Fixture: Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner
Date: 28 March 2021
Tournament: Miami Open 2021
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Miami, Florida
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $3,340,000
Match timing: Approx. 12.30 pm local time, 10 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort
Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner preview
Karen Khachanov scored a straightforward victory over Germany's Yannick Hanfmann in his opening encounter at the 2021 Miami Open on Friday. The 14th seeded Russian has now booked a match against talented youngster Jannik Sinner, who himself registered a dominant straight-sets win over Hugo Gaston in his round of 64 match.
Sinner entered the tournament after back-to-back quarterfinal finishes in Marseille and Dubai, and has looked sharp in the little time that he has spent on court here so far. The Italian broke serve on four occasions in his match against Gaston, while fending off all three break points faced with clutch serving.
Sinner posted particularly impressive numbers behind the first delivery, scoring well over 80% of the points. Now against the increasingly confident-looking Khachanov, the 19-year-old will be hopeful of bringing out the same level of tennis.
Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner head-to-head
Karen Khachanov and Jannik Sinner have split their previous two meetings, so their current head-to-head stands at a 1-1 deadlock. Both of the duo's matches have gone the distance, with the Italian winning their latest clash - in a third set tiebreaker in Melbourne at the start of the year.
Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner prediction
This is a fairly well-balanced matchup, given the duo's history as well as their similarly power-packed games. Karen Khachanov, however, will enter the contest with the motivation to avenge his Melbourne loss in February.
The Russian has already notched up a few deep runs at ATP 250 and 500 tournaments this year. And while he does have a few early exits too - including one at the recently concluded Dubai Open - he still has a decent win-loss record, reading 10-5 after his opening-round win in Miami.
Jannik Sinner, much like his opponent, has been a bit hot and cold this season. A title run in Melbourne set him up well for the rest of the season, but he hasn't had a huge breakthrough since.
Both men have the sort of game destined to do well on hardcourts, and will be sensing an opportunity to step up on the big stage. The match could be headed towards another close finish, but Khachanov's motivation to pull one back might just give him a slight edge.
Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in three sets.