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US Open 2020: Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner preview, head-to-head & prediction

Karen Khachanov whips a forehand
Karen Khachanov whips a forehand
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 02 Sep 2020, 16:09 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner

Date: 1 September 2020

Tournament: US Open 2020

Round: First round (Round of 128)

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $39,024,000

Match timing: 11 am EDT, 8.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Hotstar

Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner preview

Jannik Sinner is one of the brightest young talents in the game
Jannik Sinner is one of the brightest young talents in the game

World No. 16 Karen Khachanov will continue his bid to get back to the top echelon of tennis when he takes on the fast-rising Jannik Sinner in his first round match at US Open 2020.

Khachanov started his 2020 season with a good showing at the ATP Cup, where he won four matches for Russia. He then lost a five-set thriller to Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open, before COVID-19 forced the tour into a sabbatical.

The Russian, who beat Novak Djokovic two years ago to conquer the Paris Masters, suffered a big let-down in 2019. The former World No. 8 was not able to live up to the expectations for most of last season and will be eager to do some course correction now.

His opponent on Tuesday will be the highest-ranked teenager on the circuit, Jannik Sinner.

The Italian burst on to the scene like a bolt out of the blue last year, when he knocked off top 10 player Gael Monfils en route a maiden ATP semifinal at the European Open. The young gun would follow that up by winning the 2019 ATP NextGen Finals in some style.

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Sinner has carried over that form into 2020, with some good results in the European indoor hardcourt season. The Italian also played a few exhibition matches at the Bett1 Aces Open in Germany, where he got wins over Tommy Haas, Roberto Bautista Agut and his 2020 USO first-round opponent Karen Khachanov.

Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner head-to-head

Jannik Sinner and Karen Khachanov met in an exhibition match last month
Jannik Sinner and Karen Khachanov met in an exhibition match last month

The first round match in New York will be the first-ever professional-level career meeting between Karen Khachanov and Jannik Sinner, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

The pair did play each other in the exhibition in Germany a month ago, where Sinner topped his opponent on a fast court.

Also check out: The complete US Open Schedule 2020


Karen Khachanov vs Jannik Sinner prediction

Jannik Sinner serves at the Bett1 Aces Open
Jannik Sinner serves at the Bett1 Aces Open
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The young Jannik Sinner already looks like a generational talent despite not having played a full tour season yet. He has unbelievable timing on both the forehand and the backhand, coupled with deft footwork and brilliant feel on his volley.

On the other hand, Karen Khachanov's game has regressed a little since his breakout season in 2018. The Russian's forehand has become inconsistent, and his inability to finish points efficiently has started hurting him on the big stages.

Jannik Sinner can certainly make his more experienced opponent pay for any loose forehands or passive play. If Khachanov's ground game is not on the money in their first round meeting, Sinner just might eke out the match.

Prediction: Jannik Sinner to win in five sets.

Published 31 Aug 2020, 17:36 IST
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