Aslan Karatsev appeared from the blue to carve out an electric Australian Open charge in 2021 – and the enigmatic Russian has rocked his rivals again.
The world No.20 has defeated three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray in the men’s Sydney Tennis Classic singles final, a year after unexpectedly advancing to the semi-final stage of the Australian Open.
Karatsev was at his destructive best against Murray at Ken Rosewall Arena, hurtling to a 6-3, 6-3 victory two days out from the start of the year’s first Grand Slam.
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“He takes down Andy Murray in emphatic fashion,” said South African doubles great Robbie Koenig on Nine’s Wide World of Sports as Karatsev completed the win.
Karatsev was ranked outside the top 200 over the first six years of his professional tennis career, while he was outside the top 500 as recently as 2018.
Karatsev’s victory denied Murray his first ATP title since 2019 and saw the 28-year-old win his third, following triumphs in Moscow and Dubai last year.
Karatsev will on Monday face Spaniard Jaume Munar in the first round of the Australian Open.
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