Russian Karen Khachanov continues his way to the Olympic medals in Tokyo. The day before in the 1/4 final he managed in three sets against tenacious Frenchman Ugo Humbert, who sensationally knocked out of the tournament the 3rd seed Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece. Karen Khachanov, a quarterfinalist from the last Wimbledon, fought against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta today.
Before the Olympic semifinals Carreno-Busta was ahead 3-2, but if you consider only hard courts matches the Russian is 2-1. Karen started the match tactically correct. He tried to increase the tempo, break up the game and not to get into long draws, which Pablo likes, and this is exactly what Medvedev failed to do the day before. Unable to withstand such a rhythm, the Spaniard began to have problems on his serve in the fifth game, and immediately Karen made a break, and at the end of the game he even took the set – 6:3 in 37 minutes. In the second set, Khachanov led again with a break, 4-2, and the Spaniard tried to equalize, but could not hold Khachanov – 6-3, 6-3 in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Karen became the second Russian player in the history of the men’s singles after Evgeny Kafelnikov, who won the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Preparing for the semifinals
Russian tennis player Karen Khachanov commented on reaching the Olympics finals in his post-match interview.
– How did you prepare?
– I didn’t prepare for anyone in particular for this match. I saw yesterday that Daniil was standing far away. Played comfortably for Carreño. The main thing is not to hit hard from afar. Play tight, enter the court, cut corners. In the second set, Daniil started to get into the court, but it didn’t work. And I tried to be on the court and dominate.
The guys were cheering for me today. Because yesterday there were about 30 Frenchmen. Of course, I still don’t have the same atmosphere as at the tournaments with spectators, but it was already nice to hear my teammates.
And for the final, somehow I will not prepare. I have the whole day to rest and recover. And that’s great. I told you that I want to fight for medals. But you need to win five matches for that. When you are in the finals, anything can happen. I’ll try to do my best.
– How did you make it to the finals?
– Over the past year I had a few upsetting defeats and it gave me a morale problem. But I started to work at my best, I picked up my psychology. This is an important component, you need to be able to tune in different ways for different situations. I worked on that part, I’m very happy that it came to fruition. You can’t forget how to play tennis, but you have to be able to use your strengths in different situations.
– Do you work with a psychologist?
– I used to think a lot about my shots – how to hit from the right, how to hit from the left. But since last year, when I was having fluctuations in my game, I began to work on psychology. Started thinking about approaches to different situations. And I’m glad it’s working. My strokes haven’t gone anywhere – it’s impossible to forget how to play tennis, and mentally I’ve become stronger.
|Karen Khachanov||Pablo Carreno Busta|
|1st Serve Percentage||61%||58%|
|1st Serve Points Won||93%||64%|
|Break Points Saved||1/1||2/5|
|Break Points Converted||3/5||0/1|