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Nikoloz Basilashvili beats Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters

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SHANGHAI — Nikoloz Basilashvili won his sixth straight match Tuesday, beating Denis Shapovalov in the first round of the Shanghai Masters.

Basilashvili, who won the China Open last week and has moved up to a career-high ranking of No. 23, never faced a break point on his serve. The Georgian earned his first victory at the tournament after qualifying in 2015 and 2017.

On Sunday, Basilashvili upset fourth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro in the final in Beijing. Earlier this year, he became the first Georgian man to win an ATP title when he won in Hamburg – playing as a qualifier.

“It was a very good week for me in Beijing,” Basilashvili said. “Since Hamburg I got a lot of confidence and that helped me in Beijing.”

Basilashvili will next play fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev in the second round.

“It’s very important I won today after Beijing because it gives me a lot of confidence for a big match that I have,” Basilashvili said. “Sascha is a very good player and I think it’s going to be a very difficult match for me, but very interesting.

“I am feeling very fresh and have a lot of energy so I’ll have no excuses.”

Daniil Medvedev, who upset Kei Nishikori to win the Japan Open on Sunday, struggled but beat Chinese wild-card entry Zhang Ze in the first round.

Medvedev has won all three finals he has appeared in this year and did so by beating the home favorite. Besides beating Nishikori in Tokyo, he defeated Alex de Minaur in Sydney and Steve Johnson in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Earlier, French qualifier Benoit Paire upset 15th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta.

Fognini stuns Nadal 6-4, 6-2 to reach Monte Carlo final

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MONACO (AP) Fabio Fognini ended Rafael Nadal’s long winning streak at the Monte Carlo Masters, stunning the defending champion 6-4, 6-2 Saturday to reach the final for the first time and hand Nadal his first defeat here since 2015.

The 13th-seeded Italian had beaten Nadal twice before on clay, and also once at the U.S. Open in five sets, but this was arguably the most impressive.

Not since the 2005 final, a five-setter which Nadal won in four sets, had the 11-time champion Nadal been beaten 6-0 in a set here. And Fognini came so close to doing just that.

He served for the match at 5-0 and 40-0, but Nadal saved three match points – and some pride – by breaking back and then holding.

Serving again for the match at 5-2, Fognini hit a superb forehand down the line to clinch victory on his fourth match point.

Nadal’s last defeat here was also in the semifinals, against Novak Djokovic in 2015. He had not lost a set at the clay-court tournament since conceding one in the second round against Britain’s Kyle Edmund in 2017.

Fognini next plays unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic in their first-ever meeting, and one few would have predicted happening here.

The 48th-ranked Lajovic earlier staged a remarkable comeback from 5-1 down to beat 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1.

Lajovic won 10 straight games to open up a 4-0 lead in the second set before Medvedev finally held serve. But after saving one match point, the Russian player tamely hit a return long on his opponent’s next opportunity.

It could have been an all-Serb semifinal but Medvedev knocked out the top-ranked Djokovic in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Saturday’s match started in difficult conditions, with a heavy wind coming in from the Mediterranean.

Serving for the first set at 5-1, Medvedev dropped his serve and remonstrated with himself.

Lajovic clinched the first set on serve, with Medvedev completely mistiming the ball and sending it skyward.

The 28-year-old Lajovic was ill before the tournament and said he needed antibiotics to recover.

He struggled to describe his surprise run.

“Incredible … Unreal,” he said, before settling on “It’s been a great week.”

Lajovic stages comeback to reach Monte Carlo final

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MONACO (AP) Unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic staged a remarkable comeback from 5-1 down to beat 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1 in the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals on Saturday.

Lajovic won 10 straight games to open up a 4-0 lead in the second set before Medvedev finally held serve. But after saving one match point, the Russian player tamely hit a return long on his opponent’s next opportunity.

The 48th-ranked Lajovic now plays in his first career final against 11-time champion Rafael Nadal or 13th-seeded Fabio Fognini.

It could have been an all-Serb semi but Medvedev knocked out top-ranked Novak Djokovic in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Saturday’s match started in difficult conditions, with a heavy wind coming in from the Mediterranean blowing clay around the court.

Serving for the set at 5-1, Medvedev dropped his serve and remonstrated with himself.

He had good cause.

The first-set turnaround was complete when Lajovic clinched it on serve, with Medvedev completely mistiming the ball and sending it skyward.