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Olympics 2021: Diego Schwartzman vs Karen Khachanov preview, head-to-head & prediction

Diego Schwartzman
Diego Schwartzman
Stan
ANALYST

Match details

Fixture: (8) Diego Schwartzman [ARG] vs (12) Karen Khachanov (12) [ROC]

Date: 28 July 2021

Tournament: Olympics 2021

Round: Third Round (Round of 16)

Venue: Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan

Category: Olympic Games

Surface: Outdoor hard

Match timing: Approx. 1 pm local time, 9.30 am IST, 4 am GMT, 12 am ET

Live telecast: USA - NBC & Peacock TV | UK - BBC TV | India - Sony Liv

Diego Schwartzman vs Karen Khachanov preview

Argentina's Diego Schwartzman will lock horns with fellow Olympic debutant Karen Khachanov in the third round of the Tokyo Games on Wednesday. While Schwartzman is the eighth seed in Tokyo, Khachanov is seeded 12th.

Schwartzman has registered back-to-back straight-sets wins at the Tokyo Olympics so far. The Argentine defeated Juan Pablo Varillas 7-5, 6-4 in the first round and followed it up with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Tomas Machac in the second.

Interestingly enough, Schwartzman spent almost the same amount of time on court in both his matches (122 and 121 minutes, respectively). Schwartzman was far from his best in his opener against Varillas, committing 34 unforced errors and 21 forced errors.

He was much more solid against Machac, though, making only 19 unforced errors and 10 forced errors. The Argentine was also efficient during return games, winning almost 50% of the points played on the Czech's serve.

Meanwhile, Karen Khachanov has accounted for home favorite Yoshihito Nishioka and James Duckworth thus far.

Khachanov beat Nishioka 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 with the help of 21 winners. The Russian raised his level in the second round against Duckworth, dropping serve just once and committing a measly 16 unforced errors en route to a 7-5, 6-1 win.

Diego Schwartzman vs Karen Khachanov preview

Diego Schwartzman leads Karen Khachanov 2-1 in the head-to-head. All of their meetings have taken place on hardcourts, with Khachanov registering his only win over the Argentine at Cincinnati in 2017.

Schwartzman defeated the Russian in Miami in 2017 and then in Vienna two years later.

Diego Schwartzman vs Karen Khachanov prediction

Karen Khachanov
Karen Khachanov

This promises to be a baseline slugfest between two very capable shotmakers.

Schwartzman is yet to truly find his range from the back of the court, relying instead on his movement and incredible defensive skills to come through his matches.

The key for Schwartzman on Wednesday would be to find a way to diffuse Khachanov's power and prolong the rallies. This could force the Russian into overpressing and coughing up unforced errors.

But Khachanov has looked extremely solid this week, especially off his forehand wing. He will hope that shot holds firm against the Argentine.

This match is extremely tough to call, but we expect Khachanov to outlast Schwartzman in an epic three-set contest.

Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in three sets.


Edited by Arvind Sriram

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