TennisSection previews the 2021 Paris Masters as Grigor Dimitrov takes on Karen Khachanov in the Round of 32 on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021.
Will Grigor Dimitrov end his season on a high note? Will Karen Khachanov repeat his exploits from 2018 when he won his first and thus far only Masters title in Bercy? We preview what should be a high-octane second-round match from the 2021 Paris Masters.
Grigor Dimitrov enters this second-round match as the higher-ranked player. While Karen Khachanov may not be the benchmark when it comes to making ranking comparisons, the Bulgarian has redeemed himself from his disastrous 2019 season. Dimitrov dropped as low as No. 78 that year and has since managed to haul himself to a Top 20 ranking. He began his 2021 Paris Masters campaign with a three-set win over Richard Gasquet. The French veteran who could very well be winding up his career in the next few seasons, found some inspiration from the home faithful to pinch the second set. While this wasn’t at all a physical match, once it stretched into a decider Gasquet couldn’t quite keep up with the grind. Dimitrov raced to take command with an early break in the third set. He went further ahead with an insurance break in the seventh game, before serving out for the match successfully.
Karen Khachanov, meanwhile, faced little resistance from World No. 97 Mikael Ymer. The Russian, a winner of the Paris Masters three years ago, hammered seven aces and won 81% first-serve points en route to a 6-4 7-5 victory over the Swede. A tide of measured ground-strokes saw the Russian manufacture as many as 13 breakpoints, and took three of them. The 25-year-old will be hoping to post not too dissimilar numbers against Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday.
Grigor Dimitrov won the pair’s only meeting before this at the 2020 Vienna Open. The Bulgarian is marginally the favorite to maintain that 100% winning record against Karen Khachanov at the 2021 Paris Masters. But both players, it should be noted, have a penchant for fast surfaces. The Paris courts do have a high bounce though, which makes them a little different. That could play into Khachanov’s racket. The Russian will have the time to unleash and hit right through Dimitrov’s brittle defenses. The Bulgarian is at his best when plays on the offence, and he might not have that luxury against Khachanov’s raw power.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in 3 sets.
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