Fixture: Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner
Date: 6 February 2021
Tournament: Great Ocean Road Open 2021
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $382,575
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner preview
Playing in his first tournament of the season at the newly-minted Great Ocean Road Open, second seed Karen Khachanov has set up a mouthwatering clash with talented teenager Jannik Sinner.
Khachanov has had to battle hard in his three matches to get to the last eight and will be expecting much of the same against his next opponent.
Sinner seems to have carried his good form from 2020 into the new year, as he is yet to drop a set in his three matches so far.
The Italian has been on the ascent ever since winning the Next Gen ATP Finals in 2019. He has followed it up with raking in a quarterfinal at the French Open, winning his maiden ATP title and breaking into the top 40 of the world rankings.
Sinner will be on the radar of most top players, especially in Melbourne, given the youngster's explosive game that can prove to be very dangerous on the faster hardcourts.
Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner head-to-head
Karen Khachanov leads Jannik Sinner in their head-to-head with a slender 1-0 margin. The Russian had defeated his younger opponent at last year's US Open, winning a topsy-turvy five set marathon.
Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner prediction
Karen Khachanov enters this contest as favourite on paper, but the second seed hasn't been in the best form in recent months.
A former top 10 player, he saw his ranking drop after a string of underwhelming results at the back end of 2020. He failed to progress past the second round in five of his last seven tournaments and will definitely be looking for a turnaround in the new season.
Khachanov plays an aggressive game, not much different from his opponent, but it's the lack of restraint that often hampers his chances. The flaw can begin to look even more glaring when put against the composed approach of 19-year-old Sinner.
Khachanov might have taken the duo's last meeting, but if he isn't careful with his attack, he could be in for a surprise here in Melbourne.
Prediction: Jannik Sinner to win in two tight sets