Aslan Karatsev tastes the glory of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships against Lloyd Harris

Aslan Karatsev finished his fairy tale run and defeated Lloyd Harris in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 6: 3, 6: 2 and won his first ATP 500 title.

With the victory on Saturday, a showcase project between players taking part in their very first ATP 500 final, the Russian makes his top 30 debut in the ATP rankings at 27.

The 27-year-old will also be the third Russian champion on the tour this season and, together with an exclusive club after Wayne Ferreira (1995) and Thomas Muster (1997), wins this ATP 500 event as the third joker.

Karatsev made the early break for 2-0 when a well-placed forehand let Harris go long on the return. Although Harris fended off three breakpoints 4-2, the Russian quickly finished the first set 6-3 in just under 40 minutes.

As the game progressed, he tore ground strokes in Harris’ forehand corners and opened the place well, scoring 12 winners in the first set. A relentless Karatsev crushed 27 winners and saved the two breakpoints he faced. He dominated behind his second serve throughout the game (10/12) and took the trophy with an overhead winner.

The Dubai Wild Card contestant started their 2021 season with a 3-10 tour-level record and has since set a 12-2 record. World No1 Novak Djokovic (Australian Open) and World No4 Dominic Thiem (Doha) are the only two players who beat him this year.

Harris has many positive things to take away from an expected appearance at the Miami Open. The South African prevailed on his way to the final against US Open champions Thiem, Kei Nishikori and Denis Shapovalov.

“It’s been a fantastic week with some top players beaten and today’s game was a little bit mentally and physically demanding,” Harris said in an interview on the pitch.

Over two weeks of dazzling tennis action from the ATP and WTA players, the Dubai Tennis Championship drew 50 million viewers.

During testing times, the tournament’s bubble arrangements received praise from several players.

Canadian tennis Shapovalov said: “Dubai is one of the best bubbles we will have and we even had a beach here. Otherwise it’s just hotel rooms and the tennis court and it can get very tough and depressing. “

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