WATCH: Less fancied Russians go over in Madrid Open last 16
The two Russians in the ATP’s top 10 were both defeated by compatriots on Tuesday ending their Madrid Open hopes in the fourth round.
Aslan Karatsev pulled off stunning upset of second seed Daniil Medvedev while Karen Khachanov won a slugfest against Andrey Rublev.
Karatsev came through qualifying to reach the main draw in Madrid and now holds a 6-7 record against Top 10 opponents after downing Medvedev.
“I’m feeling great, playing well,” said Karatsev after the match.
“I just have to focus every match, so I will be prepared for the next one… [Against top players] you just concentrate more, you have to be 100 per cent, you have to focus more because they do not give you any free points.
“You have to be consistent and mentally tough, so I think I’m doing well.”
Karatsev is feeling good about his game and is ready to challenge the top 20 players in the world again.
“I was struggling last year,” said Karatsev after improving his head to head record against Medvedev to 2-1.
“I’m really happy with my game [now], so well see what [happens next].”
Karatsev will next face either Taylor Fritz or Zhizen Zhang in the Madrid Open last eight.
Khachanov is also through to the last at at an ATP Masters event on clay for the first time.
He gained a measure of revenge over Andrey Rublev with a well-thought out game plan.
“It’s always tricky to play against each other because on one side we know each other’s games perfectly because we’ve been training together for so many years,” said Khachanov.
“At the same time we know what to expect, but also of course a bit nervous to play against each other. We are good friends, but on the court we are rivals.
“It was all a matter of keeping the serve, and if you have any chances on the return, go for it. That’s what I did.”
Rublev had beaten Khachanov on his way to a maiden Masters series title in Monte Carlo last week.
However, this time Khachanov took control of the match.
“Both of us served really well and we didn’t have any chance on return in the first set,” said Khachanov of the pair’s Madrid clash.
“The tie-break was really crucial I would say, pretty similar to how it was in Monte-Carlo. He took the first set in a tie-break [there] and started to believe more in the second set.”
Khachanov and Rublev are set to take on Jamie Murray and Michael Venus in the quarter-finals of the doubles as well but he says it won’t be an issue for the duo.
“At the end of the day, this match is over,” said Khachanov.
“We need to have some time maybe to absorb it. That’s how it was in Monte-Carlo. The day before we played doubles, we lost a very tight match, and then the next day he beat me. After one day, life goes on. He’s doing well this year, I’m doing well, I’m just happy.”
Khachanov will face defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in the last eight.
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