Karen Khachanov believes his shock Paris Masters win over Novak Djokovic can propel him into the tennis elite next season.
The Russian capped a fine season by stunning world number one Djokovic to claim the crown.
Speaking at the ATP Finals where he was an alternate, Khachanov says he believes he now knows what separates the best from the rest – so he knows what he must do.
“Emotionally of course, it was a great moment, especially to finish the season like that.
“I mean still already one week has passed and I’m just calming down.
“I’m happy to be here, even as an alternate, to see the facilities, to see how are the best top-eight players approaching, playing and preparing to be part of them so hopefully for next year I can qualify directly.”
“To be the only player [other than Stefanos Tsitsipas] to beat Djokovic in the second part of the year of course – I hope this match gives me a lot of experience.
“At the end of the day you can make the same amount of mistakes, like the top guys are doing, but not in the crucial moments.
“So that’s the most important thing. Specific moments, when it’s deuce, when it’s tight score, pressure is coming, that’s difference.
“I’m happy and proud that this year I could play this way, consistent with my results, consistent with my game.
“Okay maybe I wouldn’t have expected it if you asked me at the beginning of the year, but still I was believing it.
“Because my goals are high, expectation is high from myself and I believe I belong to be where the top players are.”
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