French Open: Karen Khachanov vs. Jiri Vesely - 10/01/20 Tennis Prediction
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Karen Khachanov vs. Jiri Vesely - 2020 French Open Second Round
Thursday October 1st, 2020
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Russian number 15 seed Karen Khachanov faces the Czech player Jiri Vesely in the second round of the 2020 French Open. The Russian has seen his ranking and form slowly decline over the past year, is Vesely ready and capable to take advantage and potentially score the upset?
To say that Khachanov has had a rough year would be an understatement. His ranking has dropped out of the top 10 and currently sits at #17. He is still one of the best players in the world but is clearly lacking confidence and is very vulnerable at the moment. He comes into Paris in very poor form, just winning one out of three matches played on clay, worryingly losing to Dusan Lajovic in Hamburg, winning only three games in the process. His form is definitely very concerning and he will be hoping to snap out of it as quickly as possible. On his day he is one of the premier ball strikers in world tennis, using an aggressive game to dominate opponents. That type of player is only successful when their confidence is high and his certainly is not. He seemed in good touch in an impressive opening round win and hopefully that is a sign of things to come.
His opponent exceeded expectations in Hamburg, getting through the qualifying rounds and reaching the round of 16. Most of his career highlights have come on clay, winning the majority of his 16 Challenger Tour titles on the surface. Notably, he has an ATP title on clay also. He possesses a huge serve and the conditions here in Paris favor his playing style. He can be a very erratic player from the baseline so he will have to keep the unforced error count low to have a shot at winning this match.
Despite his poor form over the past year I am picking Khachanov to win this match. He seemed to be finding his groove in the first round match and while he still has a long way to go to regain my confidence he is still a top 20 ranked player, playing against a much lower ranked opponent. He will be looking to rediscover his form and will be hoping that his aggressive game will cause the Czech to commit a large number of unforced errors. Khachanov to win.