TennisSection previews the 2021 Wimbledon Championships as Karen Khachanov (25) meets Frances Tiafoe in the Third Round on Friday July 2nd, 2021.
A blockbuster match is upon us here in the Third Round at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships as Karen Khachanov will face Frances Tiafoe for a spot in the Round of 16. Both men have been impressive so far here at Wimbledon and play an attacking brand of tennis. Who will get the win here and advance to the next round?
Karen Khachanov is the 25th seed here at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, and is a former top 10 player on the ATP Tour. He has seen a radical drop in form over the past few seasons, and if not for protected rankings he surely would be even lower. While he has struggled, he has started well here, defeating Mackenzie McDonald in four sets in the opener before cruising pasr Egor Gerasimov in the Second Round. He is not fully comfortable on this surface but his power groundstrokes can be very effective on this grass and he will surely be a handful here. The Russian is ranked higher than Frances Tiafoe, but it is difficult to call him the favorite as the American has arguably been in better form recently.
Frances Tiafoe is currently ranked #56 on the ATP Tour, and has a career high of #29. The American burst onto the scene as a very talented teenager a few years ago, and after reaching the Quarter-Finals at the Australian Open, big things were expected of him. However, his career has stagnated a bit over the past few years, and he has not reached the heights that many thought he would. While his preparation for this event yielded mixed results, he still produced one of the biggest Grand Slam upsets in recent times by destroying third seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the First Round. He then cruised past Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the next round, and really seems comfortable here at Wimbledon. Despite his lower ranking, I would say that both him and Karen Khachanov should be treated as even.
This is surprisingly only the second time the pair has faced each other on the ATP Tour, with Khachanov leading the head to head series 1-0. Interestingly, their only meeting was three years ago here at Wimbledon with the Russian stunning after being down 2 sets to 0. This is a very difficult match to call here at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, with both men playing outstanding tennis. They have also been on a similar path lately, and both men have struggled over the past few seasons. While Karen Khachanov is the higher ranked player, I am going with Frances Tiafoe to get the win here. The American is enjoying himself here at the All-England Club, and when he is confident his upside is through the roof. Khachanov is a very solid player but I get the feeling that Tiafoe is more comfortable on this surface, and I think that he will come away with a tough win here.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Frances Tiafoe to win / Both men to win a set
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