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Thiem vs Khachanov ATP Paris Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Thiem and Khachanov meet for the first time with a Masters 1000 final on the line

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 3 Nov 2018
  • Dominic Thiem vs Karen Khachanov is live from Paris on Saturday, 3 November from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm GMT
  • Thiem and Khachanov meet for the first time
Dominic Thiem. (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Dominic Thiem contests his first Masters 1000 semi-final on hard courts when he takes on Russia's Karen Khachanov at the Paris Masters on Saturday.

Thiem's exploits on clay in recent seasons have been well-documented, but the Austrian had failed to reproduce anything close to that sort of form on the quicker surfaces, especially at the tail end of the year. However, 2018 has seen some improvements in that regard.

First, Thiem reached the quarter finals of the US Open for the first time, and came within whiskers of knocking out Rafael Nadal in that epic five-setter, while he followed that up by winning the title in St. Petersburg, just his second on hard courts, and a first since Acapulco in February 2016.

He also made the quarter finals in Vienna last week, and has now reached a first Masters 1000 semi-final on hard courts in Paris. The 25-yead-old made a terrific start in Paris, taking out the in-form and dangerous Gilles Simon 6-4 6-2 in the opening round, but he has since been required to dig deeper, coming from a set down to beat Borna Coric and defending champion, Jack Sock in subsequent rounds.

Friday's 4-6 6-4 6-4 victory over Sock, coupled with Kei Nishikori's exit later in the day means Thiem has now secured automatic qualification for the Nitto ATP Finals, with the Austrian set to compete in London for a third straight year.

Thiem is looking to reach his sixth final of the season. He picked up titles in St. Petersburg, Lyon and Buenos Aires, while he contested championship matches in Madrid, and of course, Roland Garros. He is up to 53 match wins for the season, one behind Alexander Zverev's tour-leading mark. The Austrian gets a chance to equal that when he plays Khachanov on Saturday.


Khachanov advanced to his second Masters 1000 semi-final with a sizzling victory over Zverev on Friday, dismissing the German, who was admittedly off-color, 6-1 6-2 after just an hour and eight minutes.

Karen Khachanov. (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Khachanov dropped just four points on his first serve, and six on his second, and he was particularly severe on Zverev's second serves, reducing the world number five to 4 of 21 on second serve points. Zverev did not hold serve all throughout the first set, with Khachanov racing through in 30 minutes. The opening games of the second set were tighter, but Khachanov cut lose again at 2-2, winning the final four games to complete a dominant and emphatic win.

He would have been delighted to have got a relatively straightforward win after the rigours of the previous day, when he saved two match points, and missed quite a few himself, in a three-set marathon against John Isner. He had opened his tournament with a 7-5 6-2 victory over Filip Krajinovic, while he benefited from a retirement from Matthew Ebden in the second round.

Khachanov is clearly having his career-best season- he has already claimed titles in Marseille and Moscow, while he made his first Masters 1000 semi-final in Toronto. He also reached the fourth round of Roland Garros and Wimbledon. 

"I'm just enjoying playing good tennis right now,” said Khachanov. “Especially the past couple of month. After winning Moscow, honestly, in Vienna it was tough for me to play emotionally. I'm playing confidently and playing good tennis right now.”

The world number 18 has only just broken into the top 20, and he is already guaranteed another big jump following his Paris conquests. Can he keep it going by advancing to his first Masters 1000 final?

To do that he will have to beat Dominic Thiem on Saturday in the first meeting between the two. Thiem has played well this week, but he hasn’t faced anyone with the confidence and ball-striking abilities of Karen Khachanov. Sock does hit the ball hard, but he is too lopsided towards the forehand side, and he definitely doesn’t fit into the confidence criteria. The free-swinging Khachanov will bring the heat off both sides on Saturday, and as well as Thiem has played in Paris, I doubt he’d be able to deal with it.

Dominic Thiem vs Karen Khachanov is live from Paris on Saturday, 3 November from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm GMT

*Geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify 


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Thiem vs Khachanov ATP Paris Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Thiem and Khachanov meet for the first time with a Masters 1000 final on the line

Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov go head-to-head on Saturday as they battle for a spot in the Paris Masters final. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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