Khachanov Returns To Winners' Circle In Zhuhai

  • Posted: Sep 26, 2023

Khachanov Returns To Winners’ Circle In Zhuhai

27-year-old clinches fifth tour-level crown

Karen Khachanov returned to the winners’ circle for the first time since 2018 on Tuesday when he captured the title at the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships.

The top seed overcame Japanese star Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6(2), 6-1 in the final at the Chinese ATP 250 hard-court event to clinch his fifth tour-level title and first since Paris nearly five years ago.

Khachanov played ‘big-man’ tennis throughout the one-hour, 43-minute clash. After recovering from squandering a break advantage in the first set to edge a tight opener, the 27-year-old opened his shoulders in the second set, unleashing on the forehand to overpower Nishioka.

Khachanov struck 34 winners, including nine aces, to improve to 4-1 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against the eighth seed. Khachanov was competing in just his second tour-level singles event since his Roland Garros quarter-final in May, when he suffered a stress fracture in his back. His victory in Zhuhai seals a stunning comeback week.

The top seed lost in the first round at the US Open on his return in August, but looked close to his best in Zhuhai, dropping just one set en route to the title. Khachanov, who also triumphed on Chinese soil in Chengdu in 2016, is up to No. 14 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

Nishioka was competing in his fifth tour-level final and chasing his third title. His last tour-level crown came in Seoul in 2022.

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