ATP Awards First Official Moral Victory to Khachanov

Bender

G.O.A.T.
A loss is a loss. But if there’s any such thing as a moral victory, 22-year-old Karen Khachanov earned one on Friday at the US Open.

While the two-time ATP World Tour titlist was unable to advance to the fourth round, falling in four sets against World No. 1 and three-time champion Rafael Nadal, he showed the world that he is plenty capable of competing with the best players on the sport’s biggest stages.

“I gave everything what I had. I think everybody saw it. I'm proud of myself that I could play a good game today, fight till the end. Yeah, just a few points difference that it could go another way,” Khachanov said. “Big respect to Rafa. That's why he's No. 1 in the world, such a great fighter. Yeah, just happy about my performance. I hope to keep going that way.”

Based on the way the No. 27 seed played in Arthur Ashe Stadium, there should be little doubt in the direction he is moving: up. Khachanov qualified for last year’s inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, and he reached the semi-finals at this month’s Rogers Cup, and the confidence he has gained from those experiences showed.

“I was mentally ready to play this match. Physically, I was ready. That's why at the end I played a match like that,” Khachanov said. “Of course, I had an early break [against me] in the fourth set, but still I was pushing, saying to myself, ‘C'mon, I can still break him, try to come back’.”

Nadal was plenty complimentary of his opponent as well. After all, he was the one chasing down all of Khachanov’s massive groundstrokes, especially off the forehand side. If anyone should be impressed, it would be Nadal, who had to raise his level just to get past this year’s Marseille champion.

“At some point I have to say congratulations to Karen, too, that he had a great attitude on court during the whole time, playing four hours 20, fighting all the time, playing aggressive, playing great tennis, having some mistakes at some important moments, too, but without saying not a bad word,” Nadal said. “That's a great thing for tennis, and that's a great thing for him. With that attitude, I am sure he will have a lot of success.”

And again, Khachanov lost the match. But while it’ll sting for now, this could be the moment he looks back on when he does make a major breakthrough as the performance that helped him believe in what he is truly capable of.

“Now, I'm not the happiest guy in the world. I lost the match. But, like I said, after some time, maybe one day, two days, I will think back and just watch the match. Of course, it will give me I think more experience, more confidence. To see which level I can play, which level I played here and the other Grand Slams or the other tournaments. That just shows that I'm really close to this high level against top guys,” Khachanov said. “Hopefully it will be soon on my side.”
Source: https://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/khachanov-us-open-2018-reaction
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
How many moral ranking points has he earned?
How many fans did he gain? Who in hell can watch a HC version of Thiem whose entire game consists of doing one thing: standing behind the baseline and hitting every ball as hard as he can? He has no volley, no slice, no touch, no variety at all. Oh...and he’s a massive choker.

Just so fun to watch! :eek:
 

mnttlrg

Semi-Pro
It looked to me like Nadal was far from 100%, and Khachakov (sp?) kept pulling ahead by wide margins, only to tighten up and give it all right back. 40-0, loses the game. Up a break, loses serve.

It was entertainingly wild, but I found it kind of frustrating to watch. This is why the big 3 win almost everything.


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WhiskeyEE

Legend
The ATP is getting desperate to hype the next gen again.

They thought they were in the clear last year with Rublev, Shapovalov, Chung, etc. and even Dimitrov winning WTF. Now they are getting antsy again now that all of them besides Coric and Khachanov kinda regressed.
 
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Choker is so over used on this forum. Nadal choked yesterday too :rolleyes:
Well that's the most annoying thing. There have been times when Big3 just refused to lie down and made opponents choke for being unable to keep the required intensity, but that wasn't the case yesterday when Nadal was clearly vulnerable. Reminds me of Federer-Davydenko AO 06 QF, only half a notch worse tennis-wise.
 
So Nadal’s moral record is now 1103-1?
Greatest moral streak in history by far.

Of course, to be a true moral champion, one must suffer the occasional moral defeat, to demonstrate one’s utter humility.

Thus Nadal’s morality is raised even higher with this rare defeat.
 

MLM

Rookie
Greatest moral streak in history by far.

Of course, to be a true moral champion, one must suffer the occasional moral defeat, to demonstrate one’s utter humility.

Thus Nadal’s morality is raised even higher with this rare defeat.
I didn’t even account for the moral tournaments he withdrew from so we can add;

RG 2004
W 2004
AO 2006
W 2009
USO 2012
AO 2013
USO 2014
RG 2016
 
Greatest moral streak in history by far.

Of course, to be a true moral champion, one must suffer the occasional moral defeat, to demonstrate one’s utter humility.

Thus Nadal’s morality is raised even higher with this rare defeat.
Long story short: Nadal the invincible moral humbalito even in moral defeat.
 

Fabresque

Professional
Lol remember when guys like Berdych and Gasquet and Tsonga used to go deep in slams and sometimes beat the top seeds in tournaments at Khachanov’s age? Yet those 3 and others get ripped to shreds for being the Big 4’s pets.
 
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