Tennis star Karen Khachanov hits the courts in Europe in April

Karen Khachanov’s European tour has so far come with its own set of ups and downs.

After concluding a duo of North American competitions with a round of 16 Miami Open appearance against Alexander Zverev 1-6, 4-6, the Russian-Armenian tennis star was scheduled for European action. Khachanov’s first competition following his two-set loss to Zverev had him hit the clay courts of Monaco for the Monte-Carlo Masters.

Khachanov finished his 2023 Monte-Carlo Masters campaign with a round of 16 loss to his doubles teammate Andrey Rublev in two sets 6-7, 2-6. He had his eyes on a better finish. The Armenian began his 2024 run in the round of 64 with a showdown against the United Kingdom’s Cameron Norrie on April 8. A two-set win 7-5, 7-6 (4) followed for Khachanov, who also doubled the ace statistic in the matchup 13-2.

Khachanov then competed in the round of 32 against Argentina’s Francisco Cerúndolo, who gave Khachanov something to be mindful of in the early goings of the match. Cerúndolo secured the first set with a 4-6 scoreline, but that was enough of a wake-up call for Khachanov to take the next two sets 6-4 and 6-3, earning a three-set victory.

In the round of 16, Khachanov took on one of his most difficult opponents of 2024. Daniil Medvedev, the fourth-ranked men’s tennis player, was matched up with the current 18th-ranked Khachanov on April 11. However, the final score suggested that those world rankings don’t have much weight attached to them. Khachanov secured a resounding two-set win against one of the best tennis players in the world 6-3, 7-5 to make it to his furthest round of the Monte-Carlo Masters in his career.

Karen Khachanov

Khachanov’s run in Monaco came to a halt in the quarterfinals after matching up to Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. After dropping only one set throughout his Monte-Carlo Masters run, Tsitsipas ended Khachanov’s time on the clay courts with a 6-4, 6-2 win. Tsitsipas was on such a dominant run in the French Riviera that he ultimately won the Monte-Carlo Masters 6-1, 6-4 against Casper Ruud.

Khachanov’s luck would run out before his next competition, the Barcelona Open. Prior to his opening matchup with Roberto Bautista Agut on April 17, Khachanov made an announcement. On his Instagram story, Khachanov wrote, “Unfortunately I had to withdraw from the ATP500 tournament in Barcelona due to a small injury. Now I am fully committed to the recovery and preparation process with my team. Hopefully I will be ready for the tournament in Madrid. I will see you soon on the courts.”

Ten days after his scheduled opening-round match at the Barcelona Open, Khachanov laced up for the clay courts of the Madrid Open. The opponent waiting for Khachanov in the round of 64 was Roberto Bautista Agut—the same opponent due to face the Armenian in the opening game of the Barcelona Open. Sometimes, it’s just meant to be.

Karen Khachanov

Khachanov stumbled out of the gates dropping the first set before storming back to a three-set victory 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Two days later, Khachanov pulled out the broomstick to sweep Flavio Cobolli 7-5, 6-4. Khachanov was through to the fourth-round of the Madrid Open with a chance to make it to his second-career quarter finals appearance. 

A date with one of the best tennis players was set, yet again, for Khachanov. This time the second-best tennis player in the world, 22-year-old Jannik Sinner, was drawn up to face Khachanov. The Armenian roared out with a 7-5 first set win, but the young mastery of Sinner proved to be too much to overcome, with the Italian ultimately winning in three sets 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Sinner withdrew from his quarterfinal match against Felix Auger Aliassime, resulting in a walkover. Aliassime reached the Madrid Open final, only to lose to Andrey Rublev in three sets.

What’s next for Khachanov? The tennis player will lace up for the Italian Open with the first serve due for May 10. Khachanov will begin his Italian Open run in the round of 64 with his opponent to be determined.

Jason Takhtadjian

Jason Takhtadjian

Jason Takhtadjian is a reporter, producer and weekend anchor at KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa. Takhtadjian began college pursuing Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Aerospace until deciding to pursue a sports broadcast career after one semester at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. While at UNLV, Takhtadjian worked on his own weekly radio show/podcast covering soccer and basketball, produced his own sports debate show, was part of the university’s weekly sports show “The Rebel Report” and was the play-by-play commentator for UNLV men’s and women’s soccer and basketball, to name a few. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Jason was graduating college and had to pivot to the world of general news to land a job. Three years after accepting a job in the middle of the United States with no Armenian community, Takhtadjian accepted a reporter position at KSEE in Fresno, California. The 26-year-old also worked as a contributor for Armenian Sports News, helping grow the page by thousands of followers in less than a year of work.

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