Tuesday sees the first set of quarter finals at the French Open with Novak Djokovic looking to move one step closer to a third French Open and record breaking No.23 overall. The expected semi final with Carlos Alcaraz is still on the cards but Djokovic must first see off Karen Khachanov to get there. The head-to-head is heavily in Djokovic’s favour at 8-1, with the sole win for Khachanov coming in his breakthrough title run at the Paris Masters in 2018.
Djokovic vs Khachanov Video Prediction and Analysis:
Khachanov is now a reliable performer at slams and his quarter final run here now means that his best run at each tournament has come in his last outing. That includes semi finals in Australia and the US while he was a quarter finalist at Wimbledon in 2021, having missed out last year. The draw has fell kindly to him but he has taken full advantage after escaping a two set hole in round one. He beat Lorenzo Sonego to book his spot in this match, raising his level considerably as the match went on in the 1-6 6-4 7-6 6-1 victory.
Djokovic is still yet to drop a set after four matches, with his 6-3 6-2 6-2 win against Juan Pablo Varillas the easiest of the bunch so far. He hit 35 winners in his most impressive performance to date and may well be peaking when it matters most. “I really enjoyed it, my best performance in the tournament so far.” he said. “It came exactly at the right time, as I’m coming in to the second week and obviously playing another quarter-final, the matches are going to get tougher. Bigger challenges, but I like the way I’m playing and the way I’m feeling, so I look forward to a new challenge.”
Khachanov’s consistency means he should be regular making this part of the tournament from now on but he has been often found wanting against the game’s elite by this stage of the tournament. The Russian has the power to trouble Djokovic but doing so regularly over a best of five grindfest is many times more difficult. The strategy has to be exexcuted to perfection as if he is too passive, he will eventually lose the longer rallies while too much aggression and it will end up being an error filled display. While Djokovic isn’t quite invincible these days, there is something ominous about the Serbian at grand slams when he improves throughout the tournament.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets