Russian tennis star Karen Khachanov still perfectly remembers the time he lost to Laslo Djere at Wimbledon and he was determined to get a revenge on Thursday in Halle. Khachanov, 26, clashed Djere at Wimbledon during their juniors days and ended on the losing side.
This week in Halle, Khachanov and Djere met again on grass and this time the Russian earned a 7-6 (4) 6-4 win to progress into the Halle quarterfinal. “We played once [before] on a grass court at junior Wimbledon, I lost in three sets,” Khachanov said after beating Djere, per the ATP website.
“I remember that match perfectly, what I did wrong in the third set. I think I was even a break up in the third and ended up losing 6-3. This time I took revenge on grass finally”.
Khachanov on beating Djere
Khachanov got off to a slow start to the match as Djere earned a break in the opening game of the match.
In the seventh game, Djere collected his second break and opened a comfortable 5-2 lead. Just when it seemed the first set was over, Khachanov earned back-to-back breaks and forced a tie-break. After saving two set points in the 10th game, Khachanov took an early 4-1 lead in the tie-break, before realizing his second set point to steal the first set from Djere.
Djere never recovered from blowing a big lead in the first set as Khachanov broke the Serb in the opening game of the second set and then held on to his serve the rest of the match to complete a straight-set win. “The first set was very tricky,” said Khachanov.
“I was two breaks down and I don’t know how, but I managed to win the first set. I played a good tie-break, and it gave me a lot of confidence for the second set, from the beginning especially to keep pushing… I’m happy that I could turn it around, I could change the game and started to play better”.
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