Dubai: Russia’s young world No. 11 Karen Khachanov is aiming for greater consistency in search of a better season ahead.
The 22-year-old Khachanov — whose best so far is the 2018 Paris Masters crown with a straight sets win over Novak Djokovic last year — is considered to be one of the young exciting talents breaking through to eventually take over from the Big Four of tennis: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
Till date, his best at Grand Slams was been two Round Four entries, both last year, at the French Open and Wimbledon. “I’m thinking about trying to get more consistency in my level this year. May be I had this sort of consistency mostly in the second part of last year,” Khachanov explained.
“Sometimes you are practising well, but then the real feel you have when you play tournaments is different. During practice sometimes, I may not have had the best feeling but then you go on court, you compete well, you play differently. It’s tough to say. I think I’m feeling quite well right now,” he admitted.
The 6.6ft Khachanov was at the O2 Arena in London for the season-ending ATP World Finals at the end of last year. “I want things to go well from the beginning. Of course, I’m thinking about being there in London,” he said.
“But I like to focus more on myself and my game, not focus more on the points and the results. The results are always coming if you are playing well. It’s like that. Or sometimes, even when you are not playing well, you are winning. All this is connected,” he added.
Khachanov’s potential has not exactly lived up to expectations with a slow start this season, starting with a Round One exit against Stan Wawrinka at the Qatar Open. He fell in straight sets in third round against Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open, after which he departed early from the Sofia Open and Rotterdam Open.
These disappointments, however, have made him look ahead with hope. “After Melbourne, the two tournaments [Sofia and Rotterdam] were not the best for me. But again, I didn’t feel so well,” he said.
“Now, I’m full charged. I trained a week before and unfortunately, I couldn’t compete in Marseille as I wasn’t hundred per cent. I arrived here on Thursday and we have had a good training week. So let’s see how it goes here,” he added.