Dubai Open 2022: Karen Khachanov vs. Alex De Minaur Tennis Pick and Prediction

Dubai Open 2022: Karen Khachanov vs. Alex De Minaur Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2022 Dubai Open as Karen Khachanov takes on Alex De Minaur in the first round on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022.

After falling in the semifinals stage in Doha, Karen Khachanov will aim to go one better at the Dubai Open to round off his Middle Eastern swing. But the draw pitted the Russian in a tough assignment against Australia’s Alex De Minaur.

Karen Khachanov was the only player that took a set off eventual champion Roberto Bautista Agut at last week’s Qatar Open. Their semifinal match was a high-quality affair with both men pounding the ball with extra zip and power even as the match stretched over two hours. For Khachanov, it was heartbreak as he was denied the chance to compete in his second final of the year. Consequently, his title drought continues. The 25-year-old is yet to add to his four ATP titles, the last of which came at the Paris Masters towards the end of the 2018 season. Will the Russian excel at the Dubai Open, starting with his first-round meeting against Alex De Minaur?

Alex De Minaur, unlike Karen Khachanov, won a title as recent as last June in Eastbourne. In fact, the 23-year-old Australian has picked up five ATP titles in total since Khachanov’s triumph in Bercy. Nonetheless, De Minaur’s chances of increasing that title count are seemingly impossible this week, with a potential second-round match against the returning Novak Djokovic on the cards. But that is if he can defeat Khachanov. De Minaur has had a mixed season, with a 7-3 record that includes a fourth-round showing at his home slam. He has spent the past couple of days rebutting false accusations that he acquired a fake Covid vaccination certificate from Spain. 

Alex De Minaur leads Karen Khachanov 1-0 in their head-to-head. That match was played at the 2020 US Open, where the Australian won a bizarre five-setter, 6-4 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-1. De Minaur’s 2022 season began with that fabulous victory over Matteo Berrettini at the ATP Cup which served as a catalyst for his second-week finish at the Australian Open. He did not get a chance to defend his Antalya title due to a slight tweak on the calendar this season that affected his ranking. But he has looked brilliant at fluctuating periods. Khachanov is coming off a very demanding week in Qatar and De Minaur is slowly getting back to his form. The Aussie might nick this. 

Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Alex De Minaur in 3 sets.

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