“Not Losing to People Behind Me”: Aslan Karatsev Clinches His Maiden ATP Title in Dubai

Published 03/20/2021, 2:01 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Russia’s Aslan Karatsev reacts during his fourth round match against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


Aslan Karatsev continues his fairy tale as he won his first ATP title by winning the Dubai Tennis Championships 2021. The Russian was ranked beyond the top 100 in January 2021 but a magical run in Australian Open 2021 followed by ATP Dubai triumph rose him further upwards.

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Karatsev defeated Lloyd Harris to win the ATP 500 event in Dubai. It was a straightforward victory that came in straight sets in 77 minutes.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Russia’s Aslan Karatsev celebrates winning his quarter final match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov REUTERS/Kelly Defina

With the victory, Karatsev will now make his top 30 debut. He has still played less than 30 ATP matches and yet finds himself ahead of a lot of other experienced players.

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Aslan Karatsev on his meteoric rise

Karatsev’s rise started off at the Australian Open 2021. He raced to the semifinals on his Grand Slam debut. Before the Australian Open, he had a win-loss record of 3-10, and now it is 15-12.

“Yeah, I was super happy after Australian Open and I was trying to stay focused, practice more to believe more on myself and then I played in Doha and lost in the second round to Dominic Thiem. And then I arrived here with a wildcard and I was feeling good. Tried to push every match and in the end I won the tournament.”

Furthermore, only two players have defeated Karatsev in 2021. Novak Djokovic beat him in Australian Open and Dominic Thiem beat him in Doha. Other than that, Karatsev has dispatched every opponent with conviction.

“It showed me the level, I can play with everyone. That I am not losing to people behind me in the ranking. I feel good on court and I feel pretty comfortable and with a lot of confidence right now,” Karatsev said.

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Credit has to be given to Harris for navigating the tough draw of ATP Dubai. But Karatsev was in full form, thus the South African had no chance. The first set was where there was a little fight. Initially, Karatsev was troubled on his serve but as the set went on, the Russian grew upwards. He kept firing in winners to derail Harris.

The first set went Karatsev’s way, 6-4. The second set was easy then, as the Russian got two breaks and won it 6-2. In the end, Karatsev hit 27 winners and saved two break points en route to the memorable victory.

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Bhavishya Mittal

976 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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