TennisSection previews the 2021 Cincinnati Open as Karen Khachanov takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Round of 32 on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021.
Will Karen Khachanov get a solid win and show he’s a title contender? Will Felix Auger-Aliassime show some consistency and take out a top dog? This match will be an interesting one, where we have two of the most exciting players on the ATP tour going head to head. Who will move on to the Round of 16 at the 2021 Cincinnati Open?
Karen Khachanov has been in great form this year, having won the silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, winning many other matches against top players. He has a huge game, mainly utilizing his huge serve and ripping groundstrokes from the center of the court. This kind of opponent is very dangerous for Felix Auger-Aliassime, as he is one of the most inconsistent players on the ATP Tour and could be troubled by some big playing, where it will be hard for him to be able to run Khachanov around the court whilst having to deal with those groundstrokes. I think if Karen serves well, he should be able to come through the match without too much trouble. He will also need to be aggressive on second serves, which he can definitely do and it will put a lot of pressure on Felix and most likely cause him to make many errors.
Felix Auger-Aliassime got a good win over a very dangerous player, Auger-Aliassime is one of the most inconsistent players on the ATP Tours, often losing in the first round or second round of many tournaments which he should be doing much better then. His playstyle doesn’t have any interesting matchup against Khachanov, although he may struggle a little bit to deal with his power, Felix has a lot of preparation on his groundstrokes and sometimes it may be too fast for him to handle, which will cause him to make even more unforced errors then he might usually make. In order for Auger-Aliassime to win, he will need to make a lot of first serves to make sure he doesnt get attacked to much off his second serve, as well as try and run around to his forehand and instantly start putting it in the corners, not necessarily trying to win the point or rip it, but just to keep him on the run as much as he can and most importantly to make sure he can’t get attacked.
Karen Khachanov and Felix Auger-Aliassime have once before, with Karen Khachanov leading the head to head 1-0. They had a close encounter a couple years ago, and I definitely see this match being close if Auger-Aliassime brings his level. It will mostly depend on how many unforced errors Felix makes, as when he doesn’t miss, he is very hard to play against with his incredible power and precision, however, this isn’t often the case and Khachanov should be able to take advantage of that and play lots of first strike tennis with big serving like he’s been able to do as of late to get him all the success that he’s been having, I expect for him to bring his big guns to compete for a spot in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Cincinnati Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win.
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