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Aslan Karatsev is currently ranked inside the world’s top 20. But until he played the 2021 Australian Open, he was essentially a nobody. And with the 2022 event just days away, we are reminded of how spectacular his 2021 performance was. He absolutely exploded onto the scene by making the semis in 2021, yet many wonder whether this was a flash in the pan. I for one do not believe this, as he backed his performance up throughout the rest of the season.
However, he has some major points to defend at this year’s event! He has to make at least the semi-final to defend his points, which is no mean feat. Then again, he is looking in good form, having just won the warm-up event in Sydney. This then begs the question, can he do as well again this year?
Well, let’s find out!
Aslan Karatsev – The Challenge Ahead
This big-hitting Russian needs to be on form if he has any chance of making the semis this year. But I actually believe he can have a good run at the 2022 Australian Open. Why? Let me tell you.
Karatsev has just won the event in Sydney, having dispatched some top-level players en-route. These names include Kecmanovic, Sonego, Evans, and finally – Andy Murray. This is perhaps more impressive since he hadn’t played a competitive singles tournament since November 2021. And having watched him play, boy was he hitting the ball well. He essentially out-hit Andy Murray in the final, blasting winners from all over the court.
Doing that against a guy like Murray is far from easy. He also showed great resilience against guys like Dan Evans and Sonego too. So for me, he is looking great going into the event.
This is actually quite a big thing for many players at the Grand Slam level. Although yes, to play a Grand Slam you are one of the best players in the world, this doesn’t mean you believe you can win the thing. But this is actually why I believe this is such an important factor for Karatsev. The fact that he made the semis last year is huge for his belief. I am sure he believes he can do the same this year. And I am also sure that he thinks he deserves to be there competing against the best players in the world.
The draw has been out for a few days now, and I’ve scrutinized each section of the men’s draw. Looking at the quarter that Karatsev has, I can’t see too many problems for him. Sure, he faces a potential clash with Hurkacz in the third round, but I feel he has enough to beat him, in all honesty. This would put him in the 4th round against either Nadal or Khachanov, on paper. And while this might seem over-enthusiastic, I genuinely believe he can beat both of them.
However, only time will tell, and we will have to wait to find out.