Karen Khachanov has established himself as one of the more promising youngsters in men’s tennis and could give Rafael Nadal something to think about in the third round at Wimbledon.
The 21-year-old Russian was only beaten 6-4 7-6 by Roger Federer in the Halle semis last month and has battled through two decent tests at the All England Club.
Playing in this tournament for the first time, Khachanov survived a two-and-a-half-hour encounter to edge out compatriot Andrey Kuznetsov in five sets.
He then came from a set down to see off Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro following more than three hours of action.
Three of the sets played so far have gone to a tie-break, so 19/20 we get another in this match is worth including in our Nadal vs Khachanov betting tips.
Khachanov claimed a couple of impressive scalps at the French Open in Tomas Berdych and John Isner, before losing 6-3 6-4 6-4 to Andy Murray in the last 16.
The winner of an outdoor hardcourt event in China last October, he also caught the eye when going down 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 to Kei Nishikori at the US Open.
Nadal wary of next threat
World No 2 Nadal was still more workmanlike than spectacular in seeing off Donald Young 6-4 6-2 7-5, even if he was content with that victory.
“It was a good match again, almost all the time more or less under control,” Nadal said. “It’s true that in the third I served a little bit worse. But in general terms, I am happy. I played well.”
The Spaniard does respect his upcoming foe, though, adding: “I think I am doing the right things. I feel myself playing well.
“Now I have a tough opponent in front of me, like Khachanov. It’s going to be a tough match for me. I hope to be ready to keep playing well.”
Looking at the Nadal vs Khachanov odds, we like 5/2 for 11 or more games in the first set and 83/100 for the Russian with 7.5 games start.
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