Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev is happy to see Aslan Karatsev, 27, making a big breakthrough on the Tour. Karatsev, ranked at No. 114 in the world, made it past the Australian Open qualifying to earn a chance to make his main draw debut at Melbourne Park.
After winning three matches in Doha to qualify for the Australian Open, Karatsev continued his good form on the hard courts of Melbourne Park as he made his maiden round-of-16 of a Grand Slam in Australia. "In Russia he was always one of the best ones," Rublev said of Karatsev.
"And I remember he was talented and having nice touch. But then somehow things were not working, and then in the end of last year he won a couple of Challengers in a row beating really great guys, and in St. Petersburg he beat Sandgren, I was watching the match, and then he had a really tough match against Karen, and already since that time I knew that if he was going to keep going, for sure he will do better results and better results."
Karatsev impressed at Melbourne Park
Karatsev, a former world No. 111, made the Australian Open round-of-16 without dropping a single set. The Russian started his campaign with back-to-back straight-set wins over Gianluca Mager and Egor Gerasimov.
In the third round, Karatsev claimed one of the biggest wins of his career as he stunned world No. 9 Diego Schwartzman in three sets.
"It’s an unbelievable feeling, I qualified so I was already very happy,” Karatsev said after beating Schwartzman.
“I’ve had a lot of worries over the past few years, so I am relieved, overjoyed to be at this stage. I had a big knee injury a few years ago, so to be here and represent Russia at the ATP Cup last week really gave me confidence”.