South Africa

Karatsev ‘super happy’ with first title, Tennis News & Top Stories

DUBAI • Russian Aslan Karatsev continued his breakthrough year as he claimed his first ATP Tour title by beating Lloyd Harris 6-3, 6-2 in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday.

The 27-year-old wild card overpowered his South African opponent with a barrage of winners to take his record to 12-2 for the season, having won only three Tour-level matches before this year.

“You never know when (success) is coming,” said Karatsev, who is the first wildcard entry to win the Dubai title since Thomas Muster in 1997.

“I did a good job with my team, with my coach, and it has happened now.”

Last month, he became the first man to reach the semi-finals on a Grand Slam debut in the Open era at the Australian Open. That fine run, which saw him lose to eventual champion Novak Djokovic, saw him vault from 114th to 42nd in the world rankings.

On Saturday, he broke qualifier Harris’ serve midway through the opening set and twice more in the second.

It was his first ATP singles final, having won an event for the first time on tour in last week’s doubles tournament in Doha, alongside compatriot Andrey Rublev.

He dumped the in-form Rublev in Friday’s semi-finals and backed that up against Harris.

Karatsev saved the only two break points he faced as he raced to victory in under 80 minutes.

“I am super happy. It was a tight match. (I was) really nervous,” he added. “I want to congratulate my opponent for the final (run). He did a great week… I am happy that I won.”

Karatsev is the third Russian player to win an ATP title this year, along with Daniil Medvedev in Marseille and Rublev in Rotterdam.


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