OSTRAVA, September 6, 2020
Aslan Karatsev is making a significant statement on the ATP Challenger Tour by continuing his incredible run. The 27-year-old Russian defeated Oscar Otte of Germany in the final of the Ostrava Open by Moneta 6-4, 6-2 to clinch his second consecutive title since the re-start of the circuit.
The championship match of the €132,280 clay-court event began after a rain delay of about one hour on a chilly Sunday morning in the north-east of the Czech Republic. Karatsev was the dominant player right from the start with good length in his baseline shots. Consequently, the World No. 140 took the first set after 37 minutes.
Karatsev handled Otte’s fast serve well and continued to outplay the German in most of the rallies. He saved both break points he faced during the match and capitalized on three of his own seven break point chances to secure victory in one hour and 18 minutes.
— TennisTourTalk (@TennisTourTalk) September 6, 2020
“It was tough today, especially in these wet conditions when the ball doesn’t bounce. He has a special, slice serve, which was tough to read, especially at the beginning. Then I got used to it and I broke him in the seventh game of the first set,” Karatsev told Tennis TourTalk.
Asked about the secret of his success after reaching three consecutive finals and winning 16 out of his last 17 matches, the Russian said: “I didn’t expect it. I don’t know the secret but I played a lot of exhibition matches in the United States preparing maybe better than others in the end. I focused on my game and did the fitness there. Now, I just play match by match.”
By lifting his third Challenger career trophy, after 2015 Kazan and Prague last week, Karatsev earned €18,290 in prize money as well as 125 ATP Ranking points. He will probably crack the top 115 for the first time.
“This will give me confidence and I will prepare for Roland Garros qualification,” said Karatsev, who earned a special exempt into next week’s Czech Open in Prostejov. He will face Germany’s Yannick Maden in the opening round.
Otte admits defeat
“I knew that it would become a tough match but it felt even tougher on court today,” Otte told Tennis TourTalk afterwards. “He played really well and I didn’t have a lot of free points. He deserved to win today.” Otte, was seeking his second ATP Challenger career title in his sixth final, took away from Ostrava €10,770 in prize money as well as 75 ATP Ranking points.
After competing three straight weeks in the Czech Republic, the Cologne native will next travel to Southern France to play at the Open Pays d’Aix Cepac.