TOKYO (Reuters) – Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee qualified for the Olympic men’s singles final on Friday with a complete 6-3 6-3 victory over Pablo Carreno Busta.
The 25-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this month, outscored the Spaniard – ranked 14 places higher at number 11 – in an hour and 19 minutes on center court.
Khachanov, who will face world number one Novak Djokovic or fifth German Alexander Zverev in the gold medal game, described the game as the highlight of a memorable summer.
“I play tennis for those times, I train for those kinds of games and you know, when you get there, when it pays off, it’s just a pure pleasure to be here …”, a he declared.
“(It’s) the kind of memories that will last forever.”
Khachanov came out with all the guns, breaking the Spaniard’s serve twice and hitting 12 winners for just four unforced errors in the first set.
Carreno Busta, who beat world number two Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals, had no response to the Russian’s big blow, breaking down midway through the second set before Khachanov sealed the victory with a forehand .
“It wasn’t the best game today,” Carreno Busta said.
âKaren played amazing today, playing very aggressively, serving really well. I didn’t feel comfortable on the court.â
“… I will have another chance to win a medal so that is also an important role for me. So I have to be 100% again to play tomorrow.”
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; editing by John Stonestreet)