Aslán Karatsev never ceases to surprise in a season where he continues to overcome barriers, this time he pulled out the thorn before his executioner at the Australian Open. The 27-year-old Russian tennis player and current world number 28, ruled out that he has taken as a rematch his semifinal within the ATP 250 in Belgrade, where he managed to beat Novak Djokovic in a great match.
During his press conference after the semifinal win, the Russian talked about just how difficult it is to get the better of Novak Djokovic. He also claimed that he went into the match with the belief that he could beat the Serb, before explaining how he treated every single point like his life depended on it.
Karatsev reflects on Novak Djokovic
"I stepped on the court to win," Aslan Karatsev said. "I was believing (in myself), and I said to myself that I would play every ball no matter what. I tried to keep this strategy that we spoke about with the coach.
You have to fight for every ball, that was the key to success. It was a long, tough match (against a) tough opponent like Novak Djokovic," Karatsev said. "You have to put [in] like 200 per cent to beat this guy, it’s like playing against a wall.
And he also made some good shots. He doesn’t give you any free points. He always makes you play and you have to be always there because once you miss a couple of shots, he just takes it very quickly. That’s how I lost the second set."
When asked about the thoughts that were running through his mind when faced with the multiple break points, Aslan Karatsev mentioned that he was mainly trying to play aggressively. "I can't say what's going on in my mind that moment, I mean, you have to play aggressive with these kind of players," Karatsev said.
"Because as I said before you play against the wall if you don't play aggressive you just defend, you hit the wall, everything coming back deep. He moves you a lot. You cannot compare these type of matches," Karatsev said.
"I mean, when you play Grand Slam - I think he did one mistake between two sets. This time (too) I hit the wall, so it's almost the same. But here's a different surface for us. Yeah, I think hardcourt is super hard to play against him, he was unbelievable in the semifinal and then I watched the final, he did not give a chance to Medvedev."