Five Things To Know About Karen Khachanov
Learn about the Russian's hobbies, which Hollywood actor he looks like, and how he's pushed his career from a young age
Karen Khachanov, one of the most amiable personalities on the ATP Tour, is currently No. 15 in the FedEx ATP Rankings and the winner of four titles.
ATPTour.com looks at five things you should know about the 23-year-old.
2018 Was The Best Season Of His Career
The Russian won three ATP Tour titles during the 2018 season, when he moved from No. 45 in the FedEx ATP Rankings to a year-end No. 11 on the back of 46 match wins.
Khachanov captured two ATP 250-level titles at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille (d. Pouille) and the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow (d. Mannarino) to break into the Top 20 for the first time on 22 October 2018.
Full of confidence, Khachanov went on to lift his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy with victories over Top 10 members John Isner, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic, ending the Serbia’s 22-match winning streak in the Rolex Paris Masters final. He was the first Russian since 2009 to win an Masters 1000 title (Nikolay Davydenko in Shanghai) and the Moscow title (Mikhail Youzhny).
Big Prediction As A Teenager
Former World No. 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, a childhood idol, told ATPTour.com in October 2013 that then World No. 808 Khachanov would break into the Top 20 of the FedEx ATP Rankings by 2015.
While the prediction didn’t come true, at that time, Jan-Lennard Struff, who played Khachanov just six months after the 17-year-old had left school in October 2013, recalls, “I had a feeling [in 2013] he was already a pretty decent player. He was striking the ball very hard and going for his shots. He beat a lot of good guys.”
As recently as August 2018, shortly prior to his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in Toronto, Khachanov was still World No. 38. He beat two Top 15 players before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal. “I would say that was the first step to show myself that I am capable of playing in the further stages of the bigger events,” Khachanov told ATPTour.com. “I lost to Rafa here, [but] I also had chances. It was a good match.”
Khachanov remembers, “There were expectations and I felt that after I made the 2013 Moscow quarter-finals it was going to be easy to beat a lot of the guys on the ATP Tour, but it was not. I wasn't ready to do it more consistently. That's why it took me longer to find my game and play better. You just have to pass through these stages and trust that you will find it. Somebody gets there longer, somebody has it slower.”
Nearly six years on from Kafelnikov’s Top 20 prediction, 23-year-old Khachanov cracked the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on 10 June 2019.
Khachanov, A Hollywood Actor?
ATP Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot posed the question last year: Which actor would you want to portray you in a movie about your life?
What do you think?
Karen Khachanov (@karenkhachanov) February 15, 2019
Yeah I am the 4th brother🤔🤫 https://t.co/I5pG9vjixY— Karen Khachanov (@karenkhachanov) September 5, 2018
Karen The Intellectual
It's no surprise Khachanov has the mental fortitude to succeed on the ATP Tour. In his free time, he enjoys testing his mind by playing chess and reading classic Roman novels. He's also completed his long-distance studies for a degree in physical education at the University of Moscow in 2018.
"Education is always important and after I finished high school, I tried to be in the university as much as I can. Now, I study online. And I like to play chess. It's one of my favourite hobbies. I also like to read classic Roman novels."
A Global Traveller, Pushing His Career
Khachanov first left Moscow when he was 15 years old to go and train in Croatia with Goran Ivanisevic’s former coach, Vedran Martic. Khachanov moved to Barcelona aged 18, where he worked under the guidance of Galo Blanco, the former coach of Milos Raonic, and picked up Spanish over a four-year period.
Khachanov won his first ATP Tour title in October 2016 under Blanco, beating Alberto Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-3 in the Chengdu Open final, but the pair split a little over one year later when he was inside the Top 50. Only five months ago, Frederik Rosengren came on board, joining Martic as coach to Khachanov, who helped Russia to the semi-finals of the inaugural ATP Cup in January.
The 23-year-old now resides in Dubai with his wife Veronika and son, David, who was born on 14 September 2019.