The 27-year-old Aslan Karatsev claimed his first ATP title in Dubai, earning a wild card and using it with both hands for the first ATP trophy. In the final, Aslan ousted a qualifier Lloyd Harris 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 15 minutes, dominating from start to finish to secure the ATP crown in style and crack the top-30 for the first time on Monday.
The Russian was ranked outside the top-250 last August when the season restarted, winning two Challengers from three finals and finishing the season just outside the top-100. Aslan qualified for the Australian Open in January, making a Major debut at 27 and reaching the semi-final to write history books.
In Dubai, Karatsev had to work hard against Evans, Sonego, Sinner and Rublev, beating all four rivals in three sets to advance into the first ATP final and standing as the favorite against Harris. As was expected, the sheer power of Karatsev's strokes was too much to handle for the South African, with the Russian fending off both break points and earning three breaks that carried him over the top in no time.
Aslan had 27 winners and 16 unforced errors, reducing his rival to 11 winners and eight unforced mistakes and overpowering him from the baseline with aggressive and accurate groundstrokes.
Aslan Karatsev claimed his first ATP title in Dubai over Lloyd Harris.
The Russian held in the opening game with a service winner and forced a mistake from the South African in game two to open an early advantage.
Aslan fended off a break chance in game three with a powerful serve and created three break chances in game six. Lloyd remained calm to fend off those and stay within one break deficit before Aslan fired a forehand winner in game nine for a hold at love and 6-3.
A qualifier sprayed a forehand error in the second set's first game to fall further behind, with two more break chances for Karatsev in game three. Harris saved those and created a break chance in game six that could have kept him alive.
Karatsev saved it with a crafty volley and held to open a 4-2 gap. He broke Harris a few minutes later and held at love with a smash winner at 5-2 to move over the top and celebrate the first ATP title.