Fixture: Karen Khachanov vs Roberto Bautista Agut
Date: 25 August 2020
Tournament: Western & Southern Open 2020
Round: Round of 16
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA.
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $4,674,780
Match timing: 1 pm EDT, 10.30 pm IST
Live telecast: India - Sony Ten 2 | USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN
Karen Khachanov vs Roberto Bautista Agut preview
Karen Khachanov will take on Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round of the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday, with a place in the quarterfinals at stake.
Khachanov started his 2020 season with a good showing at the ATP Cup, where he won four matches for Russia. He then lost a five-set thriller to Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open, before COVID-19 prompted the tour into being called off.
During the lockdown period, Khachanov played Dominic Thiem's invitational "Thiem's 7" and also the Bett1 Aces tournament, where he compiled a 3-3 W-L record.
His opponent on Tuesday Roberto Bautista Agut started his season in fine fashion, romping to eight consecutive victories on tour before losing early at the Australian Open. The World No. 12 had a busier lockdown routine than Khachanov, compiling a collective 6-6 W-L record at the Region of Valencia Exhibition, Thiem's 7 and Bett1 Aces Open.
The Spaniard seems to be in strong form at the Western & Southern Open, as he won 76% of his first serve points in a straight sets victory over Richard Gasquet. Khachanov on his part has also looked good, beating Alexander Bublik and Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets.
Karen Khachanov vs Roberto Bautista Agut head-to-head
Roberto Bautista Agut leads Karen Khachanov 4-2 in the head-to-head. The most recent of those six matches came at Wimbledon 2019, where the Spaniard dominated Khachanov in a straight sets victory.
The pair met for the first time in 2016, when the Russian was having a breakout first full season. Khachanov beat Bautista Agut in three sets in a second round match at the Barcelona Open.
Bautista Agut would take his revenge the year after that at the Dubai Open, before beating the Russian again at Halle in 2018.
Karen Khachanov beat Roberto Bautista Agut for the first time in three years at the 2019 Rome Masters, overcoming the Spaniard in three sets. The pair met in a rematch on the grass of Wimbledon a month later, where Bautista Agut thoroughly dominated his opponent to reach the second week of the Slam.
Karen Khachanov vs Roberto Bautista Agut prediction
Karen Khachanov's confidence was on full display in his second round match against Carreno Busta. The Russian played good tennis at the most opportune moments, eking out a first set tiebreaker in an closely contested set.
Khachanov then ran away with the match in the second, winning five games in a row before closing the match 7-6(8), 6-1. The final set performance in particular could be considered a warning to the Spaniard.
Bautista Agut is slowly but surely becoming a consistent fixture at the top echelon of the sport, having enjoyed a 42-22 W-L record last season. When the duo meet for a place in the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open, the higher-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut will be widely favored over his Russian opponent.
Prediction: Roberto Bautista Agut to win in straight sets.Published 25 Aug 2020, 06:39 IST