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Moscow 2021: Karen Khachanov vs James Duckworth preview, head-to-head & prediction | VTB Kremlin Cup

Karen Khachanov is the 3rd seed.
Karen Khachanov is the 3rd seed.
ANALYST

Match details

Fixture: (3) Karen Khachanov vs James Duckworth

Date: 20 October 2021

Tournament: VTB Kremlin Cup

Round: Second round (Round of 16)

Venue: Moscow, Russia

Category: ATP 250

Surface: Hardcourt

Prize money: $697,125

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Karen Khachanov vs James Duckworth preview

Third seed Karen Khachanov will open his 2021 Kremlin Cup campaign with a second-round encounter against Australian James Duckworth on Wednesday.

Khachanov has managed a few strong showings in 2021, reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon before winning silver at the Tokyo Olympics. The Russian has, however, suffered a slight slump in form since then and will be looking to turn his fortunes around at his home event,

James Duckworth is currently at a career-high ranking.
James Duckworth is currently at a career-high ranking.

Duckworth, for his part, has also enjoyed a successful season in 2021. The Australian reached his first career final in Astana last month and now finds himself on the cusp of a top-50 debut.

Duckworth has posted wins over top players like Emil Ruusuvuori and Illya Ivashka in recent weeks and will enter this contest brimming with confidence.

He got his Kremlin Cup campaign off to a strong start with a three-set win over Borna Gojo.

Karen Khachanov vs James Duckworth head-to-head

Karen Khachanov leads James Duckworth in their current head-to-head by a 2-0 margin. The Russian beat the Australian 7-5, 6-1 in their most recent meeting, which came at the Tokyo Olympics.

Karen Khachanov vs James Duckworth prediction

Khachanov will look to take on the role of the aggressor.
Khachanov will look to take on the role of the aggressor.

Karen Khachanov will enter this contest as the firm favorite, but the third seed will need to be wary of James Duckworth's dogged game.

Duckworth showed incredible resolve in his opening-round match against Gojo to bounce back after losing the opening set. The 29-year-old's newfound aggression, especially on return, has worked well for him this season.

The Australian was able to create as many as 12 breakpoint opportunities against Gojo, converting four of them. He will look to continue in the same fashion against Khachanov.

For Khachanov, the key will be to maintain a high first-serve percentage and not allow his opponent to make any inroads. The Russian has leaked a few too many unforced errors in some of his recent losses, and that's an aspect of his game that he will need to tighten.

If Khachanov can find a way to keep the error count in check, he should be able to fend off the challenge from Duckworth.

Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in three sets


Edited by Arvind Sriram

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