Rogers Cup 2018, Rafael Nadal vs Karen Khachanov: Preview and Prediction
An all-time leader having won ATP Masters 1000 Thirty-Two (32) times, top seed and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will be a strong favorite to win an unprecedented 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title against three other semi-finalists all of whom will be eyeing their 1st ever ATP Masters 1000 final.
Nadal will look to get one step closer to add to his 3 previously won titles at this very tournament, last of which was won in 2013. He will face 22-year old from Russia, Karen Khachanov, who will be playing his first ever ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final.
The top seed Nadal will be full of confidence, after his comeback win over 2014 US Open Champion Marin Cilic in Quarterfinals (2-6, 6-4, 6-4) and also winning against old foe Stan Wawrinka in the 3rd round in a thrilling high-quality and close match 7-5, 7-6(4).
On the other hand, World No. 38, Khachanov, who is guaranteed to reach a career-high ATP ranking of 26 after this tournament will be brimming with confidence having reached the semi-final stage without dropping a single set.
The two players have met three times against each other with World No. 1 Rafael Nadal coming out on top on all three occasions without dropping a single set. Out of the three meetings, one has been on Hard Court in 2017 in Bejing China where Nadal beat Khachanov 6-3, 6-3.
The two players last met in Round of 16 of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo in 2018 where Nadal trounced Khachanov 6-3, 6-2.
The top seed is expected to win this match easily compared to his last two rounds, however, a semi-final can never be expected to be an easy match especially when the opponent has been playing some good tennis to reach to this round and Nadal will be wary of this fact.
Predicted Score: 6-3, 6-4