The match between Karen Khachanov and Nick Kyrgios in Cincinnati was certainly very fun to see and comment for us insiders and media but also for the crowd and the fans. But perhaps for the Russian, the situation on the court was much less fun to see and manage, after the last moment of drama-queen of the Australian.
Instead, Khachanov kept his cool and won the match. However, his race in Cincinnati did not go much further. Unlike the brilliant Rogers Cup semi-final. Khachanov has not yet won a title in 2019, but he has achieved some historical results.
He has indeed become the world no. 8, last July 8th. Just this year he got, together with his countryman Daniil Medvedev, the top-10 of the ATP ranking. Not only that; Khachanov also achieved his best result in a Grand Slam tournaments, reaching the quarter-finals at the Roland Garros.
This, in the first half of 2019, followed what the Russian did good in the previous season, when he also won his first ATP Masters 1000, in Paris-Bercy. "The top-10? In Russia they expect you to achieve even bigger things" said him in an interview.
Well, the expectations could be repaid already within a few months. As long as there are Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, it will be impossible for anyone to win a Major. But today Khachanov would start with the same chances as Alexander Zeverev or Stefanos Tsitsipas, and perhaps even more, given the decline of German and Greek.
He is more solid of his two young rivals, as we have seen in this months. He is one of those talents destined to achieve great results in the future. At twenty-three years old, with solid tennis, very powerful service and a forehand, he could become a fearsome player on fast surfaces (especially on hard-courts), for anyone.
At the US Open and in the indoor tournaments during the autumn, Khachanov will show that his being in the top-10 is not just coincidence, but a well-deserved prize, as far as done up to now. In short, a starting point, not a destination.