The Russian derby could have taken place in the final, but Aslan Karatsev could not reach the final of the tournament, losing in the semifinals to the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka with a score of 4:6, 4:6.
Khachanov, in the semifinals, defeated the 33rd racket in the world, the American Sebastian Korda, with a score of 7:5, 6:4. The score of personal matches between the opponents was equal – 2:2. Khachanov beat the American at Wimbledon 2021 and the Australian Open 2023. Between these two matches, Korda beat the Russian in Cincinnati and Antwerp in 2022. This time, luck was on the Russian tennis player’s side .
“We haven’t had an Asian series since 2020. It was my first title when I was only 20 years old. So I thought about it. And now, I’m already in the final. In the final, we don’t not choose an opponent – the two best players will meet. But I will support Aslan. It will be nice to meet. And may the best one win,” Khachanov said before Nishioka reached the final of the tournament.
In personal meetings, Nishioka was inferior to Khachanov with a score of 1:3. The Russian won against the Japanese at the Australian Open in 2019 and 2023 as well as at the Tokyo Olympics. And the Japanese tennis player won in Washington in 2022.
In the first set, the tennis players took their game with confidence. They therefore reached the score of 2:2. In the fifth game, Khachanov took the opponent’s serve, then almost lost the advantage, but managed to adjust the serve – 4:2. But the Japanese managed to win the next two matches and bring the score to 4:4. In the ninth game, Karen failed to convert two chances to get another break. There were no more tense moments, and we had to play a tie-break. Nishioka was the first to make a mini-break, after which the score became 2:1 in his favor. The next six games were left to the Russian. Khachanov scored 4 mini-breaks and the match ended with Karen’s victory with a score of 7:6.
In the second set, Khachanov already had a 3:1 advantage already in the fourth game. After that, Nishioka was completely lost, and the Russian, winning the next three games, won the title in 1 hour 44 minutes.
“I want to thank my family. I send them big hugs and kisses. They are my biggest fans. I just came back from an injury. Coming to Zhuhai, I was just hoping to play a few matches to get back into rhythm . “I really wanted to come back and win the title again after a few years. This is a special victory,” Khachanov said after the victory.
This is Khachanov’s first title of the season and the fifth of his career. The Russian could not win in ATP tournaments for almost 5 years.
Yahya Hasanov, Athletistic
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