The surprise player of this year’s tournament has been Aslan Karatsev of Russia. He made it to his first ever grand slam semi with in my opinion a comfortable come from behind vistory over Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov. Dimitrov, the Thiem slayer, won the first set 6-2 through purposeful hitting and serving.Karatsev made to pay for a weak service game especially at crucial points when set at 3-2. Aslan’s serve was broken again trailing 5-2 again missing routine shots. 6-2 to Dimitrov first set. The crucial game of the second set which showed the direction the match would take came in the second game with Aslan serving down 0-1. He ultimately held serve having faced multiple break points. He broke Grigor in the fifth game with the set at 2-2, Dimitrov hitting a routine forehand long at break point.The topsy turvy set took another surprise turn with Dimitrov breaking back immediately…. and Aslan broke back immediately and held… and broke again to ultimately take the set 6-4.
Aslan stamped his mark on the match with a dominant 6-1 third set win. He began hitting shots that made Dimitrov go on the back foot. At 5-1 down Dimitrov basically gave up on the set(you could see with the way he was serving short) handing the set to Aslan hoping to take it to a fifth in the next one. The pattern continued with Alsan pummeling Grigor with shots that made the Bulgarian make errors. Injury may have been a factor here for Dimitrov but lets give credit where its due to the Russian. Aslan closed out the match 6-2 in the fourth set with the Bulgarian moving all so gingerly around the court and his unforced error count climbing.