Daniil Medvedev announced he would not play in the Kremlin Cup due to load management. The almost invincible Russian has had a marvelous run since late August and has reached six straight ATP finals, winning three titles.
He was set to win another one at the Kremlin Cup, where he would have been the best-ranked player by far. However, with his absence confirmed, some other players are looking to steal the spotlight.
Karen Khachanov is the tournament’s second seed and is now in a great spot to win his first title of the year. The 23-year-old Russian has struggled to reach any finals this year, and his current ranking (8th in the world) is still backed by his great finish last year when he won the Kremlin Cup and the ATP Masters in Paris.
This will be a great opportunity for Karen to get back in the win column, but his road to the final would be a hard one. Khachanov already won his second-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber after saving five match points, and his quarter-finals duel against another experienced player will potentially be problematic as well.
Khachanov is scheduled to meet Andreas Seppi, who has had a difficult year, but has managed to win the Cary Challenger last month and is in good form.
If Karen wins, he will play either Mannarino or Lajović in the semis, while the potential final might see him facing Marin Čilić or Andrey Rublev.
Khachanov is still in the race for the Nitto ATP Finals in London, but he will have to defend a lot of points if he wants to stay in the top eight.