Editor’s Notice: This story was initially printed on 17 February 2021.
Aslan Karatsev was the breakthrough participant of this yr’s Australian Open, the place he made the semi-finals as a qualifier. The Russian upset three seeded opponents throughout his dream run — Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov.
Karatsev has maintained his momentum since departing Melbourne. He defeated countryman Andrey Rublev on Friday to achieve his first ATP Tour last on the Dubai Responsibility Free Tennis Championships.
Earlier than Karatsev performs Lloyd Harris for the trophy, ATPTour.com seems to be at 5 issues it’s best to know in regards to the Russian.
1) The Russian’s Run Of Type Began On The ATP Challenger Tour
Earlier than Karatsev received his three qualifying matches final month in Doha, he had by no means beforehand made it via Grand Slam qualifying. This was his tenth try to achieve the principle draw at a serious, and the Russian has made probably the most of his profitable effort by thriving at Melbourne Park. Karatsev is the primary man within the Open Period to achieve the semi-finals on his Grand Slam debut.
Karatsev’s success started after tennis resumed final August. Karatsev was No. 253 within the FedEx ATP Rankings when he entered his first ATP Challenger Tour occasion in Prague following a five-month Tour suspension because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He received 18 of his last 20 Challenger matches on the season, claiming two of his three titles at that degree.
2) From Russia To Israel, Germany To Spain & Extra
Karatsev was born in Vladikavkaz, Russia, earlier than transferring along with his household to Israel on the age of three. He educated in Israel till 12, when he returned to Taganrog, Russia along with his father. Karatsev practised there till he was 18, when he shifted to Moscow.
The righty moved to Halle, Germany for 2 years, then Barcelona, Spain and eventually, for nearly the previous three years, Minsk, Belarus. “I used to be transferring I might say an excessive amount of,” Karatsev admitted.
Karatsev believes that working with Yahor Yatsyk, a 28-year-old Belarusian, has confirmed key to his surge.
“I believe the hot button is to seek out the correct staff, the correct coach [who] I discovered. I used to be actually fortunate to seek out him, and we simply met in a single match. I performed futures, and we have been saying, ‘Okay, let’s attempt to work collectively.’ I believe it is a huge luck that we began to work collectively and I’ve a superb staff round me.”
3) A Knee Damage Brought on A Setback In 2017
The Russian struggled with a knee harm in 2017. Karatsev suffered the harm whereas coaching in Spain, and it brought on him to overlook six months.
“From this second it was actually powerful to get the arrogance again and to really feel the sport,” Karatsev stated. “It was not that simple.”
That stretch of day off the courtroom despatched Karatsev’s FedEx ATP Rating as little as No. 764 in October 2017.
4) Karatsev Has Soared Up The FedEx ATP Rankings
Considered one of Karatsev’s largest objectives final season was to crack the High 100 for the primary time. Whereas the Russian was unable to take action, he has soared far past that mark already in 2021. After his Australian Open run, Karatsev instantly cracked the High 50 of the FedEx ATP Rankings.
Along with his efforts in Dubai, the place the Russian has crushed 4 seeded opponents, Karatsev is charing in the direction of the High 30. If the 27-year-old wins the title, he’s projected to crack that mark.
5) He Was Russia’s “Secret Weapon” In The ATP Cup
Karatsev was a part of the Russian staff that received the ATP Cup alongside Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and enjoying captain Evgeny Donskoy. The 27-year-old’s teammates had excessive reward for him.
“Aslan, I’m not joking, was a secret weapon for doubles,” Medvedev stated through the trophy ceremony. “He didn’t handle to point out it as a result of we didn’t have a 1-1 match, however he was our secret weapon.”
Donskoy made a prediction after they lifted the trophy, saying: ”Aslan, I’m certain you’re going to have an awesome season this yr, since you are enjoying unbelievably.”
Karatsev has confirmed his captain proper.