Unheralded 20-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov, ranked outside the Top 100 entering China this week, on Sunday beat Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-3 in the final of the Chengdu Open to win a first career ATP title.
Coached by former Spanish player Galo Blanco, Khachanov delivered 14 aces over the three sets of the final. It was his fourth win over a seed during the week after upsetting No. 7 Joao Sousa, No. 4 Feliciano Lopez and No. 6 Viktor Troicki.
“I have been working hard and I am happy to achieve my first goal,” said Khachanov. “In the second, I was thinking to win the set and keep fighting. I was playing against a guy much higher-ranked than me, so I just have to focus on every goal and keep going. You cannot lose focus and be relaxed. I was just pushing myself to the limit and I got the second set and then the third.
“At this level, all the players are really tough. To win the tournament, I have to beat all the guys. Obviously today is the final and that makes it the toughest match.”
He improved to 2-1 career against Ramos-Vinolas after losing to the Spaniard in three sets in Istanbul earlier this year.
The 28-year-old Ramos-Vinolas fell to 1-1 in career finals, winning his first earlier this year at Bastad on clay.
“I think I didn’t play bad,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “I can play better but he played so well and what can I say, I’m not happy but maybe I’ll be happy tomorrow. It was not so good today, but also he was serving so well and so fast. That’s why I didn’t return so well.”
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