Tennis Channel Live: Tracy Austin on Aslan Karatsev's 6-2, 6-4 win over Marin Cilic

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Aslan Karatsev started the season at No. 112 in the rankings. He'll be finishing it as a Top 20 player—at least.

The 28-year-old Russian created a sensation by reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open as a qualifier, then winning Dubai and reaching the final of Belgrade. Now, he's capped his breakthrough season with a title run at his home event in Moscow.

One thing that hasn't changed during his rise? He still doesn't say much about it.

"I knew by reaching the semifinals I am in the Top 20, and I confirmed this with a victory in the final," Karatsev, who is projected to reach No. 18, told press following his final-round win over Marin Cilic. "I set this goal with the team, and I'm very happy about it."

Karatsev defeated Egor Gerasimov, Gilles Simon, Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic—all in straight sets—to win the Kremlin Cup.

Karatsev defeated Egor Gerasimov, Gilles Simon, Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic—all in straight sets—to win the Kremlin Cup.

Yet he's already turning his attention towards cracking the Top 10, starting with next week's ATP 250 event in St. Petersburg, followed by the Paris Masters 1000.

He's 34-18 this season, and will need some more deep runs to do it.

"I'm not celebrating a lot," Karatsev said. "A team dinner and then tomorrow or the next day we'll go to St. Petersburg.

"I'm not fresh but I've got a lot of confidence."