Karatsev Overcomes Jetlag, Gerasimov In Moscow
Aslan Karatsev has been dealing with jetlag since arriving in Moscow, but that did not stop him from making a good start in Moscow on Thursday.
Following defending champion Andrey Rublev's loss, Karatsev beat Belarusian Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the VTB Kremlin Cup. He will play former Top 10 star Gilles Simon or American Mackenzie McDonald for a place in the last four.
"It's quite difficult [to adjust]. The first two days I wasn't able to sleep on time. I was waking up at 2 a.m. and then I tried to sleep again. I'd fall asleep at 7, get a few hours more from 7 to 10 and then during the day I told myself not to sleep," Karatsev told ATPTour.com. "The first day I couldn't manage it, I fell asleep early in the day. Then the second day I got better, and then today I feel more or less fine. [It's] just getting better day by day."
Karatsev and Rublev reached the doubles final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, giving them a quick turnaround to get used to the time difference and indoor conditions in Russia.
But Karatsev is enjoying competing in Moscow, where he first played in 2012 aged 19. Now 28, he is the second seed and one of the breakthrough stars of 2021. The World No. 22 made a dream run to the Australian Open semi-finals as a qualifier and lifted his first ATP Tour trophy in Dubai.
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"To play here with the home crowd, it's something special. I've played many, many times, passing qualies," Karatsev said. "It's not like every tournament you play during the year. You have a lot of friends [and] family come here to watch you. It makes it special."
The home favourite saved the only break point he faced against Gerasimov and won 72 per cent of his service points to advance after one hour and 26 minutes.