Following a tennis masterclass in Sydney, Top seed Aslan Karatsev denied former world number one Andy Murray from winning a 47th ATP career title in his first final in over two years.
World No. 20, Aslan Karatsev, earned the Sydney Tennis Classic singles men’s title Saturday by overcoming wild card Andy Murray in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 after one hour and 32 minutes at the Ken Rosewall Arena.
After the match, the 2021 Australian Open semifinalist stressed: “First of all, congrats to Andy. Big effort to come back, to play unbelievable this week. I want to congratulate also your team.”
Adding: “Thank you very much to my team; we are doing an amazing job. Thank you very much to everybody here for coming to support, it was an unbelievable atmosphere in a difficult situation. It’s a difficult time to make this tournament happen, so thank you to everyone.”
A nearly flawless performance by the 28-year-old, who recorded only four unforced errors in the opener while Murray struggled on serve, landing just 48 percent of his first serves, added to Karatsev’s 6-3 victory.
Ranked world No. 114 in the ATP Rankings just a year ago, the Russian continued to dominate from the back of the court into the second set, producing an early break on his opponent’s serve.
Murray fought hard to recover but found a wall in the shape and form of Karatsev, who saved all five break points he faced while hitting 29 winners (overall) to seal the championship match and lift his third ATP trophy in style.
Despite the defeat, the five-time Australian Open finalist took out the positives of achieving and contesting his first ATP final since October 2019, also a first in Sydney for the Briton.
A result of the relentless effort and resilient character of the three-time grand slam champion whose hard work to return to the top of the field, after undergoing two hip operations and fighting several setbacks, reflects on court.
“I’d like to congratulate Aslan on a fantastic week. I know he also arrived here late in Australia; he was recovering from COVID, so even more impressive to come back straight away and play at that level,” Murray said.
Further outlining: “I’d like to thank my team who are here for all of their help this week. It’s my first time back in the finals for three years, it’s been a long road to get back here, but I couldn’t have done it without all of your help, so thank you.
”... I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who put the event on; this is my first time in Sydney, you did a fantastic job. It’s not easy times, just now, to run events, but I really enjoyed it.
“Unfortunately, the result didn’t go my way tonight, but I’ll keep trying my best to come back and have more nights like this.”
In addition, the 34-year-old has been awarded a main draw wildcard to play the Australian Open; Murray will face No. 21 seed and 2021 Indian Wells finalist, Basilashvili in the first round of the competition.
The Australian Open runs from January 17-30 at Melbourne Park.