Russian tennis star Karen Khachanov was in great spirits after making the Tokyo Olympics semifinal. Khachanov, 25, is having a big Olympic debut as on Thursday he beat France's Ugo Humbert 7-6 (4) 4-6 6-3 in the Tokyo quarterfinal.
Khachanov will be fighting against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta for a place in the Tokyo Olympics final. "Today was much better in terms of physical conditions," Khachanov said, per the ITF website. "Obviously it’s still humid, but nothing compared to other days.
That was a big plus, I think for everyone. "I felt well physically, I felt well mentally, I came here to fight for medals and I’m playing good tennis so far. I’m happy that I’m managing to find solutions to the problems as they appear – this is tennis.
I’m enjoying so far, and I want to keep going like that."
Khachanov absolutely enjoying his Tokyo campaign
"Obviously I’m really happy to first still have another match, another opportunity to keep fighting for the medals," Khachanov added.
"And I’m enjoying playing here at the Olympics for our country. It’s the first Olympics for me and for all the guys – Daniil [Medvedev], Andrey [Rublev] and Aslan [Karatsev]. We all came here, tried to prepare well."
Khachanov had break points in three different games in the first set but failed to realize and the set ultimately went to a tie-break. In the tie-break, Khachanov took an early 3-0 lead before realizing his second set point to win a tight opener.
After losing the second set, Humbert made a positive start to the second set as he broke Khachanov in the opening game of the set. Humbert saved four break points in the eighth game and one more break point in the 10th game to force a decider.
In the third set, Khachanov broke Humbert in the fourth game and then held on to his serve the rest of the way to clinch a three-set win.