Fixture: (12) Karen Khachanov [ROC] vs (6) Pablo Carreno Busta [ESP]
Date: 30 July 2021
Tournament: Olympics 2021
Venue: Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan
Category: Olympic Games
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Match timing: 3 pm local time, 11.30 am IST, 6 am GMT, 2 am ET
Live telecast: USA - NBC & Peacock TV | UK - BBC TV | India - Sony Liv
Karen Khachanov vs Pablo Carreno Busta preview
Khachanov was the first to secure a last-four berth after beating Frenchman Ugo Humbert in one of the longest matches of the tournament. The match was dominated by serve, but the Russian managed to secure a decisive break in the third set.
Khachanov, who won silver in the boys' doubles event at the 2014 Youth Olympics, now finds himself just one win away from a podium finish in Tokyo on his senior debut.
Carreno Busta, meanwhile, has put together a strong run in his maiden appearance at the quadrennial event. The Spaniard came through tough matches against the likes of Marin Cilic and Dominik Koepfer early on, before taking out second seed Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals.
His straight-sets win over the Russian would have filled the Spaniard with confidence ahead of his semi-final clash with Khachanov.
Karen Khachanov vs Pablo Carreno Busta head-to-head
Pablo Carreno Busta leads Karen Khachanov 3-2 in their current head-to-head. That said, it is the Russian who has come out on top in two of their three meetings on hardcourt.
Karen Khachanov vs Pablo Carreno Busta prediction
Both Karen Khachanov and Pablo Carreno Busta have been in top form on serve all week. Both players conceded just one break point in their respective quarterfinal matches.
Khachanov is the more aggressive of the two players and will look to take control of the baseline rallies using his powerful groundstrokes. But he will have to be wary of Carreno Busta's counterpunching skills. The sixth seed has done well to fend off big-hitters like Cilic and Medvedev and could well cause a few problems for the Russian.
Carreno Busta will look to extend the rallies and turn this into a physical affair. Khachanov spent well over two hours on court against Humbert and could be fatigued coming into this match. Thus, he will need to avoid engaging in long exchanges from the back of the court.
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Khachanov's best bet will be to come out swinging and hope to finish the match in straight sets.
Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in two tight sets