Karen Khachanov plays Guido Pella in the second round of the Barcelona ATP 500 on Wednesday, April 24th, kick-starting at around 3 pm local time (2 pm BST). Get Karen Khachanov v Guido Pella live streaming options here.
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Karen Khachanov v Guido Pella Head to Head
The players have never met on the ATP circuit.
Khachanov Looking To Break Poor Run
Russian Karen Khachanov is part of the next generation of upcoming tennis stars, often referred to as the ‘Next Gen’. With a breakthrough year in 2018, Khachanov reached a career high ATP ranking of number 11 in November of 2018. The highlight of the year was a first Masters 1000 win in Paris where he defeated world number one Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the final.
Among other highlights will remain his intriguing and memorable match at the US Open against Rafael Nadal in the third round, which he lost after an intense fight with the Spaniard.
Khachanov came into 2019 with a lot of promise and hope. However, the season thus far has been disappointingly inconsistent for the Russian. A number of early losses have seemingly set back his confidence and self- belief. A powerful striker of the ball with a strong forehand, Khachanov qualified for the round of 16 at the French Open in 2018, and will be looking for a consistent run on the clay this time around.
After a first round bye, with clay court specialists like Pablo Carreno Busta and Dominic Thiem in his quarter of the draw, Khachanov will be looking for a convincing and confidence seeking opening outing here.
Can Pella Continue His Strong Start to the Season?
World number 35 Argentine Guido Pella has had his best start to the season, with a career high ATP ranking of number 32 in March of this year. In February of this year, Pella reached his fourth career ATP final at the Cordoba Open losing to compatriot Juan Ignacio Londero in three sets in a tight final. Reaching his fifth career ATP final in March at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo, Pella won his first ATP title defeating Christain Garin in straight sets.
The European clay swing has so far been encouraging for Pella, who defeated Marin Cilic at the Monte Carlo Masters before reaching his first ever Masters 1000 quarter final. Pella was able to challenge Rafael Nadal breaking his serve multiple times before losing a closely fought first set in the tiebreak before capitulating in the second set. Of seven tournaments played on clay thus far this year, Pella and Garin remain the only two players to have reached two finals.
With a 16-8 tally for the year, Pella has shown promise on the clay and will be looking forward to more success, both here at Barcelona and further on elsewhere too. Pella had a tight first round match against Joao Souza coming through in three sets.
Khachanov v Pella Predictions & Tips
While on paper, Khachanov seems the stronger and better player, current form indicates the reverse. Khachanov is low on confidence after the early round exits that have happened this year more frequently than he would have liked. With a relatively successful clay season thus far, Pella will be full of self-belief, on the other hand. A clash of contrasting players remains on the cards, with Pella going through in a closely fought three-setter.
Tip: Pella to win: 11/10 (888Sport)