Khachanov Wins Battle Of Big Hitters In Halle
Russian Karen Khachanov reached his third quarter-final of 2019 on Wednesday at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle, beating home favourite Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Khachanov, playing at a career-high of No. 9 in the ATP Rankings, didn’t face a break point in either the first or third sets, and converted two of his seven chances against Struff, who was also playing at a career-high of No. 35.
“On grass, both of us are playing pretty aggressive, serving hard. So it was really difficult to find the rhythm on the opponent’s serve. I had to try to wait for the chances,” Khachanov said.
Both Khachanov and Struff made the second week of Roland Garros (Khachanov, QF; Struff, Round of 16). The Russian’s other quarter-final of 2019 came in March at the BNP Paribas Open, the season’s first ATP Masters 1000 event, in Indian Wells.
Khachanov will next meet an Italian, either red-hot Roman Matteo Berrettini or Andreas Seppi. Berrettini beat #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime to win his second ATP Tour title on Sunday at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart. Berrettini leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0, which includes their second-round match last week in Stuttgart.
“Both of them are good players, especially on grass courts. I think they are dangerous guys,” Khachanov said.
David Goffin, 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up, fought past Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com champion Radu Albot of Moldova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to setup a potential quarter-final matchup with second seed Alexander Zverev. Goffin improved to 3-3 on the season in deciding sets, and 80-45 (64%) for his career, according to his FedEx ATP Win/Loss Record.
“It was not easy today. It was the first time I was playing on the centre court. It’s different conditions compared to the outside court,” Goffin said. “I’m really happy with the way I fought.”
Zverev faces American Steve Johnson on Thursday for a place in the last eight. Nine-time champion Roger Federer also returns on Thursday against France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 11-6.