Aslan Karatsev lost steam in the middle of his 2021 tennis season. The man who defeated Novak Djokovic on clay in the spring and reached the Australian Open semifinals back in February had fallen on hard times in the grass and summer hardcourt seasons. The rest of the tour punched back while Karatsev found it hard to maintain the very high standard he set in the first half of the year.
It was completely understandable and normal. This is how tour life normally unfolds.
A player makes a big splash and catches opponents off guard. An athlete doesn’t have a long history, so players aren’t sure how to handle him. They don’t have a lot of film. They haven’t been able to compile an in-depth scouting report.
After a few months, though, the rest of the tour finds that scouting report. They discover where the weaknesses and limitations exist. Combine that with the increased scrutiny the successful newcomer receives. Pressure builds. More media attention becomes part of the athlete’s daily life. The early joyride turns into a slog and a series of increasingly tougher encounters, weighed down by outside voices and pressures which didn’t exist before.
It would be remarkable if Aslan Karatsev had NOT fallen into a rough patch after his brilliant start to 2021. He went through that patch. The question was if he could work his way out of it.
Karatsev defeated Marin Cilic on Sunday to win the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. It’s Karatsev’s second title in his late-blooming career. He has now risen to No. 18, giving him a top-20 ranking and marking the continuation of his ascendance on tour.
Karatsev won’t make the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy, but he has done far more than anyone could have imagined at the beginning of the year… himself included.
If you have made money betting on Aslan Karatsev this year, consider doing it at a place where the process is easy and stress-free.