Aslan Karatsev, a 27-year-old native of Vladikavkaz, truly shocked the tennis public at the Australian Open, becoming the first man ever to reach the semifinals. For a player who started with qualification and made his debut in the main draw of the Grand Slam tournament, appearing in the top eight of the Majors is not just a sensation but a feat. Especially when you’re not talking about a junior player, who is progressing thanks to his maturity, but a mature tennis player.
Incredibly, three years ago Karatsev was in the eighth hundredth ATP ranking. At the age of 24, Aslan has fallen to the bottom of the pile. Where did such rapid progress come from? As the tennis player himself admitted, a lot in his life changed when he moved to Minsk and started working with coach Yahor Yatsyk in 2019
Aslan Karatsev’s current coach is Yahor Yatsyk
The Belarusian mentor is only a year older than his mentee.
Yatsyk’s career as a player is almost unremarkable. He has only one ITF title to his credit, and that in doubles. In 2012 he and the Ukrainian Vladimir Uzhilovsky won the Moscow Open. As for singles, the Belarusian can’t boast here. His best achievement is 1106th place in the rating.
Aslan commented on his work with the coach.
I had different problems, no sponsors, then injuries, no personal coach. All that prevented me from showing results. But since last year I have been working with Yegor Yatsyuk, we understand each other, he leads me correctly. He may not say anything new, but he’s right. I used to train in good places: in Germany or Barcelona, but those people didn’t suit me. Then I decided to work with Yahor in Minsk, we still train together. I live in Minsk, and I like everything.
Got a boost of energy at the ATP Cup
“I’m not kidding, Aslan was our secret weapon for doubles matches. We couldn’t show it, because we didn’t win a single match, but he was our secret weapon”.
Yes, the pair did not bring the national team a single point, but two of Karatsev’s hotshots were included in TennisTV’s top ten hits of the tournament.
If you haven’t seen 🇷🇺 Aslan Karatsev play this well before…
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 12, 2021
And even without winning a single match at the ATP Cup, Karatsev got a powerful boost of confidence from spending a week with Medvedev and Rublev and seeing how they work.
Winning the first title
After such a successful performance in the first major of the year, it was clear that Aslan would win his first tournament of the year.
Aslan Karatsev won his first trophy in Dubai, where Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev were among the tournament favorites, under the guidance of Yahor Yatsyk.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 20, 2021