Aslan Karatsev became the third player to reach 20 wins this season on Monday with a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory against Miomir Kecmanovic at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
Karatsev dropped just seven points behind his first serve (31/38) and saved two of the three break points he faced to advance after one hour and 42 minutes. The Russian holds a 7-3 record on clay this season, highlighted by his run to the Serbia Open final (l to Berrettini).
The Dubai champion has joined FedEx ATP Race To Turin leader Stefanos Tsitsipas and Monte-Carlo runner-up Andrey Rublev on the list of players to achieve 20 or more wins this year. Tsitsipas and Rublev are tied at the top of the leaderboard with identical 27-7 records in 2021.
2021 ATP Tour Wins Leaderboard
Later in the day, Jannik Sinner and Alexander Bublik will attempt to join Karatsev on 20 wins this year. Sinner will meet Ugo Humbert on Center Court, while Bublik will face former World No. 3 Marin Cilic on Pietrangeli.
Karatsev will meet ATP Cup teammate and third seed Daniil Medvedev in the second round. The 27-year-old owns a 4-3 record against Top 10 opposition this year, which includes his three-hour, 26-minute semi-final victory against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic last month in Belgrade.