Adelaide Open 2022: Karen Khachanov vs. Steve Johnson Tennis Pick and Prediction

Adelaide Open 2022: Karen Khachanov vs. Steve Johnson Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2022 Adelaide Open as Karen Khachanov takes on Steve Johnson in the second round on Thursday, January 6th, 2022.

With Top 10 aspirations firmly in his mind, will Karen Khachanov start his season with a win at the 2022 Adelaide Open? Will Steve Johnson take advantage of playing an earlier round? This will be the second career meeting between these two players, but entertainment should be in store.

Karen Khachanov is the number two seed at this week’s Adelaide Open. The Russian has been leapfrogged by his compatriots in recent years despite having been ranked higher than the likes of Medvedev, Rublev and Karatsev during the 2018 season. On the eve of his first outing of 2022, Khachanov confessed which the primary goal is for the new season – and that is a return to the upper echelons of the game. For a player who peaked at career-high ranking of World No. 8, and is yet to reach his highest ceiling, we should not be too quick to make an assumption that his best days are long gone. Khachanov will have a tough test against Steve Johnson on Wednesday.

Steve Johnson, unlike Karen Khachanov, did not have the luxury of getting a first-round bye at the 2022 Adelaide Open. The unseeded American got the better of Australian wild card Aleksandar Vukic in three sets. Johnson appeared well on course to an easy win after taking the first set 6-4 in just 33 minutes – punctuated with a late break of serve. But given his poor record in Australia – where he has lost six from his last seven main draw matches – Vukic sensed blood. The Aussie broke Johnson twice in quick succession in the second set to force a decider. However, Johnson’s veteran knowhow proved effective in the third set, which pretty much mirrored the outcome of the opener.

Karen Khachanov and Steve Johnson have previously contested one tour-level match. Khachanov won that one in the first-round of the Shanghai Masters in three sets almost four years ago. However, I don’t expect anything remotely similar in this match. Despite acclimatizing to the court conditions, Johnson played poorly against Vukic who perhaps should have taken his chances deep in the third set. Against a player of Khachanov’s caliber, the American cannot afford any lapses in concentration or become profligate in giving up errors. With that said, this looks like a nailed-on Khachanov win.

Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Karen Khachanov in straight sets.

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