Max Purcell vs. Karen Khachanov - 2021 Great Ocean Road Open Second Round
Tuesday, February 2 2021
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Karen Khachanov begins his 2021 ATP Tour campaign here at the Great Ocean Road Open as he takes on Max Purcell in the first round. Will Khachanov put all his frustrations of not being part of this year’s Team Russia ATP Cup squad and show us that he is the real deal, or will the Russian continue to struggle with consistency?
Karen Khachanov has struggled over the past couple of years, after his incredible peak when he won the 2018 Paris Masters, beating Novak Djokovic in the final, and this has really hurt his ranking and confidence in matches. Khachanov is a massive server, and has incredible power and speed around the court, however, what lacks in Khachanov’s game in my opinion is patience. Khachanov aims to finish the points off too early in matches, which opens him up to too much risk, and little reward. The top players in the world of tennis need to be able to both win points quickly if they need to, but if that is not working, they need to have the confidence to continue to play 20-30+ shot rallies, allowing them to wear down their opponents. If Khachanov wants to regain his status as the top Russian, or even perhaps the second best Russian on the tour, he will need to improve drastically.
Max Purcell put on a solid performance against Norbert Gombos in his first round match, beating the tennis veteran in straight sets 6-4/6-4. Purcell is more of a doubles player in my opinion, and it is going to be hard for him to make a strong career in the single’s path as there is so much competition these days. However, Purcell was able to outplay one tennis veteran, can he do it again agains an even more solid player in Karen Khachanov?
This is going to be the first meeting between both players. Khachanov has a lot more talent, and I strongly believe that he will use his frustrations and anger within himself for not making the ATP Cup, to show us all that he can compete on the biggest stages in the world of tennis. Khachanov will want to get some solid minutes under his belt here at the Great Ocean Road Open to strongly prepare himself for the Australian Open next week and show us all why he should be feared in the world of tennis.