Aslan Karatsev ousts Marin Cilic to lift Kremlin Cup and keep ATP Finals hopes alive
Aslan Karatsev lifted his second tour title of his career in Moscow with a stunning victory against Marin Cilic to keep his ATP Finals hopes alive.
The Russian star dispatched the two-time Moscow champion 6-2 6-4 in just 77 minutes, lifting the Kremlin Cup title without having dropped a set in the tournament.
Karatsev, who won his only previous ATP title in Dubai earlier this year, burst onto the scene with a stunning semi-final run at the Australian Open at the beginning of the year, before falling to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
Now, with victory in the Russian capital, the 28-year-old keeps his slim hopes of a ATP Finals spot alive as he sits 13th in the Race to Turin behind the likes of Hubert Hurkacz, Jannik Sinner and Cam Norrie.
“It is a dream come true,” Karatsev said in his on-court interview.
“It is a tournament where I have played in qualifying at and now I am winning the tournament. Thank you for all of your support. It was a very nervous final game, I hit a double fault and then on break point there was that long rally, but I managed to win it in the end.”
Remarkably, before capturing the title on Sunday, Karatsev had never reached the third round in his four main-draw appearances at the event.
With his victory, the home favourite has become the 10th different Russian to win the Moscow title in the tournament’s 31-year history, with Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov winning the title in the two previous editions.
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