Russian tennis professional Aslan Karatsev continues to make history at Australian Open 2021. However, the World No.114 is now the first man in the Open Era to reach the semi-finals on his Grand Slam main draw debut.
On Tuesday, a 27-years-old qualifier began a quarterfinal match against No.18 seed Grigor Dimitrov at the Rod Laver Arena. Even though Karatsev lost the first set(2-6), Russian sent physically ailing Bulgarian for packing things after winning the next three sets in a row(6-4, 6-1,6-2).
Karatsev also became the fifth male qualifier to reach a Grand Slam singles semifinal in the Open Era and first at the Australian Open since 1977.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. Of course, it’s my first time playing (a Grand Slam) main draw, the first time (in the) semis,” Karatsev said in his on-court interview.
“It’s Incredible”: Aslan Described His Dream Run At The Australian Open 2021
Aslan Karatsev is the lowest-ranked man(No.114) to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Goran Ivanisevic ran at 2001 Wimbledon.
Aslan is also the first man from Russia to reach the Melbourne Park major event singles semifinal since Marat Safin, who claimed his second Grand Slam crown after a set down win over host Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.
Karatsev continued “It was really tough from the beginning for me to hold the nerves. It was really tricky. I tried to find a way to play, and then in the third set, he felt the back.”