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Vienna 2020: Grigor Dimitrov vs Karen Khachanov preview, head-to-head & prediction | Erste Bank Open

Karen Khachanov
Karen Khachanov
ANALYST
Modified 26 Oct 2020, 19:51 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Grigor Dimitrov vs Karen Khachanov

Date: 27 October 2020

Tournament: Erste Bank Open 2020

Round: First round (Round of 32)

Venue: Vienna, Austria

Category: ATP 500

Surface: Indoor hardcourt

Prize money: €1,409,510

Match timing: 2 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony ESPN

Grigor Dimitrov vs Karen Khachanov preview

Two top 20 players, Grigor Dimitrov and Karen Khachanov, have been pitted against each other in a blockbuster first-round match at the 2020 Vienna Open.

For Khachanov, the World No. 18 who suffered a dramatic three-set loss in Antwerp just last week, this will be an important match to get his head back into the game. He will, however, have to find his footing quickly against Dimitrov, as the Bulgarian will also be looking to capitalize on his recent good form.

Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov

At Antwerp last week, Dimitrov played two tight three-set matches. But while he managed to dodge Pablo Andujar in the opener, he could not stage a comeback against Alex de Minaur in the last four.

The Bulgarian wasn't playing his best tennis there, but that's been par for the course over the last few months. He has also struggled to play the big points well, which have cost him some close matches.

Dimitrov will need to try and measure his attack well if he hopes to get back into the top 10. Luckily for him, he should have an easier time getting the ball past Khachanov; the Russian isn't particularly well-known for his defensive prowess.

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Grigor Dimitrov vs Karen Khachanov prediction

Karen Khachanov hasn
Karen Khachanov hasn't had the best results since the tour's return in August.

This will be the first career meeting between the two players, so their current head-to-head stands at 0-0.

Grigor Dimitrov vs Karen Khachanov prediction

This is a fairly well-balanced matchup on paper. And given the similarly aggressive games of the two players, it could well go down to the wire.

Karen Khachanov will look to take control of the baseline using his massive forehand, but that's where Grigor Dimitrov might have an edge. The Bulgarian has more variety in his game, and would be more comfortable in the longer rallies compared to the Russian.

For the 31-year-old, it will come down to keeping his unforced errors in check. Even in his match against Alex de Minaur at Antwerp, Dimitrov was going for too much too early in the rally, which ultimately cost him.

If he can a find a way to be patient with his game and wait for the right opportunities to attack, he could do plenty of damage against Khachanov. But if he continues to concede too many free points or easy let-offs, his opponent will not take long to capitalize.

Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in three sets.

Published 26 Oct 2020, 17:30 IST
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