Qatar Open 2022: Karen Khachanov vs. Mackenzie McDonald Tennis Pick and Prediction

Qatar Open 2022: Karen Khachanov vs. Mackenzie McDonald Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2022 Qatar Open as Karen Khachanov takes on Mackenzie McDonald in the first round on Monday, February 14th, 2022.

Karen Khachanov returns to the Qatar Open for the first time since 2019. The Russian, who is 1-2 at the ATP 250 event in his last two tournament participations, has a very tricky customer in Mackenzie McDonald on Monday. Will the Russian power-hitter progress?

Karen Khachanov is the sixth seed at this week’s Qatar Open. Khachanov’s sole win in Doha came in 2017 when he beat Qatari wild card Mubarak Shannan Zayid before losing to IvoKarlovic. Then, he was bundled out by Stan Wawrinka in his next visit, and the Russian pretty much had to forego any subsequent trips to Doha. But Khachanov is returning with a lot of optimism. He started the year with a very good run to the final of the Adelaide International where he lost to Gael Monfils. Then at the Australian Open he competed well against Rafael Nadal before losing in four sets in the third round. He is 7-4 for the year after a Round of 16 loss in Rotterdam.

Mackenzie McDonald in contrast, will be playing at the Qatar Open for the first time. McDonald has had a mixed start to theyear despite sitting at a career-high ranking of World No. 49. He has not advanced beyond the second round at any ATP tournament this year, but he has scored one top 30 win this season. You could attribute that stat to inconsistency, but in fairness, he has been a recipient of some tough draws. Three of McDonald’s defeats this season have come against the likes of Aslan Karatsev, Alexander Zverev, and Alex De Minaur – none of them ranked lower than 34.

Karen Khachanov leads Mackenzie McDonald 2-0 in their head-to-head. Both meetings took place in 2021, with Khachanovovercoming the American on the indoor hard courts of Marseille and Wimbledon. But it has to be said, it wasn’t all plain sailing, particularly at the Championships where McDonald could have easily turned the tide. McDonald has really struggled to find his best tennis against the higher-ranked players despite his reputation for being a pesky opponent to play against. I still give edge to the Russian simply because he has so much depth in his shots.

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

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