Karen Khachanov vs Jan-Lennard Struff: Hamburg Open Preview and Prediction
The eighth seed, Karen Khachanov squares off against homeboy, Jan-Lennard Struff at the Hamburg Open.
Khachanov is coming into this match after losing a three-setter against Casper Ruud in the round of 32 at the Rome Masters. On the other hand, Struff is coming into this tournament with a straight-set loss against Federico Coria in Rome.
Head to Head record
Both players are tied 1-1 in their head to head record against each other. This will be their first meeting on the clay surface. Khachanov can do the damage on clay courts with his big serve and a devastating forehand. Having made the quarterfinals of the French Open last year, he will be looking to get valuable match practice and much-needed confidence on the red dirt with the slam set to begin in a few days.
Struff has had considerable success on clay and has a good baseline game. The slow surface suits the German as he is blessed with superior skills.
Strengths of Khachanov
He has a decent second serve which helps him to take control of the rallies when his first serve is not firing. The Russian prefers to go for topspin heavy forehands on clay to outfox his opponents. His backhand is not that effective and Struff would look to exploit that. Khachanov does not have a plan B when his power game is not working and that is a big liability for him.
Strengths of Struff
His hard groundstrokes suit his game on clay as he can patiently and set up his wide range of shots. He is very smart at the net and loves to take the attack to the opponents. He keeps his points short with his booming first serve.
With neither player in the best form on the surface, this match can go down to the wire like it has been in the past between the two.
Prediction - Karen Khachanov to win in three sets
Featured image credits: Getty Images
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