Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov are two of the most exciting young players coming out of Russia. Both Khachanov and Rublev have made the third round of the 2019 ATP Indian Wells Open where they will play each other for a spot in the final 16.
Andrey Rublev enters this match in very good form as he finished second at the Indian Wells Challenger event prior to this tournament. In his previous match, Rublev won in 3 sets against Robin Haase. It was a close match where Rublev impressed with his returning by winning 46% of the points played during Haase’s serve. Rublev broke Robin Haase’s serve on 6 occasions which set up the win. It is important to note that Andrey Rublev has been struggling with his serve as he lost 5 service games during his win over Robin Haase. This will be a much tougher match for Rublev and he will have to improve his serve if he wishes to compete with Khachanov.
Looking at Karen Khachanov, the number 12 seed also took 3 sets to win his previous match. Khachanov played well for most of the match as he won 4 break points to win the first and third sets. Karen Khachanov seemed to lose focus in the second set as he lost it 6-1. Karen Khachanov won the Paris Masters at the end of last season which means that the Russian is accustomed to performing at big tournaments like this one.
Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev have played once in the past. The match was played in 2017 where Karen Khachanov won in 3 sets.
Taking everything into consideration, I am going to pick Karen Khachanov to win this match. Karen Khachanov is the stronger player and he has proven his ability at big tournaments. Karen Khachanov is unbeaten against Rublev and I see that trend continuing in this match.