev made light work of American Mackenzie McDonald 6-4 6-2 6-3, extending his winning streak to 18 matches as he reached his maiden Australian Open quarter-final.

"It's an exciting moment to be in the quarters in Australia for the first time. That's a great achievement for me," Medvedev said.

"I want more all the time, but step by step. So this is amazing … I finished at 1.30 [hours], which is important in the later stages of the grand slams, to make fast matches."

It will be an all-Russian affair in the quarters after seventh seed Rublev benefited from a walkover.

Rublev was leading 6-2 7-6 (7-3) when Norway's Casper Ruud retired on Margaret Court Arena.

"At least one of us will be in the semi-finals. So it's good news but yeah, it's going to be a tough match," said Rublev, who featured in last year's French Open quarter-finals.

"Last time he beat me in the quarters in the US Open. So now we're in the quarters in the Australian Open, so we'll see what's going to happen."

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