The next generation of tennis stars are quickly making their way to the top of the sport and our young Canadian players are no exception. Although we know that you will be cheering for Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov at Rogers Cup in Montreal, we encourage you to get behind their fellow NextGen ATP stars of tomorrow. Today, we will be highlighting Karen Khachanov.
At just 21 years old and a towering 6’6’’, Karen Khachanov is one of the latest threats on the ATP World Tour. In 2016, he had a remarkable season and climbed 99 spots in the rankings. For the young Russian, it was a year of firsts, which included his maiden ATP title in Chengdu, where he overcame four Top 50 players to claim the crown.
The titan also earned his first win at a Grand Slam when he defeated Thomas Fabbiano of Italy (6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3) at the US Open after making it through the qualifying rounds. He then fell in the second round after waging a hard-fought battle against Kei Nishikori (no. 7).
In 2017, Khachanov is proving that his performances were not just strokes of luck. He collected a second Grand Slam conquest in Melbourne when he outplayed Adrian Mannarino of France and more recently racked up the biggest win of his career when he surprised world no. 10 David Goffin of Belgium to secure a place in the quarter-finals in Barcelona. In May, he achieved a career-high ranking of world no. 42.
Intimidating in stature, Khachanov is often compared to his childhood idol Marat Safin. “He has all the capabilities—both serve and baseline play. He has Safin’s power. When he is stable, opponents often simply cannot defeat him,” affirmed 1991 Rogers Cup champion Andrei Chesnokov.
This summer, Khachanov will be making his very first appearance at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Montreal. Don’t miss your chance to catch the ATP rising star as he attempts to follow in Safin’s footsteps and root for all the future stars of the men’s game.
Feature photo: ATP World Tour