Fixture: (18) Karen Khachanov vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles
Date: 16 January, 2023
Tournament: Australian Open 2023
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: A$76,500,000
Live telecast: USA - ESPN | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Six, Sony Ten & Sony Liv
Karen Khachanov vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles preview
Karen Khachanov and Bernabe Zapata Miralles will lock horns in an exciting opening-round encounter at the 2023 Australian Open on Monday.
Khachanov, the 18th seed at this year’s tournament, comes into the tournament having had a mixed start to the new season. While he made the quarterfinals at the Adelaide International 1 with wins over Jack Draper and Pedro Cachin, he lost to Draper in the second round at the same venue in the subsequent week.
Despite his less-than-ideal lead-up to the year’s first Grand Slam, Khachanov does possess a power-packed game that would be needed to turn things around for him.
Zapata Miralles, meanwhile, comes into the tournament on a career-high ranking of World No. 71. He made his big breakthrough at Roland Garros last year, where he made it to the fourth round with wins over the likes of Taylor Fritz and John Isner.
While he hasn’t been able to replicate the magic again, he possesses the game needed to eke out wins over top names.
Karen Khachanov vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles head-to-head
Khachanov and Zapata Miralles have never crossed paths on Tour before, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Karen Khachanov vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles odds
(Odds to be updated soon)
Karen Khachanov vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles prediction
Khachanov possesses a strong attacking game and often steps out looking to be the aggressor. That said, his best results often come when he manages to mix his high-risk shotmaking with patient point construction.
The same will be especially important against Zapata Miralles, who does not mind playing against pace. In fact, he enjoys using an opponent's power against them, as evident with his wins over Fritz, Isner and the ilk.
Khachanov, however, would have gotten a sense of his opponent's game having studied his prior exploits. Playing someone as tricky as Zapata Miralles in the first round of a Slam is by no means an easy task, but Khachanov's superior power off the ground should give him a definitive edge on the quick hardcourts.
Prediction: Khachanov to win in four sets