Russian tennis star Aslan Karatsev was glad that he managed to find a way to beat No. 9 seed Denis Shapovalov in tricky Indian Wells conditions. Karatsev, ranked at No. 24 in the world, saw off Shapovalov 7-5 6-2 in their first-ever meeting to progress into the Indian Wells round-of-16.
“The first thing you want to try to do is keep focusing because the weather conditions were tough for both of us,” Karatsev said, per the ATP website. “The first set I tried to find my serve, especially on the second serve, it didn’t work.
The main goal was to keep focused… It was super windy today. “[It’s my] first time here in Indian Wells. It’s an amazing place. It’s nice to be here, to stay here, the atmosphere is really cool. The stadium is almost full, so it’s really nice to play”.
Karatsev survived a tight first set
Karatsev failed to convert any of his two break point chances in the fifth game but also saved a break point in the eighth game. Karatsev finally made a breakthrough on Shapovalov's serve in the 11th game, when he broke for a 6-5 lead.
Karatsev then realized his third set point in the following game to win a tight opener. After winning a tight opener, Karatsev broke Shapovalov twice in the second set to book a straight-set win. The 2020 season was suspended shotly after the 2020 Indian Wells edition was called off.
Players came to indian Wells for the tournament but were sent back home just days before the start. “It’s a little bit weird being back here because it’s kind of where everything started,” Shapovalov told reporters at a pre-tournament press conference, per Tennishead.
“It’s just been a lot [since then]. [I] definitely feel like a completely different player coming into the event this year. A lot more experienced, a lot more relaxed on the court."