Aslan Karatsev reached another milestone in his fairy tale to the 2021 ATP Tour season on Saturday, when he defeated Lloyd Harris 6-3, 6-2 to win his ATP Tour maiden title at the Dubai Freestyle Tennis Championships .
He ripped the 27-year-old 27-year-old winner and saved his two rest points to become the third Russian champion on the ATP Tour this season. Karatsev joins Daniil Medvedev (Marseille) and Andrey Rublev (Rotterdam) on that list. All three players were part of the Russian team that won a title at last month’s ATP Cup.
“I’m very happy. It was a tight game. [I was] very nervous, ”Karatsev said in a court interview. “I want to congratulate my opponent for the final [run]. It was a great week … I’m glad I won. ”
Karatsev started this season with a 3-10 record at tour level. The 6’1 ”right-hander, who reached the Australian semi-finals as a candidate last month, has set a 12-2 record this year. World No. is 1 Novak Djokovic (Australian Open) and World No. 4 Dominic Thiem (Doha) is the only two players to beat the Russians in 2021.
“You don’t know when [success] coming, “said Karatsev.” I did a good job with my team, with my coach and it has happened now. “
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Karatsev has confirmed his place in the fifth position in the FedEx ATP Race to Turin. Medvedev (second) and Rublev (third) also feature in the top 5 certification positions for the Nitto ATP finals.
The World No. 42 the third wild card to win this ATP 500 event. Karatsev, who defeated four seed players on the way to the finals, will join Wayne Ferreira (1995) and Thomas Muster (1997) in the exclusive club.
Karatsev made the very first start of his first round of ATP Tour, when he ripped ground shots into Harris’ front corner to break in his first game back. The Russian opened the court well and hit 12 winners in the first set. Karatsev took control behind his second service back through the game (10/12) and won the award with a winner over it.
Harris was also aiming to pick up his first ATP Tour award. South Africa have won seven games in as many days since qualifying to reach its second tournament game at tour level (0-2). On the way to the finals, Harris won the two biggest wins of his career against Dominic Thiem of the World No. 4 and Denis Shapovalov of the World No. 12.
Did you know?
Karatsev and Harris’ meeting marked the first meeting between an accredited player and a wildcard on the ATP Tour since then. [WC] Fabio Fognini met [Q] Yannick Hanfmann in the 2017 Swiss Open Gstaad tournament match.