Djokovic vs Khachanov French Open tennis preview, head-to-head and predictions

hannahwilks in French Open 04 Oct 2020
Djokovic has hit 40 aces at Roland Garros this year (Photo by Laurent Zabulon / ABACAPRESS.COM)

Novak Djokovic has dropped just 15 games at the French Open so far – can Karen Khachanov make him work a little harder?

Djokovic vs Khachanov is live from Roland Garros on Monday 5 October, 3pm local/2pm BST

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic has lost to Karen Khachanov in Paris before – but not at Roland Garros, where the Serb is looking to make his fourteenth quarterfinal.

French Open 2020: Find out tournament information for Roland Garros 2020 and how to stream French Open matches live

Djokovic has cruised through the draw so far and is yet to lose a completed match in 2020, but Khachanov is the first seeded player he has faced at Roland Garros this year: Can the powerful Russian provide a stern test of Djokovic’s level?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Djokovic vs Khachanov: Head-to-head

Novak Djokovic leads the head-to-head with Karen Khachanov 3-1. Khachanov’s sole win came in the final of the Paris Masters in 2018 when he beat Djokovic 6-2, 6-4.

They have never played on clay.

Djokovic vs Khachanov: Preview

It’s about time Novak Djokovic faced a tougher test at the French Open, after dropping five games each against Mikael Ymer, Ricardas Berankis and Colombian journeyman Daniel Elahi Galan. Will it come against Karen Khachanov, though?

This is the fourth straight year that Khachanov has reached the last 16 or better in Paris: He lost to Andy Murray in 2017, Alexander Zverev in 2018 and Dominic Thiem in last year’s quarterfinals, his maiden appearance in a Grand Slam quarterfinal thus far.

The Russian clearly has a good relationship with this place: His solitary Masters 1000 Series title also came in Paris, in 2018 when he defeated Zverev, Thiem and Djokovic on the way to the title.

That victory over Djokovic was the only one Khachanov has scored in four attempts, and indoor conditions certainly contributed to it, flattering the Russian’s big serve and booming forehand – something to keep in mind should they end up playing their match under the closed roof of Court Philippe-Chatrier, as many matches have been played recently. (Not that Djokovic plays poorly indoors – quite the contrary – but Khachanov needs all the help he can get in this one.)

22 September 2020, Hamburg: Tennis ATP Tour – German Open, singles, men, 1st round in the stadium at Rothenbaum. Hachanov (Russia) – Struff (Germany). Karen Chatschanow plays a forehand. Photo: Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa

That win for Khachanov snapped a 22-match winning streak for Djokovic which dated back to the Rogers Cup. Djokovic comes into this clash on a comparatively lowly eight-match winning streak, having claimed the Rome Masters title a few weeks ago, but the fact is that he hasn’t lost a completed match in 2020 – and thanks to the peculiar circumstances of this season, he isn’t at the end of a long one, like he was when he met Khachanov in 2018.

Khachanov hasn’t yet really kicked on from the promise he showed by winning that Masters 1000 Series title, becoming a more-or-less consistent top-20 player rather than one who threatens the top players on a regular basis. He is on a five-match losing streak against top-10 players, and those last two defeats have come at Djokovic’s hands, in straight sets. The scorelines? 3-6, 3-6, 2-6, 2-6.

The Russian plays some of his best tennis in Paris, but I’m not sure even his absolute best tennis would be enough to beat Djokovic over the best of five sets. At maximum, Khachanov might get a set by coming out, going for the lines and making absolutely everything for a set. But Djokovic will come through, and probably without too much difficulty.

Djokovic vs Khachanov: Prediction

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