Khachanov played a crazy tiebreaker

Karen Khachanov is gradually getting back into shape after an injury that saw him miss half of last year and drop into the top 20 of the top ten in the ATP rankings.

In Doha, he reached his first final this season. 

At the ATP 250 tournament, the Russian defeated Fabian Marozhan, Emil Ruusuvuori and Alexey Popyrin.

Moreover, the Finn withdrew due to injury after the third game, and the most difficult was the tie-break with the Australian, which consisted of 26 plays and was left to the domestic athlete - 14:12. 

In the decisive match, he had to play with the main sensation of the competition: 18-year-old Jakub Menshik in Qatar defeated Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina, Andy Murray, Gael Monfils and the first seeded Andrei Rublev.

Moreover, the Czech is only the 116th racket in the world.

Khachanov confidently started the match with a tennis player whom he had never met on the courts.

He was reliable on his serve, giving only five points to his opponent in the first set.

At the same time, he took two games to zero.

However, little happened at the Russian’s reception.

During the entire set, the athlete earned a break point only once, but was unable to convert it: Yakub hit an ace on time.

By this indicator, by the way, he was ahead of Karen: 16-9 per match.

Therefore, it is quite logical that the strongest was determined in a shortened game.

Khachanov took the lead 2:0, but then rushed several times during the rallies, sending the ball into the net, and he himself found himself in the role of catching up - Yakub took five points in a row.

However, the experience of the previous match with Popyrin helped Karen, he evened out the situation on the court.

And then, with a score of 14:12, he still defeated the Czech.

In the end, Menshik clearly began to get nervous and swear at his racket after unsuccessful actions.

Emotionally, Khachanov immediately broke in the second set.

However, this time the Russian had the net on his side.

After a sliced ​​shot, the ball touched her and fell into the opponent’s half of the court. 

With the score 5:3, Karen again tried to take a point at the reception.

Moreover, the young Czech made the first double of the meeting, but Mensik withstood the pressure of the 17th racket in the world.

However, he could not save himself: Karen earned a triple match point and put an end to this confrontation with an ace. 

Thus, the Russian won the first title of the season and the sixth in his career.

Thanks to the victory, he will rise to 15th place in the rankings.

As two-time Grand Slam mixed doubles winner Andrei Olkhovsky noted, psychological stability helped Karen achieve success. 

“Well done Khachanov!

He wins tiebreakers with that score, plays solid tennis and improves when needed.

This speaks of very high class and craftsmanship.

Congratulations to Karen,” said Olkhovsky.

Kalinskaya faltered in the end

Anna Kalinskaya is working real miracles on the court this season.

She showed herself brightly at the Australian Open, reaching the quarterfinals of a major for the first time in her career.

And in Dubai, for the first time in her career, she made it to the final of a WTA tournament in singles.

Moreover, the athlete started the “thousandth century” in qualifying, and on the way to the decisive match she managed to knock out Elena Ostapenko, as well as Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek, who were in the top 3 of the world rankings.

The last time Amelie Mauresmo did this was at a tournament in Berlin in 1998 - then the Frenchwoman defeated Lindsay Davenport and Jana Novotna.

However, according to FTR President Shamil Tarpishchev, the 40th racket in the world could have performed like this five years ago, but a series of injuries prevented him.

“Nature gifted her with a good tennis mind.

She feels the ball well, is very intelligent and tactical - this is a big plus.

Perhaps earlier there was a little bit of quality missing, when I have to fight through I can’t, as it should have been from the beginning: I must, I must, I must.

She lost a lot due to her injuries.

I think she is definitely in the top ten in terms of intelligence and playing qualities.

Having gotten rid of injuries, she found herself and is playing some of her best tennis.

I think she may well end up in the top ten at the end of the year,” Championship quoted Tarpishchev as saying. 

After high-profile victories over the leaders of the world ranking, it was Kalinskaya who was considered the favorite of the final, in which she was to meet with Yasmine Paolini, although the Italian also had serious rivals on the way to the decisive match - Beatriz Haddad-Maia and Maria Sakkari.

Before this, the girls played each other twice, and in both confrontations the Russian was stronger.

The last time Anna easily defeated her opponent in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Kalinskaya did not put the matter off this time either.

She immediately made a break, and on her serve she gave away only one point - 2:0.

At the same time, it seemed that the Italian was much more nervous, although for her the final in Dubai was already the fifth in her career, and in 2021 she won the title in Slovenia.

However, as soon as Paolini calmed down, the Russians began to have problems, and the first double fault gave her opponent a point at the reception.

Next came an equal fight.

At the same time, Anna played very well on the counter, repeatedly confusing Yasmina, and her active actions bore fruit.

The key in the first game was the ninth service game of the Italian at 4:4, in which Kalinskaya again played an excellent return and earned a triple break point.

Having realized one of three attempts, she then calmly brought the matter to victory - 6:4.

The second set began according to a similar scenario.

Anna took her opponent's serve, and then was reliable on her own - 2:0.

Paolini had a chance to return equality in the confrontation only in the sixth game.

Moreover, Kalinskaya again helped her opponent herself, allowing the second double of the match, and then, in a simple situation, sent the ball into the net.

The end of the set was affected by the fact that Kalinskaya spent much more time on the courts in Dubai than her opponent, since she did not participate in the qualifications and did not play one match of the bracket: Elena Rybakina withdrew from the tournament due to injury.

The Russian woman was tired: she began to make more mistakes and move slower.

As a result, Yasmine made another break at a key moment - 7:5.

At the beginning of the third game, the girls could not take their serve.

Anna was the first to stop the exchange of “courtesy”, and again gained an advantage in the score.

However, the number of unforced errors from the Russian woman grew.

In total, there were 40 of them during the match versus 38 for the Italian, who gave a powerful ending.

At 4:5, she took a point at the reception and began to put psychological pressure on her opponent, loudly rejoicing at every success on the court.

And Kalinskaya faltered, giving up her game to zero - 5:7.

Alas, the Russian did not manage to win the trophy right away, but reaching the final of the WTA 1000 tournament was a great achievement for Anna.

Now he will take 24th place in the WTA rankings, which will be a personal record for the tennis player.

Previously, it did not rise above 38th position.