Khachanov: 'Facing Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Mubadala was..'


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Khachanov: 'Facing Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Mubadala was..'

Karen Khachanov is one of two players (Grigor Dimitrov) who had failed to reach an ATP final in 2019 but still managed to finish in the top-20. The 23-year-old Russian was at the top of the tennis world after winning the Masters 1000 crown in Paris at the end of 2018, cracking the top-10 for the first time in June and staying there for five months before losing those 1000 points.

Despite a mediocre score od 30 wins and 29 losses in 2019, Karen had a couple of notable results, advancing into the quarter-final at Indian Wells and losing ground after that before Roland Garros where he was the quarter-finalist again, losing to Dominic Thiem in straight sets.

Karen had to wait until Montreal to find himself in the title contention, advancing into the semi-final where Daniil Medvedev toppled him in an all-Russian battle. By the end of the season, Khachanov was the semi-finalist in Beijing and the quarter-finalist in Moscow and Vienna, finishing the year at the Davis Cup Finals where Russia lost a tight battle with Canada in the semis.

Competing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship for the second time, Karen defeated Hyeon Chung before losing to Rafael Nadal and Noak Djokovic in the semi-final and the battle for the third place, gathering a lot of experience as always against the rivals from the top and enjoying the challenge after almost a month of hard training.

Karen will play at the ATP Cup with Daniil Medvedev and the rest of the Russian squad, hoping for a deep run and the best possible form ahead of the Australian Open. "It was more relaxed from both of us," Khachanov said.

"To play against Novak and Rafa and at this event, in general, is good preparation to see where my tennis is. After playing three in a row, I'm feeling a little more tired after three-and-a-half weeks of hard training, so I'll have a day off tomorrow, but it was good to come and I really enjoyed playing some more serious matches."