We don’t realize it, but Karen Khachanov He has been one of the most constant and reliable players in Grand Slam tournaments for some time now. After touching the semifinals at the US Open and the Australian Open, now the Russian is planted again in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros 2023, fulfilling the route that was expected of him. A set was stolen by Lorenzo Sonego, although the real test now comes against Novak Djokovic. Will he be able to give the bell? This is how friend Karen faces the meeting.
Victoria lasts before Sonego
“These Grand Slam matches, especially the ones on clay, are always very mental and very physical. The game had a bit of everything, I remember being 6-1 2-1 and a very long game with my serve, I didn’t know what to do, I was thinking what I could do to play better, change something, Lorenzo was surprising me with all his energy, putting all the balls in, aggressive, with drop shots, serving and subtracting very well. He just had to stay in the match, I had to stay focused and try to turn things around, force him to keep playing like this for three or four sets.”
tennis and chess
“There are many matches at Roland Garros in which you have to checkmate a lot, I would tell you that it is like making a parallel shot. I like to play with my other coach, with Pepo Clavet, these things. I used to play a lot with it, even during the day we did it before the games, so that the brain would work early in the day. I think there are many similarities between the two games, it allows you to open your mind and you are really involved in the game, then on the court you see everything much bigger. You look at the possible shots that you can cause problems for your opponent with, so I think it really helps me a lot.”
Djokovic in the quarterfinals
“I am not going to tell here what my movements will be, I suppose, to beat him. I will try to be as prepared as possible, I have a rest day now so tomorrow I will discuss with my team what we can do better. We’ll see some points, some Novak matches and then we’ll make a plan to compete. This is one of the most complicated tasks, the opponents are very tough, so you can’t rule anything out. At the same time, I have the utmost respect for him, but I am. Very focused, excited to do well, we’ll see if I’m capable or not”.
Turning point in his career
“My brain clicked a long time ago, that helped a lot. Last year, after reaching the semifinals of the US Open, many things changed in my head. Regarding the mental part, I saw that I could take that step forward. After playing a few quarterfinals, you know you can take that step to reach the semifinals for the first time. Sometimes you have that confidence, you believe in yourself and you know how to do it, this was what I needed to try to play better tennis, to be more consistent for a longer time. Then that confidence stays with you, regardless of the results that come, but everything happened after that US Open ”.
Opportunity to go one step further
“Things are getting better and better for me, but as soon as you win games, you are also one step away from going back to the previous stage, or going to the next one. One can never be fully satisfied with any result while in the tournament. I know I won some good matches, I know I’m going forward, but at the same time I can’t relax until the tournament is over. Once you’re in, you just focus on the next game and your next opponent, you just try to do the best you can.”
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