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Khachanov vs Kyrgios tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Former Cincinnati finalist Kyrgios out to unseat eighth seed

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 14 Aug 2019
  • Karen Khachanov faces Nick Kyrgios in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters
  • Khachanov vs Kyrgios is live from Cincinnati on Wednesday at 8.30pm local/1.30am BST
Karen Khachanov (PA Sports)

Two of the biggest hitters in tennis face off for the first time as eighth seed Karen Khachanov opens his Cincinnati Masters campaign against Nick Kyrgios. 

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Washington champion Nick Kyrgios takes on Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov for the first time at the Cincinnati Masters.

Khachanov made the semifinals in Montreal (PA Sports)
Eighth seed Khachanov comes into Cincinnati buoyed by a recent uptick in form, which promises to rescue what was looking like a dire season. After 2018 ended on such a high for the 23-year-old Russian, who claimed his maiden Masters 1000 Series title in the final tournament of the year in Paris, many looked to him expectantly for a big push upwards in 2019.

But for the first five months of the year, Khachanov struggled, an early illness costing him momentum. His best result during this stretch was a quarterfinal appearance at the Indian Wells Masters and he did not make another quarterfinal at any level until the French Open, when he took advantage of a softer draw and beat Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round to reach the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career.

Khachanov broke into the top 10 for the first time as a result but his grass-court season was fairly average – he made the quarterfinals in Halle and the third round of Wimbledon – and his summer hard-court season did not start auspiciously when he lost in the first round of Washington, D.C. to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. But Khachanov surprisingly defended his semifinal points from last year’s Canada Masters, defeating three good opponents – Stan Wawrinka, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alexander Zverev – in some style before losing to compatriot Daniil Medvedev.

Khachanov has reached the third round on both of his previous appearances at the Cincinnati Masters and clearly plays well on American hard courts, but he will have his work cut out for him against Kyrgios in the second round.

Kyrgios made the solitary Masters 1000 Series final of his career so far in Cincinnati two years ago when he beat Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer before finishing runner-up to Grigor Dimitrov, and reached the third round in 2018 before narrowly losing to del Potro.

Nick Kyrgios (PA Sports)
The Australian has actually won only two fewer matches than Khachanov in 2019 despite playing five fewer events. It’s been the usual feast or famine from Kyrgios this year, with stretches of poor play and what looks a lot like desultory effort interrupted by two dazzling runs to 500-level titles: First in Acapulco in March, when Kyrgios’s ranking had dropped to world no. 72 but he nevertheless defeated Nadal, John Isner and Zverev to claim the title; and secondly at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. two weeks ago, when he beat top-10 opponents Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev back to back to be crowned champion.

As usual the tennis world responded by wondering hopefully whether the undeniably magnetic Kyrgios had, finally, put it all together, speculation fueled by Kyrgios himself talking about having turned a corner and hard work paying off. But he was also battling a back injury and clearly wasn’t really fit to play as he bowed out to Kyle Edmund in the first round in Montreal in straight sets.

Kyrgios’s inability to avoid injury and stay healthy for any length of time is a real obstacle in the way of his gathering any momentum, but then we also know that he can find his best tennis seemingly out of nowhere (and lose it just as quickly). He made a solid start to his Western & Southern Open campaign with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over world no. 47 Lorenzo Sonego.

Kyrgios said he didn’t feel like he served well against Sonego, but he had little trouble in protecting his delivery. He added: ‘I knew it was going to be tough and I wanted to play Khachanov next, so I’m looking forward to it.’

‘He's an amazing player, so young. We played juniors together. He's had an amazing career so far, and he's going to be one of the best players in the world for a long time,’ the Australian elaborated later. 

‘He plays super-aggressive. Unbelievable first serve. Great forehand. He's a big guy, as well. Moves well.’

This will be the first meeting between Kyrgios and Khachanov, but both know what to expect: Major artillery off both wings and on serve, and a clash between two of the biggest forehands in the game. I think it’s actually really tough to call, but Kyrgios is better at attacking the net, and he certainly seems motivated for the clash. That gives him a slim edge in the Cincinnati encounter.

Khachanov vs Kyrgios tennis is live from Cincinnati on Wednesday at 8.30pm local/1.30am BST

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Khachanov vs Kyrgios tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Former Cincinnati finalist Kyrgios out to unseat eighth seed

Karen Khachanov vs Nick Kyrgios live streaming, preview and predictions for the Western & Southern Open second-round match on Wednesday 14 August: Two of the biggest hitters in tennis face off for the first time with both on form after Kyrgios’s Washington title and Khachanov’s Montreal semifinal run

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