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Rising Tennis Star Aslan Karatsev Wins His First ATP Tennis Tourney In Dubai

Karatsev captures first ATP title in Dubai, continuing his incredible 2021 hot streak


Aslan Karatsev poses with the trophy after beating Lloyd Harris to win the men’s singles Final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis on March 20, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

By Ricky Dimon

Aslan Karatsev is simply unstoppable in 2021–at least if he is playing against anyone outside the top four.

Karatsev captured the first ATP title of his career on Saturday, erasing Lloyd Harris 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The 27-year-old did not get broken a single time–saving the only two break points he faced–while triumphing in one hour and 15 minutes.

With a shocking semifinal run at the Australian Open in addition to a second-round showing in Doha, Karatsev is now 12-2 this season with losses only to Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem.

“I am super happy,” said the world No. 42, whose incredible 2021 campaign has come completely out of nowhere–from outside the top 100, to be exact. “[I was] really nervous…. You never know when [success] is coming. I did a good job with my team, with my coach, and it has happened now.

“I want to congratulate my opponent for (reaching) the final. He did a great week.”

Karatsev’s comments about Harris were right on the money. In fact, this was the best week of the South African’s career.

At 81st in the rankings, Harris had to qualify just to get into the Dubai main draw. After doing so with a pair of victories, the 24-year-old added five more wins to his credit–including over Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, and Denis Shapovalov.

However, Harris was no match for Karatsev at the final hurdle. The Russian broke serve right away for a 2-0 advantage in the opening set and fought off one break point to reach 3-0. Harris did well to save two break points while holding for 2-4, but he never had another chance to get back on serve. It was all but over when Karatsev broke to begin set two, and he added another break at 4-2 for good measure.

Karatsev will climb to No. 27 in the world on Monday.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.