Read & Watch: Khachanov Ends Russian Title Drought In Moscow
The 22-year-old Russian picked up his second tour-level trophy of the season after just 54 minutes, winning 76 per cent of service points and converting four of six break points to hand Mannarino his sixth tour-level final defeat (0-6). Khachanov improves to 39-21 this season by capturing his third tour-level crown and now owns a 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Mannarino.
"[Winning in Russia] was one of the dreams I had when I was a kid," said Khachanov. "Coming here [as a kid] I was asking top Russian players for autographs and dreaming one day to become a champion here. Today is the day and I am really happy. These are memories I will always keep in my head."
Khachanov, who also triumphed this season in Marseille (d. Pouille), remains unbeaten in tour-level championship matches (3-0) and continues to impress as 2018 draws to a close. The 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier enjoyed a stellar North American hard-court season, which included a run to the Rogers Cup semi-finals and the US Open third round. The third-seeded wild card was only broken once, by Lukas Rosol in his opening match, en route to the trophy in the Russian capital.
"I started really well," said Khachanov. "I was very aggressive and didn't give chances for [Mannarino] to step into the match and get some rhythm. I think that was one of the keys."
Antalya finalist Mannarino was aiming to lift his first tour-level trophy in his sixth final. The 30-year-old was bidding to join the list of 13 first-time tour-level champions this season. #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kyle Edmund became the 12th and 13th first-time winners of the year with title runs in Stockholm and Antwerp, respectively.
"Karen played really well today," said Mannarino. "He was serving really well and didn't miss that much... I didn't play my best, but still, he was too good today."
Khachanov receives 250 ATP Ranking points and receives €152,785 in prize money for securing his third ATP World Tour crown. Mannarino gains 150 ATP Ranking points and collects €80,465.
Did You Know?
The first 20 editions of the VTB Kremlin Cup crowned 14 Russian champions. Khachanov's victory ends a nine-year title drought for home players, dating back to Mikhail Youzhny's triumph in 2009.