Japan Open: Karatsev ends Mochizuki’s dream run to set up final against Shelton

The Russian will be gunning for his fourth career singles title on Sunday

Aslan Karatsev at the 2023 Japan Open Aslan Karatsev at the 2023 Japan Open
Kinoshita Group Japan Open Tennis Championships •Semi-final • completed
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Russia’s Aslan Karatsev ended the dream run of local wildcard Shintaro Mochizuki to advance to the final of the Japan Open at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo on Saturday.

Karatsev, ranked No 50, won 6-3, 6-4 to move into the final where he will face 21-year-old American Ben Shelton for the title on Sunday. The Russian lost to the 19th-ranked Shelton in the third round of the recent US Open in four sets – their only career meeting so far.

Earlier in the week, the Russian won against American Frances Tiafoe, the No 6 seed (6-3, 7-6 (4)), Chinese Zhizhen Zhang (6-3, 6-4) and Australian Alex De Minaur, the No 4 seed (6-3, 6-2).

Mochizuki, the 2019 Wimbledon boys singles champion, had never won an ATP level match prior to this week. Ranked No 215 coming in, he defeated Tomas Martin Etcheverry (6-4, 7-6 (5)) in the first round and then followed it up with an upset over top seed Taylor Fritz (0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2)) and Australian Alexei Popyrin (7-5, 2-6, 7-5) to reach the semis in Tokyo.

Tokyo ATP500, semi-final results (Ariake Colosseum, hard, USD 2,013,940):

  • Ben Shelton beat Marcos Giron (Q): 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-4
  • Aslan Karatsev beat Shintaro Mochizuki (WC): 6-3, 6-4

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