World No. 25, and number twelve seed, Karen Khachanov of Russia will take on Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, the world number 55, in the first round of the Olympics men’s singles on Saturday, July 24. Get the live streaming options of this Karen Khachanov v Yoshihito Nishioka match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karen Khachanov v Yoshihito Nishioka Head to Head
The pair have played each other once before, in the second round of the Australian Open two years ago, Khachanov winning in straight sets.
Khachanov, One of Three Russian Seeds
In 2018 Khachanov beat Novak Djokovic to win the Paris Masters and a year later he was top ten player and the Russian number one.
Several years of indifferent form have seen his ranking slip, whilst players like Daniil Medvedev and Andriy Rublev overtake him.
All three of them are here representing Russia – not subject to the same requirements to compete under a neutral flag as the erst of the Russian Olympic team – and all three are seeded.
Recently there have been signs that he may be rediscovering some old form.
He reached the third round in Melbourne for a third successive year, and, on the clay of Lyon in May, got to the semi-finals before losing to Cameron Norrie.
Most recently at Wimbledon, he emulated his best ever run in a Grand Slam by reaching the quarter-finals, and was a set up on Denis Shapovalov before losing a five setter.
He has represented Russia previously in the ATP Cup.
Nishioka Denied Home Support
Under normal circumstances, Nishioka would have been backed by a passionate home crowd in the stands. However, the decision to ban spectators from nearly all the Olympic events due to Covid reasons, has robbed him of a crucial advantage.
The Japanese number two, whose early career suffered a setback after a knee injury, has been in two finals, winning in Shenzhen in 2018, and finishing runner-up to Reilly Opelka in Delray Beach last February.
This though, has not been his best year on tour so far, and he has not been further than the third round of any tournament, the stage he reached in Singapore back in February. And Lyon and Parma in May.
He was beaten in the second round of Wimbledon by Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia, and, most recently, in the first round oi Newport by the American Jack Sock.
Khachanov v Nishioka Prediction and Tip
If Nishioka were to enjoy the backing of home support, this might have been a close match. Robbed of this advantage though, Khachanov will begin favourite to repeat his previous victory over the Japanese player.