Aslan Karatsev wins Russian showdown to reach first ATP final in Dubai
Aslan Karatsev has continued his impressive form to beat compatriot Andrey Rublev and reach his first ATP final in Dubai.
The Australian Open semi-finalist overpowered the second seed 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to continue his dream season and ended his compatriot Andrey Rublev’s 23-match ATP 500 unbeaten streak.
The 27-year-old beat Rublev at his own game, keeping the the World No 8 firmly behind the baseline and landing 41 winners in a mammoth two-hour, 12-minute clash to become the first wild card to reach the Dubai final since 1997.
The Russian was also hugely impressive on serve, winning 78% of his first serve points compared with 66% for the World No 8.
Before the semi-final, Rublev’s 23-match winning streak in ATP 500 events was the second-longest in history, with only Roger Federer registering more consecutive victories at the ATP 500 level.
Aslan Karatsev said: “It was a really tight match against a tough opponent,
“It was an unbelievable performance from Andrey. He didn’t lose a match at an ATP 500 in one year. Everything was decided in one or two points, I feel happy.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 19, 2021
Karatsev, who has only lost two of his 13 matches on tour so far this year, will meet another first-time ATP 500 finalist in Lloyd Harris on Saturday.
The South African qualifier won his seventh match in as many days on Friday to defeat Canadian star Denis Shapovalov 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(6).
“I will prepare myself mentally and physically, and then we will see what happens tomorrow,” said Karatsev. “I know Lloyd is a good player with experience.”
Karatsev or Harris will become the fourth first-time winner on the ATP Tour this season after Daniel Evans (Murray River Open), Alexei Popyrin (Singapore) and Juan Manuel Cerundolo (Cordoba) already completed maiden title runs this year.
- Join the tennishead CLUB and receive £250/$350 of FREE GEAR including ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 trainers, shorts, shirt & socks
- Keep up to date with the breaking news & tennis action at our tennis news section
- Win amazing prizes by entering our competitions
- Learn more about your favourite players including Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic
- Check out the latest tennis equipment with our tennis gear reviews
- Receive regular updates in our legendary free newsletter
- Read in depth features with stunning photography in tennishead magazine
- Can’t visit the tournaments you love? Check out our guide on how to watch tennis on TV
- Don’t miss a thing with our Live Scores service
- Follow tennishead on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube
- EXCLUSIVE 5% DISCOUNT for all tennishead readers on tennis rackets, balls, clothing, shoes & accessories with All Things Tennis, our dedicated tennis gear partner