World No. 31 Karen Khachanov was excited to return to Moscow and once again play in front of his home fans. Khachanov, seeded at No. 3, had a first round bye in Moscow and he kicked off his campaign at the tournament on Wednesday.
Khachanov, a former world No. 8, overcame Australian James Duckworth 3-6 6-3 6-1 to reach the Moscow quarterfinal. Khachanov, who made it all the way in Moscow in 2018, is having his sixth camapaign t the tournament. "It always feel great to be back in your hometown, in a tournament where everything started for me as a professional tennis player," Khachanov said in his on-court interview.
"[This is] where I won my first matches, I got my first points. Since then, it's always great to come back home to see a crowd, [get] home support. "It's also [a] little bit more nervous, of course. But on the other side, I always enjoy playing at home."
Khachanov recovered from.a set down to avoid a shock loss
Khachanov had two break points in the opening game of the match but he failed to convert.
After failing to convert two more break points in the seventh game, Khachanov dropped his serve in the eighth game. Duckworth then routinely served out for the opener in the ninth game. After losing the first set, Khachanov made a good start to the second set as he claimed his first break of the match in the fourth game to take a 3-1 second-set lead.
Khachanov blew three consecutive break points in the sixth game but routinely served out for the set in the ninth game. After losing the second set, Duckworth served out the opening game of the third set. Duckworth's game then fell apart as Khachanov claimed three breaks in a row and won six consecutive games to finish the match in style. Khachanov plays next against another Australian as his opponent in the quarterfinal will be John Millman.