Karen Khachanov vs. James Duckworth - 2020 St. Petersburg Open First Round
Tuesday October 13th, 2020
TV: ESPN (US), Amazon Prime (UK) Stream live sports and exclusive originals on ESPN+. Sign up now!
Fourth Seeded Russian Karen Khachanov faces James Duckworth in the First Round of the 2020 St. Petersburg Open. The match will be played on Tuesday October 13th, 2020. It seems like a mismatch on paper but will the Aussie be able to spring an upset? Or will Khachanov march on towards claiming the title in his home country?
After breaking into the Top 10 last summer, Khachanov has struggled a bit, failing to replicate his excellent 2019 results in 2020. He is still ranked inside the Top 20 at #17 but bigger things were expected of him and he has disappointed a bit, falling in the Third Round at the US Open and the Fourth Round at Roland Garros. He has a big serve and explosive game and the conditions here in Russia should favor his game, especially on the fast indoor courts. He has been struggling with his serve lately and can make a ton of unforced errors when he is not focused, given his ultra-attacking game. He fell in the Second Round here last year and will be aiming to make amends for that loss here and kickstart his disappointing 2020 campaign.
James Duckworth is currently ranked #93 and has struggled a lot with injuries over the past few years. He lost in the First Round in New York and Paris and failed to qualify for Rome so he is even worse form than his opponent. He is a very solid player, an Aussie in the mold of John Millman who is a fighter and doesn't give away many free points. However if the Russian is timing the ball well then Duckworth will struggle to put him under pressure. His game is well suited to these faster courts but he lacks the weapons needed to make a top player uncomfortable.
Karen Khachanov will win this match relatively easily. If he is lacking focus (which is entirely possible) then Duckworth could make it interesting but I think that Khachanov simply has too much firepower and the Aussie will not be able to contain him. It would be a huge surprise if Duckworth was even able to win a set. The Russian will be highly motivated to do well at home and to try to revive his floundering 2020 season. Karen Khachanov to win.