World number 2, Rafael Nadal will play against Karen Khachanov from Russia in the quarterfinals of the 2019 ATP Indian Wells Open.
Karen Khachanov enters this match in great form as he beat John Isner in straight sets in the previous round. It was a very impressive serving display by Khachanov as he won 74% of his service points which resulted in him winning all of his service games. In addition to that, Karen Khachanov proved his ability as a returner as he challenged Isner’s serve consistently and ended up winning a very important break point in the opening set. Karen Khachanov won the Paris Masters at the end of the 2018 season meaning that the Russian should not be overwhelmed with the scenario of playing a quarterfinal match in a Masters 1000.
On the other side of the court, Rafael Nadal had an easy win in the fourth round as he won in straight sets. Nadal won 90% of his service games and 33% of his return games to set up a comfortable win. Nadal is a very accomplished player and he has won the Indian Wells Open 3 times in the past. Nadal will be familiar with this situation and his experience should be a massive advantage.
Karen Khachanov and Rafael Nadal have played each other 5 times in the past with Nadal winning on all 5 occasions. The most recent match between Nadal and Khachanov was in 2018 at the US Open where Nadal won in 4 sets.
Karen Khachanov has established himself as one of the most talented young players on the tour. That being said, I see him losing to Rafa. Nadal is still one of the best players in the world and he has been in exceptional form this season with a record of 10-2. Nadal has the experience and the skill advantage in the match and I see him getting his 6th win over Karen Khachanov.