Australian Open 2021: Aslan Karatsev fairytale has happy ending as qualifier takes home points, confidence, and prize money

Qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who had never before qualified for a Grand Slam, will soar from 114 to 42 in the rankings and collects $658,000 in prize money, more than doubling his career earnings.

Agence France-Presse February 18, 2021 20:19:45 IST
Australian Open 2021: Aslan Karatsev fairytale has happy ending as qualifier takes home points, confidence, and prize money

Starting the 2021 Australian Open as a qualifier Aslan Karatsev made it to the semi-finals in what is his first-ever Grand Slam appearance. AP Photo

Melbourne: Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev said he now felt he could play anyone after his sensational Australian Open run was finally halted by top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals on Thursday.

After knocking out three seeds on his Grand Slam debut, it took eight-time champion Djokovic to stop Karatsev and prevent him from creating more history by reaching the final.

The 27-year-old, who had never before qualified for a Grand Slam, will soar from 114 to 42 in the rankings and collects $658,000 in prize money, more than doubling his career earnings.

"That I can play with everyone," he said, when asked what he had learned from the Melbourne tournament.

"To be there and to compete with everyone. I think it'll help me a lot during my career... It gives me more experience, more confidence."

Thursday's defeat ended a tennis fairytale, after Karatsev became the first man in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam semi on debut.

He was also the lowest-ranked player to reach a major semi-final since Goran Ivanisevic, then the World No 125, at Wimbledon in 2001.

His charmed campaign included wins over eighth seed Diego Schwartzmann, 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and injury-hit 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Djokovic, however, was a different matter.

"There is a huge level, the difference is really big," said the Vladikavkaz native.

"He doesn't give you free points. On my serve it's like every point you have to take, you have to play the rally.

"On my service games there's always rallies, rallies. He served well all the match. Yeah, you're under pressure."

 

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

One-dimensional counterpuncher to mean server, Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in a league of his own
Sports

One-dimensional counterpuncher to mean server, Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in a league of his own

Time and again, Djokovic has produced incredible tennis against some of his biggest opponents, especially against Nadal and Federer. Fans will obviously remember the 2019 Wimbledon final against crowd favorite Federer after being down two Championship points, but the transformation from good to great to legend started after his memorable Australian Open final against Nadal in 2012.

Australian Open 2021: 'Brilliant work under pressure,' Twitterati react to Novak Djokovic's ninth title in Melbourne
Sports

Australian Open 2021: 'Brilliant work under pressure,' Twitterati react to Novak Djokovic's ninth title in Melbourne

Here's how Twitter reacted to Novak Djokovic's win over Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open men's singles final.

Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer's record of 310 weeks as ATP World No 1
Sports

Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer's record of 310 weeks as ATP World No 1

The Serb reclaimed the top ranking from Rafael Nadal in February 2020 and finished as year-end number one for the sixth time, tying the mark set by Pete Sampras.