TennisSection previews the 2021 Kremlin Cup as Karen Khachanov takes on James Duckworth in the Round of 16 on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021.
Will Karen Khachanov move on? Will James Duckworth pull off the upset? This will be an interesting one, where we have one of the top dogs in the draw taking on a tough first test. Who will move on to the quarterfinals at the 2021 Kremlin Cup?
Karen Khachanov hasn’t been playing too well as of late, being knocked out in the earlier stages of tournaments. However, he had some great results in summer, having a pretty good run in Wimbledon and winning silver in Tokyo. He is the clear favorite to grab this win over James Duckworth to head through to the quarterfinals. Out of all the top russians, Khachanov is probably the most inconsistent at the moment, being knocked out early more often. Still, he has a good record against Duckworth, and he loves quick courts, so let’s see if he can show a high level of play and that he can make a good run here at the 2021 Kremlin Cup.
James Duckworth pulled out a win in 3 sets to set up this really tough meeting with Karen Khachanov. He stands almost no chance, having needed 3 sets already against a much lesser opponent. Now he has to deal with a player who is definitely top 10 in terms of fast courts at the moment, considering his results in Wimbledon and Tokyo. Tokyo was a blazing fast court, if Khachanov can just play his game of hitting big and aggressive from the baseline, and make sure he serves big, then I have little doubt that he won’t grab the win here and move on to the quarterfinals at the 2021 Kremlin Cup.
Karen Khachanov and James Duckworth have met twice before, with Karen Khachanov leading the head to head 2-0. Their two meetings came this year and in 2020, both on really fast courts. One in Tokyo, where we know how well Khachanov played to take silver, and the other here in Russia with Khachanov winning in straight sets both times. The fact is, Khachanov is just playing at a much higher level, and his ranking and results show for it, if Khachanov can just play the base of his game, I really don’t see him losing this one as he attempts to book his spot in the quarterfinals at the 2021 Kremlin Cup.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in 2 sets.
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