TennisSection previews the 2021 Kremlin Cup as Aslan Karatsev takes on Karen Khachanov in the semifinals on Saturday, October 23rd, 2021.
Will Aslan Karatsev move on? Will Karen Khachanov pull off the upset? This will be an interesting one, where we have a very tight matchup with two top Russians clashing for a spot in the last two. Who will move on to the final at the 2021 Kremlin Cup?
Aslan Karatsev got a solid win over Gilles Simon to take on fellow countryman Karen Khachanov for a place in the final at the 2021 Kremlin Cup. With the way that Karatsev played against Simon, I expect him to get the win against Khachanov here. He was hitting really hard and taking the ball early, hitting with incredible accuracy to hit many winners. He was also making a lot less unforced errors, which will be key if he wants to go all the way for the title. He has a great game for the quick courts, while Khachanov can play well on fast courts, Karatsev is better, he takes the ball really early and he takes advantage of second serve returns when he’s on. He isn’t always on, which is why there’s doubt over him being able to easily win. However, he’s been showing a good level all week, so I expect him to carry it over to this match and take down Khachanov to book a place in the final at the 2021 Kremlin Cup.
Karen Khachanov got a solid win over John Millman to set up this meeting with Aslan Karatsev. He played two tight sets, which could be dangerous coming up against Karatsev, who has been playing really well this week. Khachanov doesn’t have too favorable of a game to play him, which is why it’s surprising that he does hold the head to head advantage against him. Granted, their only meeting since Karatsev got good came on a really slow hard court, allowing Khachanov to play his game and not really giving Karatsev the edge to take the ball early as he loves to do on quicker surfaces, which he can do here. Neither player has been too consistent throughout all their matches, so I do expect three sets, but Karatsev will likely get the edge and take him down as the conditions and current form suit him more for a spot in the final at the 2021 Kremlin Cup.
Aslan Karatsev and Karen Khachanov have met twice before, with Karen Khachanov leading the head to head 2-0. Their first meeting came in Russia as well on an indoor hard court, when Karatsev was still deep in the 100s on the ATP rankings, and Khachanov was already a tennis star. Karatsev still won the first set, showing how he’s a good matchup for him on faster courts. Khachanov took him down in their second meeting as well as I alluded to earlier in Canada, a really slow court. Their meeting there was close as well, and it was after Karatsev’s level had simmered down and he was struggling to win matches tournament to tournament. Karatsev has been showing a really good level this week though, and he showed a great level against Simon, while Khachanov has been more slow to the jump, so I do expect Karatsev to edge him out and move on to the final at the 2021 Kremlin Cup.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Aslan Karatsev to win in 3 sets.
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