Russian tennis star Aslan Karatsev on Monday said his goal this season is to break into top-10 in the world and is looking forward to the ongoing 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra as a stepping stone towards his aim.

The Tata Open Maharashtra kick-started here Monday.

"I had some goals to achieve this season, Top-15 and then Top-10. Want to improve my game, there were few things that I was working on the pre-season," Karatsev was quoted as saying in a media statement issued here.

The 28-year-old made a brilliant start to the season, clinching his third ATP singles title at Sydney International when he outclassed two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray in the final.

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He has received top billing at the fourth edition of the tournament, which is being organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA), and will begin his challenge in the second round.

This will be Karatsev's second visit to Pune. In the last edition he came as an alternate player but couldn't move beyond the first round in the of the singles qualifying stage.

"I'm very happy to be here. Coming from the Australian Open, almost the same weather conditions here. When you are a top seed obviously it gives some advantage that you skip the first match but also sometimes playing the first match helps you get that rhythm," the 2021 French Open runner-up further said.

Karatsev had a breakthrough 2021 wherein he became the first player in an Open Era to reach a Grand Slam semi-final on debut at the Australian Open, clinched first two titles and won Olympic silver medal in mixed doubles alongside Elena Vesnina.

He also grabbed many eyeballs when he upstaged World No 1 Novak Djokovic on his home court to enter the Serbia Open final.