Aslan Karatsev has named Roger Federer among his tennis heroes, describing the Swiss legend as ‘unbelievable to watch.’
Karatsev is having a dream 2021 after he reached the Australian Open semi-finals before winning the Dubai Duty Free Championships last week.
He now heads to Miami where he will be hoping he can make more progress in what will be a weakened field, but not before revealing who he grew up idolising.
“I always liked to watch Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi,” Karatsev said.
“At that time when I was growing up, there were fantastic matches between Agassi and Sampras.
“And Roger, when I was seven he had already started winning. It’s unbelievable to watch what he does on the court.”
Karatsev will almost certainly be seeded at Roland Garros and probably Wimbledon this year, which is a remarkable rise for a player ranked outside the top 200 just 12 months ago.
He, though, believes much of his rise is down to overcoming injuries.
“It was a long journey from 18 years old, when I stopped playing the juniors and turned pro,” Karatsev reflected.
“It’s almost 10 years, or even more. So it’s a long journey, and I put in a lot of hard work. [There were] a lot of ups and downs.
“I also was injured during this time, so I’m really happy that I recovered and was ready to compete again on that level.”
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