Aslan Karatsev is the great revelation of this first part of the season, having collected a series of results that no one would have expected on the eve of 2021. The Russian had already surprised everyone at the Australian Open, where he had pushed up to the semifinals by eliminating numerous opponents of rank along the way. His race had finished in front of world number 1 Novak Djokovic, but his may very well be counted as the most enticing story of this year’s tournament. Anyone who thought the 27-year-old would have a drastic drop once the hangover from the Melbourne exploit was off, was wrong. Karatsev clinched his first title on the ATP circuit in Dubai, also breaking his compatriot Andrey Rublev’s streak in the ‘500’. Aslan also showed off on clay, having hit the final in Belgrade after taking revenge on the host Djokovic. The fatigue accumulated against the 18-time Grand Slam champion prevented him from playing his cards to the end in front of Matteo Berrettini in the last act. Interviewed by ‘Championat’ shortly before the Mutua Madrid Open, Karatsev explained that he had always idolized Roger Federer.
Karatsev on his passion for Roger Federer
“I like Agassi, Sampras,” Aslan Karatsev said. “When they left, I watched Roger Federer. The game that he shows, I think, cannot be compared with anything.” Aslan Karatsev went on to claim that he was no more the same kid who used to idolize Roger Federer, before admitting that playing against the Swiss maestro was one of his goals. “It’s not that he remains an idol,” Karatsev said. “But I would like to play with him. I have looked at him since childhood, as he performed. So I’m interested in playing with him myself.” In that context, Aslan Karatsev asserted that it was “phenomenal” how Roger Federer was still playing at the age of 39. “It’s phenomenal (that he’s playing till the age of 39), I would say,” Karatsev added. “And in the form in which he keeps himself, this is a rarity. I don’t know how he can keep himself in such physical shape. He moves great. Move like that at 40! This is phenomenal, I think so.” Roger Federer is not playing in Madrid or Rome this season. He’ll just be playing in Geneva to get some practice on clay before playing at the French Open 2021. Will Federer be able to make an incredible comeback again and lift his second Roland Garros title this year?