Karen Khachanov of Russia will battle James Duckworth of Australia in the second round of the 2021 ATP Kremlin Cup on Wednesday, October 20. Get the live streaming options of this Karen Khachanov v James Duckworth match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karen Khachanov v James Duckworth Head to Head
Khachanov has been involved in two career, head-to-head battles with Duckworth till date and holds a 2-0 lead over the latter currently. The pair last met in the round-of-32 at the Tokyo Olympics, with the Russian going through to a win in straight sets.
Khachanov Looking To Take Comfort at Home
The last few events that Khachanov has featured in hasn’t done justice to either his ranking or his standing in men’s tennis. Regarded as one of the top stars in the men’s game at the minute, the Russian crashed to an opening-round defeat to rising South African star Lloyd Harris at the US Open.
Eyeing redemption at his next event, the Moselle Open, Khachanov opened his campaign with a nervy 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over little-known Frenchman Alexandre Muller.
However, despite putting up a good fight, he couldn’t get the right result in his next against veteran German Peter Gojowczyk. After dropping the opening set, the Russian did well to take the German to a tiebreak in the next. However, Gojowczyk pipped Khachanov in the tiebreak to get over the line in straight sets.
Though finishing someway short of where he had hoped to see himself going into the Indian Wells Masters, the Russian gave a slightly better account of himself in reaching the last 16.
He opened with a comfortable win over Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland and followed up with an emphatic victory over Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta to set up a last-16 clash with Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.
After going down in the opening set against the big-hitting Georgian, Khachanov mounted a spirited fightback in the second, taking to a tiebreak.
However, the Russian eventually came up short in the knife-edged tiebreak to fall to a straight-set defeat.
Back in the familiar and homely confines of Moscow, and, hopefully, with a full house behind him, Khachanov would look to get his Kremlin Cup campaign off with a win on Wednesday.
And, in Australian James Duckworth, he faces a rival he should fancy getting the better off. The Russian will be taking a 2-0 career, head-to-head lead over the Australian into this second-round clash and while that in itself will be enough to get his confidence up, he will feed off the crowd support in his bid to launch his campaign with a win.
Duckworth Hopes To Rediscover Astana Form
After the high of Astana Open where he finished runner-up on the back of a sensational campaign, Duckworth did manage to carry the momentum into his next event, the Sofia Open, but it wasn’t enough to take him to his maiden Tour title.
Currently ranked 52nd in singles, the Australian opened his campaign with a fine come-from-behind win over Ruusuvuori and followed it up with a comfortable win over veteran Frenchman Benoit Paire to set up a quarter-final showdown with defending champion Jannik Sinner.
Though he fought gamely against the Italian, his best enough to take down Sinner as he beat the Aussie in straight sets and went on to successfully defend his title.
Up against this year’s Washington Open runner-up Makenzie McDonald in his opening clash at the Indian Wells Masters, the Aussie was well below par as he fell to a tame 3-6, 3-6 defeat to the American.
Needing as much to prove to himself as his fans that he is much better than what his last tournament finish would suggest, Duckworth opened his Kremlin Cup campaign with a determined comeback win over Croat Borna Gojo.
The win will give him a burst of confidence and self-belief as he bids to get one over Karen Khachanov in his next. The Aussie trails the Russian 0-2 on the head-to-head count and also has to contend with a partisan crowd in his quest to take down one of the home favorites.
Khachanov v Duckworth Prediction and Tip
Khachanov holds a clear edge over Duckworth in terms of his ranking and head-to-head record against the Aussie and will fancy making three out of three in front of his home crowd.