Karen Khachanov vs Jiri Vesely: French Open Preview and Prediction
15th seed Karen Khachanov sets up a tantalizing encounter against Jiri Vesely in the second round of the French Open.
Khachanov began his campaign cruising to a straight-set win over Kamil Majchrzak.
On the other hand, Vesely fought hard to overcome Liam Broady in four sets. It was his first win in Paris after three years.
Head to Head record
Both players are playing each other for the first time on the tour. After early exits in Rome and Hamburg, Khachanov would aim for a deep run in Roland Garros.
His first-serve and range from the baseline were impressive in the first round. The Russian always performs well when his power-based game is working.
Vesely also had a good showing with his serve and blasted 36 winners in his match.
Khachanov will depend on his formidable forehand to dictate the rallies against Vesely. While his backhand is relatively weaker, the heavier balls and the damp surface would aid his forehand more.
Vesely will find clay to his liking as he has won a lot of challenger titles on the surface. He needs to improve his consistency from the baseline as Khachanov is a hard-hitter.
"I was a little nervous as a favorite, except for the second set when I lost my pace a bit, I did well, at the end of the match, I moved more to the court, which caused him huge problems," said Vesely after his victory against Broady.
The Russian will have fond memories of his quarterfinal finish in last year's tournament and would look to go one better this time.
While Khachanov will be the strong favourite due to his higher ranking and superior form, he must not take Vesely lightly as the southpaw's clever shot-making can extract errors. With Daniil Medvedev already out, Khachanov would aim to keep the Russian flag flying high.
The Czech would look to put relentless pressure on Khachanov with his consistent groundstrokes. He needs to play fearless tennis if he wants to pull off an upset.
Prediction - Karen Khachanov to win in four sets
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