MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Aslan Karatsev plans to take a break from tennis after the 2021 Australian Open, where he sensationally reached the semifinals of his debut Grand Slam tournament, his coach Yegor Yatsyuk told TASS on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, the 27-year-old player, who is ranked 114th in the ATP (the Association of Tennis Professionals) ratings list, lost 3-6; 4-6; 2-6 to World’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinals match of the 2021 Australian Open.
"Aslan plans taking a break now from tennis because he was under a strain in the last two and a half months," Yatsyuk said. "It was not easy for him psychologically to achieve this success."
"We will then continue working with him, there are still details to work on," he continued. "We will be now playing at good tournaments and will keep progressing."
"I have told him in the past that he was capable of reaching Top 20 if he did all his work at the maximum," the coach said. "He is a powerful player with a good serve."
"I am not saying that he will certainly continue winning at the Grand Slam tournaments, but he can reserve a place for himself in the Top 20," Yatsyuk stated. "I should say again that he has the required potential, but he still needs to work hard daily and in the right direction, otherwise he will be unable to maintain the achieved level."
The coach also said that Karatsev managed to withstand the enormous pressure at his debut Grand Slam tournament.
"Aslan got very tired emotionally," he said. "It was for the first time for him playing five-set matches and he was under an insane pressure."
"It is very difficult to endure everything when you are a debutant," Yatsyuk noted. "Karatsev has gained enormous experience here and we will certainly study with him all matches and continue moving forward."
Commenting on the player’s successful performance in Melbourne, Yatsyuk said: "This is how it all turned out, but before all of this we have worked hard and a lot, although we never played previously in the semifinals of the Association of Tennis Professionals [ATP] tournaments."
"We have been proceeding from one match to another, did not set high aims and were thinking only about the next match," the coach said.
"If we speak about the match with Djokovic I should say that today was a completely different level of the game as I have expected," Yatsyuk stated. "Djokovic appeared on the court maximally tuned in and focused, and there was not any single underestimation of Karatsev on behalf of the Serb player."
Karatsev became the first man in the Open Era (since 1968) to reach the semifinals of the debut Grand Slam tournament in the status of the qualifier. Before making his historic semifinals debut at the Grand Slam tournament, Karatsev had only three ATP-level victories since 2015.
The tournament’s official website reported earlier in the week that by reaching the semifinals stage, Karatsev guaranteed himself a prize money cheque of $662,000, which is "more than his total career winnings of approximately $618,000."
The 2021 Australian Open tournament is played at Melbourne Park between February 8 and 21 and it offers $61 million in prize money. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Sofia Kenin of the United States are the winners of the 2021 Australian Open in men and women’s singles respectively.