Australian Open: Qualifier Aslan Karatsev stuns Grigor Dimitrov to reach semi-finals

Aslan Karatsev continued his excellent performance at the Australian Open as he stunned Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday. He became the fifth qualifier to make it to the top four of a men’s Grand Slam in the open era.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” the 27-year-old Karatsev said. “Of course, it’s the first time. First time in the main draw. First-time semis. It’s incredible.”

The world number 114 composed himself after an error-filled first set to defeat the 8th seed at Melbourne Park.

The Russian tightened his game making Dimitrov shell-shocked and pounded shots after the net-faltering on serve in the 30 degree Celsius heat.

“It was really tough in the beginning for me, to hold my nerves,” Karatsev said. “It was tricky. I tried to play in the second set, to find a way how to play. In the third set … played better.”

However, the 29-year-old Bulgarian took a medical timeout for treatment on his back after losing the third set. But the result did not change as Karatsev became the lowest-ranked player to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for two decades.

Karatsev will either play defending champion Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals.

 

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