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By Adrianna Outlaw | Sunday, October 24, 2021

 
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Aslan Karatsev topped two-time champion Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-4 to win his second title of the year and become the 10th different Russian man to rule Moscow.

Photo credit: Getty

Aslan Karatsev's breakout season spiked with a banging homecoming celebration.

Karatsev defeated two-time champion Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-4 to capture his second career championship in Moscow.

More: All Aboard the Real Federer Express

The 28-year-old Karatsev is the 10th different Russian man to rule Moscow in the 31-year Kremlin Cup history, including the third consecutive homegrown champion to raise the title trophy following Karen Khachanov (2018) and Andrey Rublev (2019).




Karatsev won 24 of 26 first-serve points and denied the only break point he faced in the final game serving out a one, hour 16-minute victory. It's been an astounding statement season for the Australian Open semifinalist, who started 2021 ranked No. 112 and has rocketed up the rankings to a career-high No. 18 in the live rankings.

Former US Open champion Cilic carried a 15-2 Moscow record into today's final, but the 33-year-old Croatian, the oldest finalist in Kremlin Cup history, found himself playing catch-up from the start against the laser drives of his Russian opponent.

It is Karatsev's first ATP title since he beat Jannik Sinner, Rublev and Lloyd Harris in succession to win his maiden championship in Dubai last March.

Today, Karatsev set the tone at the start breaking at 30 in the opening game and consolidating the break at love for 2-0.




The powerful Karatsev was nearly untouchable on serve at the outset stamping four love holds in his first five service games. Karatsev won 16 of 18 points played on his serve in the opening set building a one-set lead.

Tennis Express

Karatsev roped a return down the line coaxing a netted reply to break for a 4-3 second-set lead.

The second seed backed up the break at love for 5-3. Karatsev erased the only break point he faced all day in the final game closing his second career title.

 

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