TennisSection previews the 2021 French Open as Karen Khachanov (23) meets Kei Nishikori in the Second Round on Wednesday June 2nd, 2021.
A very exciting match awaits us in the Second Round of the 2021 French Open as Russian Karen Khachanov will face Kei Nishikori. This match seems very evenly poised between the two veterans, and is sure to be a very close affair. Will it be the veteran Nishikori getting the win here, or the exciting Khachanov advancing to the Third Round of Roland Garros 2021?
Karen Khachanov is currently ranked #25 in the ATP world rankings, and is the 23rd seed here at the 2021 French Open. The Russian had a very strong start to his career and was a top 10 player at one point. However he has struggled over the past few seasons, and is again having a modest season in 2021. He has had a miserable time so far on clay, reaching the Second Round in Monte-Carlo, and losing in the First Round in Rome, Madrid and Barcelona. He dominated Jiri Veseley in the First Round, dropping only 6 games in the process and will have gained some much needed confidence ahead of this blockbuster match against Kei Nishikori. The Japanese star is a very tricky opponent and Khachanov will have to be at his best to advance here at Roland Garros 2021.
Kei Nishikori is unseeded here at the 2021 French Open, and is currently ranked #49 in the ATP world rankings. Nishikori was once ranked as high as #4 in the world, but went through a period where he suffered with major injuries and loss of form. The Japanese star has had a mixed season so far, with two Semi-Final appearances in Rotterdam and Dubai followed by some poor clay court results. He was expected to have an easy path to the Second Round here at Roland Garros 2021, but was surprisingly pushed to the limit by Allesandro Giannessi, eventually prevailing in over four hours. While fatigue may be a factor here, he is known as one of the fittest men on tour and should be ready to battle Karen Khachanov.
This will be the sixth time that the two men have faced each other on the ATP Tour, with Kei Nishikori leading the head to head series 3-2. This includes a three set win over Karen Khachanov at the Madrid Masters earlier this year. I expect this to be an interesting battle, with both men capable of getting the victory here. All things considered, I am going to back Nishikori to get the win here at Roland Garros 2021. He is a lot steadier than his erratic opponent, and I think that will be the difference here. Khachanov is capable of some great tennis, but we have not seen that consistently over the past two seasons, and I think he exits the 2021 French Open here in the Second Round.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Kei Nishikori to win in four sets.