The first player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal on his debut in the Open Era history, doing that at the age of 27, success that serves as a big motivator to players currently outside of the ATP’s top 200.
Who are thinking that they are not good enough to reach the heights, the guy of Russian-Israeli descent who had a season to remember in 2021, is Aslan Karatsev.
Aslan Karatsev was born on 4th September 1993 in Vladikavkaz, Russia. His father Kazbek is former football player and his mother Svetlana is medical doctor.
Aslan’s grandfather on his mother’s side is Jewish so he speaks both Russian and Hebrew. When he was three years old his family moved to Israel, so he lived there for the next nine years.
In 2005 Aslan won the Israeli Youth Championship. At age of 12 he came back to Russia with his father, to train tennis. After two years in Moscow he moved to Taganrog to train at Alexander Kuprin’s Tennis Academy.
Later, supported and mentored by former Russian tennis player Dmitry Tursunov, Aslan went to Halle, Germany to improve his tennis and stayed there for two years after which he moved to Barcelona to practice at Bruguera Tennis Academy.
In that time he was injured in the left knee and took him half a year to come back to be healthy and two years to get back the confidence, the game.
During his junior career he reached world No.47 and had been proclaimed the best junior of 2011 for the “Russian Cup” tennis nomination, and eventually became the champion of Russia. Player who he admires is Roger Federer.
Who Is Aslan Karatsev’s Coach in 2023?
During this year Aslan was mentored by three different coaches. The last one with whom he still cooperates is Russian Boris Sobkin.
Boris Sobkin was born on 18th August 1949 in Moscow, Russia.
He is a professor, doctor of science, and honored tennis coach of the Russian Federation, also a member of the Russian Tennis Hall of Fame. He started coaching in 1982 and was mentor of players like Evgeny Donskoy, Laslo Djere, Mikhail Youzhny and many more.
Under his guidance for nearly two decades, Youzhny reached the quarter-finals at each of the four Grand Slam tournaments and won 10 ATP Tour doubles titles and reached a career-high ranking of World No. 8 in the ATP Rankings in 2008.
About his connection with Karatsev he said – “We’ll see what comes out of it, if it works or not.”
Former Aslan Karatsev’s coaches
Since his junior days in the tennis world, Aslan was coached by Alexander Kuprin, at his Academy in Taganrog.
He had played a key role in transferring Karatsev into adult tennis. They worked together until end of season 2015 and in the period together Aslan won Futures and Challenger tournaments.
“Karatsev has huge potential and is quite capable of winning five games in a row. But the difficulty lies in the fact that his interest is not easy to keep, and therefore he loses concentration.” said Kuprin about his mentee back then.
After season 2015, big collapse followed due to knee injury and regaining confidence, also losing sponsor and didn’t having personal coach, which at the end of 2017 dropped him to No.747 in the World.
The turning point in his career came in 2018, when he started training in Minsk with the Belarusian coach Yahor Yatsyuk.
Yahor Yatsyuk is 30-years-old Belarusian former tennis player who had unimpressive playing career.
He only has one ITF championship to his name, which he won in doubles at 2012 Moscow Open. His best singles ranking was No.1106 and No.682 in doubles.
In the period from 2013 to 2015 he was sparring partner of Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Yahor had great success coaching Karatsev for three years, especially during season 2021.
Then, Aslan won his maiden ATP title at Qatar Open in doubles and his first ATP singles title at Dubai Championships.
Later that year came the second ATP title at Kremlin Cup, and with Russian National Team he won the Davis Cup.
“He was unprofessional, late to training sometimes. Once he brought four racquets to training and three of them were broken. He was kind of behaving like Mario Balotelli.
He needed a tough approach, to be very honest; I said if he doesn’t change he may as well finish with tennis. I used harsh words, I used tough words but in the end he had trust in me.
He understood and listened. Many players wouldn’t listen, they’d just change coach, but he did. He improved and now we see the result” said Yatsyuk about his experience with Karatsev.
After three years together, they parted ways before the end of season 2021.
Starting from season 2022, Aslan trained with Gabriel Truillo-Soler.
Gabriel Truillo-Soler was born on 30th September 1979 in Barcelona, Spain. He is former tennis player whose best ranking was World No.209.
After retirement he started coaching and from the beginning of the 2022 season he was training Aslan. For couple of months working together, Karatsev managed to win his third ATP title at Sydney International, but shortly after they parted ways.
For three months after that, Aslan was trained by Jan de Witt.
Jan de Witt
Jan de Witt was born in Celle, Germany and is tennis coach since 1998. He coached players like Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils, Nikoloz Basilashvili Viktor Troicki and Andy Murray. While coaching Viktor in 2010, he played for the Serbian Davis Cup team that captured the title.
At the beginning of mentoring Aslan he said “His great strength is the combination of his immense physical abilities and the firepower he has. It’s my job that he uses that better and puts it on the record.” They parted ways in June.
Aslan Karatsev’s achievements with different coaches
We have collected in the table the data about the trophies won by Aslan Karatsev under the guidance of various coaches.
|Coaches||Years of Cooperation||Titles|
|Boris Sobkin||June 2022 – ongoing||none|
|Jan de Witt||March 2022 – June 2022||none|
|Gabriel Truillo-Soler||January 2022 – March 2022||2022 Sydney International|
|Yahor Yatsuk||2018 – 2021||2018 Sharm El-Sheikh I Futures 2018 Sharm El-Sheikh II Futures 2018 Ajaccio Futures 2018 Monastir I Futures 2018 Monastir II Futures 2018 Antalya Futures (in doubles) 2019 Doha Futures 2020 Prague Challenger 2020 Ostrava Challenger 2021 Dubai Championship 2021 Kremlin Cup 2021 Qatar Open (in doubles)|
|Alexander Kuprin||2007 – 2015||2013 Kazan Futures 2013 Moscow Futures 2013 Sharm El-Sheikh Futures 2013 Taganrog Futures (in doubles) 2014 Moscow Futures (in doubles) 2015 Batman Cup Challenger (in doubles) 2015 Kazan Cup Challenger|