Russian tennis star Aslan Karatsev said on Monday his goal this season is to break into the world Top 10 and is looking forward to the ongoing Maharashtra Open 2022 as a stepping stone towards his goal. The Tata Open Maharashtra kicked off at Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Monday and will end on February 6.
“I had goals to achieve this season, Top 15 and then Top 10. I want to improve my game, there were few things I was working on during pre-season,” Karatsev told a conference press here. The 28-year-old has had a brilliant start to the season, claiming his third ATP singles title at the Sydney International when he outclassed two-time Olympic champion Andy Murry in the final. And now he is eager to win another title in Pune and get closer to his next goal.
The current world No. 15 has been given the headliner of the fourth edition of the tournament, hosted by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA), and will begin his challenge in the second round. This will be Karatsev’s second visit to Pune. In the last edition, he came on as a reserve player but couldn’t make it past the first qualifying round in singles. “I’m very happy to be here. Coming from the Australian Open, almost the same weather conditions here. When you’re a seed, obviously it gives an advantage that you skip the first game, but also sometimes play the first game helps you get that rhythm,” added the Roland-Garros 2021 runner-up.
Karatsev had a breakthrough in 2021 where he became the first player in an open era to reach a Grand Slam semi-final on his Australian Open debut, won the first two titles and won the Olympic silver medal in mixed doubles alongside Elena Vesnina. He also caught many eyes when he edged out world number one Novak Djokovic on his home turf to enter the Serbia Open final. The Moscow resident said he wants to aim to perform every year like this but doesn’t feel any pressure and will go day by day. (ANI)
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