Rafael Nadal will have one more tough match before the highly anticipated matchup with Roger Federer can become a reality at Indian Wells. Karen Khachanov will be a tough out for Nadal, with the Russian on the up for much of the past year. However, Nadal does already hold a 5-0 record against the 12th seed. Check out the Nadal vs Khachanov H2H stats.
A minor losing streak for Khachanov has been ended in style with him making at least the quarter finals this week. He has picked up good wins over Feliciano Lopez, Andrey Rublev and now John Isner to get this far. It was a strong serving performance in the 6-4 7-6 win over Isner, saving all 3 break point opportunities. “Honestly I felt returns pretty well. Like, really I was guessing right in the right moments.” he said. “I think I played in general really solid and good in the key moments, like this. And especially with John, who is a big server, this is very important. I think that’s why basically I won the match.”
“I probably played a little bit worse today than yesterday. Maybe because of the conditions, windier out there today. But in general terms have been a positive victory again. Happy the way I played.” Nadal said after his won over Filip Krajinovic. It was a fairly easy workout for him against the Serbian, who he beat 6-3 6-4 in just under an hour and a half. His first serve points won percentage took a hit in this one but it didn’t really make much of a difference in the end, given his efficiency on return.
Khachanov’s five match winning streak against top 10 players will be put to one of its toughest tests on Friday afternoon. Nadal has done well nullifying the threat of the Russian in the past, only struggling in their last meeting. Whether he has enough to get over the line is doubtful but he remains hopeful. “I’m playing better. Feeling more confident. It will be a good challenge, good match for me. I’m really looking forward to have a good match against him.” he said.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets