Russian tennis star Aslan Karatsev cited tiredness and being negative as the reasons behind his shock St. Petersburg exit. Karatsev, seeded at No. 4, had a first round bye at the St. Petersburg Open as he kicked off his campaign on Thursday.
Karatsev, who was one of the top favorites to win St. Petersburg, delivered a disappointing performance as John Millman claimed a shock 6-3 6-2 win. "I think I was very tired both physically and mentally. After all, we are at the end of October and we all have had many matches in 2021.
The key behind this defeat was that I should not have fallen into negativity when things weren't working. When this happens to you in a match you are practically lost. You always have to stay positive," Karatsev explained, per Punto de Break.
Millman congratulated Karatsev after the match
Karatsev drew lots of attention to his name at the beginning of the season when he made the Australian Open semifinal as qualifier. In March, Karatsev captured his maiden ATP title in Dubai.
“Congratulations to Aslan for an incredible year and last week lifting a title in his home city, I think that’s pretty special,” Millman said in his on-court interview. “I’ve really enjoyed my time in Russia.
I feel like I’m playing really good tennis and it’s nice at the end of the year to be playing at a high level." Karatsev arrived to St. Petersburg in a great form, having won the Moscow title last week. After winning Moscow, Karatsev still had a shot at making the Nitto ATP Finals.
"I will not hide from you that one of my goals is to compete at the ATP Finals. I will try to the end. It is true that the situation is complicated but there are still possibilities," Karatsev said after winning Moscow.
Unfortunately for Karatsev, an early St. Petersburg exit didn't help him in his bid to qualify for the season-ending event.