Fixture: Stan Wawrinka vs Karen Khachanov
Date: 1 March 2021
Tournament: ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament 2021
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €980,580
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | India - Sony
Stan Wawrinka vs Karen Khachanov preview
Stan Wawrinka will look to move past his early season disappointments as he returns to the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam this week.
The 2015 champion, who is the eighth seed at this year's tournament, has been handed a relatively tough draw. He is set to open his campaign against another former top 10 player in the form of Russia's Karen Khachanov.
Khachanov started his season with a semifinal showing at the Adelaide International, and he followed that up with a decent third round showing at the Australian Open. However, the Russian is yet to score a win over a higher-ranked player in the new season.
Having broken into the top 10 with strong showings in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Khachanov has suffered a drop in form in recent months. He had a total of five and three wins over top 10 players in 2018 and 2019 respectively, but went the entire 2020 season without scoring a win over the elite group.
The 24-year-old's results began to dry up towards the end of last year, and he will be looking to rediscover his form.
Stan Wawrinka vs Karen Khachanov head-to-head
Stan Wawrinka leads Karen Khachanov in the head-to-head by a margin of 2-1. The Swiss had taken the duo's first two meetings, but his opponent was able to pull one back by scoring a hard-fought three-set win at Toronto in 2019.
Stan Wawrinka vs Karen Khachanov prediction
Stan Wawrinka and Karen Khachanov have had a few intense battles in recent years, and this match could well follow the same pattern.
Both men play a similarly powerful game based around a big serve and solid groundstrokes. That said, neither of the two has been able to produce his best tennis in recent matches, and the result on Monday would likely come down to whoever is able to keep a check on their unforced errors.
Khachanov has more match practice under his belt this season. He also showed signs of revival in some of his matches during the Australian Open series.
If he can find a way to impose his presence on the baseline, the Russian might be able to pull off an upset win here.
Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in three sets.