Khachanov Clinches Maiden Title In Chengdu

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Roger Federer
Karen Khachanov

To those who think believe that only Zverev, Raonic and Kyrgios are the potential future superstars of tennis, take a moment and appreciate the newcomer Karen Khachanov who beat Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-3 in Chengdu in two hours and 39 minutes.

The 20-year-old Russian is expected to jump nearly 50 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings to a career-high of World No. 55. Khachanov is the 9th first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this year and just the third to prevail while residing outside the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.

“I can’t believe I won my first title,” said Khachanov. “I am very happy. I have been working hard and I am happy to achieve my first goal. In the second, I was thinking to win the set and keep fighting. I was playing against a guy much higher-ranked than me, so I just have to focus on every goal and keep going. You cannot lose focus and be relaxed. I was just pushing myself to the limit and I got the second set and then the third.

“At this level, all the players are really tough. To win the tournament, I have to beat all the guys. Obviously today is the final and that makes it the toughest match.”

Ramos-Vinolas was clearly disappointed with his performance. “I fought as much as I could,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “And I think I didn’t play bad. I can play better but he played so well and what can I say, I’m not happy but maybe I’ll be happy tomorrow. It was not so good today, but also he was serving so well and so fast. That’s why I didn’t return so well.”

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