Fixture: (18) Karen Khachanov vs (16) Frances Tiafoe
Date: 16 January 2023
Tournament: Australian Open 2023
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: A$76,500,000
Live telecasts: USA - ESPN | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Six, Sony Ten & Sony Liv
Karen Khachanov vs Frances Tiafoe preview
The third round of the 2023 Australian Open will witness an exciting clash between two big-hitting names in the form of Frances Tiafoe and Karen Khachanov on Friday.
Khachanov, the 18th seed at this year's tournament, has played some solid tennis in the lead-up to this contest. The Russian made back-to-back quarterfinals in Adelaide before posting two similarly composed performances at Melbourne Park — ousting Jason Kubler and Roberto Carables Baena in his first couple of rounds.
Playing in his eighth Australian Open, Khachanov will now be eyeing a spot in the second week of the tournament for the first time in his career.
Tiafoe, for his part, is also comfortably placed ahead of this top-20 battle against Khachanov. The American, in fact, also has one more win than his opponent to boast of in 2023 — having played quite a few matches at the United Cup.
Here in Melbourne, Tiafoe has gotten the better of Daniel Altmaier and Shang Juncheng to post his best result at the venue since reaching the solitary quarterfinals here back in 2019.
Karen Khachanov vs Frances Tiafoe head-to-head
Khachanov leads Tiafoe in their current head-to-head 2-0, having beaten his opponent twice at the Wimbledon Championships.
Karen Khachanov vs Frances Tiafoe odds
Karen Khachanov vs Frances Tiafoe prediction
While both Khachanov and Tiafoe are capable of hitting big shots off the ground, the aggressive mindset comes more naturally to the Russian.
Khachanov will likely step out looking to be the aggressor in the rallies and take charge of the proceedings. That said, he will need to wary of his dogged opponent, who is a master at using an opponent's pace against them.
Tiafoe, who is one of the fittest players on the Tour, will look to turn into a physical battle by extending rallies. Khachanov, meanwhile, goes for broke on just about every ball to try and produce a winner.
The high-risk game has rewarded Khachanov in the past and given the speed of the courts and overall conditions, his power holds a slight edge over Tiafoe's court craft.
Prediction: Khachanov to win five sets