Karen Khachanov produced a superb performance in Friday night’s final to overcome Grigor Dimitrov and win the second edition of innovative tiebreak tournament, Red Bull Bassline, in Vienna, Austria.
This year’s event, with its faster and highly-engaging format, saw six of the world’s best tennis players battle it out, with Khachanov and Dimitrov joined by Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz, Diego Schwartzman and Filip Misolic.
Cheered on by a sold-out crowd at the Vienna Heumarkt arena, Khachanov began the tournament – which is the brainchild of Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas – with an impressive showing as he defeated Schwartzman 7-4, 7-3.
The 26-year-old, who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, was clearly enjoying the vibrant atmosphere as he produced another superb showing in the semi-final.
With 1,500 spectators sitting close to the court and the DJ pumping up the crowd and players, Khachanov gave 2022 Indian Wells winner Fritz no chance as he fired a series of winners to secure a 7-3, 7-4 victory.
In the best-of-five tiebreak final, Khachanov would face a stern challenge as he took on vastly-experienced Bulgarian Dimitrov.
Both players wowed the crowd with some breathtaking rallies and exquisite returns, but it looked as though Khachanov would wrap up the title without losing a single tiebreak as he wrapped up the first two sets, 7-5, 7-5.
Dimitrov, 31, would mount a fightback as he won the third set 7-4 but some huge serves helped Khachanov edge the fourth set 8-6 to wrap up the title and follow in the footsteps of Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz, who won the inaugural event in 2021.
Khachanov, who will now be one of the favourites for the upcoming ATP500 Vienna Open, said: “The energy was great. I was so happy to play for this crowd, and thanks to the DJ. I think everyone enjoyed the great atmosphere today.”