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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday September 26, 2023

Karen Khachanov

In just his second tournament back from injury, Karen Khachanov claimed his fifth career title at Zhuhai with a win over Yoshihito Nishioka in the final.

Photo Source: Getty

Playing in just his second event since missing several months due to a stress fracture in his back, Karen Khachanov found the winning ticket in Zhuhai, where he polished off Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, 7-6(2), 6-1, to claim his first title since 2018.

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“I’m coming back from an injury,” Khachanov told the crowd. “When coming here to Zhuhai I was hoping to get matches, to start playing again – I had three months off completely, from the tour and I missed it a lot. I was very to come back and win the title after quite a few years, here in China especially, it’s really special.”

The 27-year-old, who missed Wimbledon after injuring his back due to his quarterfinal run at Roland-Garros, has only played two events since June. He lost in the first round at the US Open, but showed up in China feeling fit as he rolled to the title while dropping only one set.

Khachanov defeat Alex Bolt in the second round after a bye, then defeated American Mackie McDonald, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, before toppling Sebastian Korda in the semis, 7-5, 6-4.

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In Tuesday night’s final the Russian weathered a storm in the opening set, as the 27-year-old World No.46 rallied from a break down to force a tiebreak.

It was a touch and go opener, with ten break points in total, but Khachanov took control in the tiebreak, and never looked back. He dominated the second set, never facing a break point and winning two of four break points to seal his triumph in one hour and 42 minutes.


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