One of the first ATP matches to be played in 2019 will feature the rising star Karen Khachanov against the Swiss veteran and the former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka.
Watch & bet on Karen Khachanov v Stan Wawrinka live in the ATP Doha with bet365 here* on Tuesday, January 1.
*Geo-restrictions apply & pre-funded account needed
Wawrinka v Khachanov Head to Head
The two players have crossed paths on the tour only once in their respective careers so far. That match took place in the 2018 St. Petersburg Open, where Wawrinka trumped in straight sets with 7-6(10), 7-6(1). It is fair to say that the Russian made Wawrinka hard for that victory, with two back to back tie-breakers.
Khachanov’s Bright Start to the Season
The Russian started his pre-season preparations by participating in the Mubadala World Tennis Championships. In this exhibition tournament, he first defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets to set up a semi-final tie with Novak Djokovic. However, the Serbian proved to be far too strong for him and as a result, Khachanov lost in straight sets.
For the third place play-off, he was once again pitted against Thiem. Once again, the reigning ATP Moscow champion sailed to a comfortable victory.
The 22-year-old ended the previous season as the World No. 11 on the back of three singles titles, including the Paris Masters. That year, he registered impressive wins over many big players and is now pegged as one of the few youngsters who can upset the top order.
This year, Khachanov will be looking to break into the top 10 and his quest begins in Doha, where he faces a formidable opponent.
Wawrinka’s Injury Stricken Season
Wawrinka’s tryst with injuries began in mid-2017 when he picked up a knee injury at the Wimbledon. He took the remainder of the year off to recover and underwent knee surgery.
The three-time Grand Slam champion made his return in 2018 although, he was clearly out of form. In big events like the Australian Open and ATP Rotterdam, he failed to move past the early rounds. Things took a turn for the worse in Marseille when Wawrinka’s knee injury resurfaced and consequently, he took another three months off from the tour.
He made his return in the Italian Open but continued to struggle with his form. It was not until the Rogers Cup that his form improved slightly. There, he made it to the third round and followed it with a quarter-final run in the Cincinnati Masters. He also reached the semifinal at the St. Petersburg Open and ended the year as the World No. 66.
Wawrinka v Khachanov – Who Will Win?
Between the two players, it is the Russian who is in a superior form. Khachanov will start as the favorite here. However, Wawrinka is considerably more experienced and has had plenty of time to recuperate from his injuries. This will be a good game to follow, one where the result can go either way.
You can watch & bet on Karen Khachanov v Stan Wawrinka live in the ATP Doha with bet365 on Tuesday, January 1.