Why don't Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic play in Russia? The country hosts two ATP 250 events, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Karen Khachanov said: "It doesn't make sense. ATP 250s are not big enough for them.
Federer came a couple of times, Tsonga too." On the popularity of tennis in Russia, he added: "If Vladimir Putin holds on a racket, that's big. But Russia is a big country and people like different kinds of sports.
Besides football, main sports here are hockey, biathlon, ski. Tennis is such a costly sport. Parents need to be rich or sponsored. In the Kremlin Cup of Moscow, compared to the past years, there were obviously more fans. Russians fans come seeing you if you are a top-five or top-ten player.
Most of the people want to see the big names, Federer for example. When Sharapova came to Moscow several years ago, all the tickets were sold." Khachanov finally admitted he is afraid of gaining weight once he ends his professional career: "My standard weight is 87 kilos.
When I was younger, it was 82kg all the time. But I do not follow a diet. Considering how much I eat now, I may pay the price later. It depends on me. If I keep hitting the gym, I train, probably I am not overweight. But everything depends on my motivation and attitude."
Khachanov had many downs this year, including his most recent three-set opening-round loss against the Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Washington.