Rotterdam (2nd round): Karen Khachanov – Cameron Norrie

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This will be the first time these two players will compete against each other.

Tournament history

Karen Khachanov is competing in the Rotterdam ATP 500 for the fifth time in her career. He has been eliminated 3 times in the first round and has yet to make it past the second round. Oops.

Cameron Norrie, for his part, is playing in the final draw of this Dutch tournament for the first time in his career.

In this edition

For her entry into the competition, Karen Khachanov won nicely against Stan Wawrinka (whom I would have seen with a little more fishing than that).

As for Cameron Norrie, he defeated the ghost of Nikoloz Basilashvili. He even gave him a bubble in the first round. It is worth noting that the British came out of the qualifiers after defeating Niesten and Seppi in two sets.

Analysis

In the beginning of this tournament, Cameron Norrie did well, but he hasn’t yet faced an opponent of his height: Niesten (1217th in the world), Seppi (37 years old and over, really transcendent… it rhymes) and Basilashvili (ah, he still plays tennis?).

Far be it from me to downplay Cameron Norrie’s performances. In fact, I find her start to the season successful. He’s a catchy player who’s never easy to beat on a good day. Mentally impeccable since the restart, he can quickly become oppressive for Karen Khachanov.

I always find it difficult to predict a Karen Khachanov match. Indeed, the Russian is quite irregular over the course of a season and he misses some of his matches without us really knowing why.

In this Rotterdam tournament, we must also highlight the slow surface that could allow Cameron Norrie to have a little more time to get the powerful balls of his opponent of the day. Obviously, this argument works both ways.

Karen Khachanov seems to me above Cameron Norrie. His serve allows him to stay safe more often, and he has the ability to push his opponent into his entrenchments. Norrie can have difficulty regaining control of the rally when he is on the defensive (he often hopes his opponent will make a fault).

Facing Stan Wawrinka, Karen Khachanov was able to stay solid at the right moments. But what I also remember is that the Swiss player made a lot of faults, preventing the Russian from taking the initiative. This could backfire if Cameron Norrie attacks first (and that’s what scares me the most in this match).

Tennistically speaking, Karen Khachanov has everything it takes to win against this opponent. It should also be noted that these playing conditions are in favor of the Russian, who has already won 3 ATP indoor trophies. Cameron Norrie has already played 8 ATP indoor tournaments since 2018, and he has only managed to get past the second round once.

Finally, the last argument that could go in Karen Khachanov’s favour: her performances against left-handed players. He has played 14 matches against left-handed players since 2018, and has won 9 times. It should be noted that out of his 5 defeats, 4 were against Rafael Nadal (we excuse him, don’t we?) and one against Denis Shapovalov.

Prediction: Karen Khachanov wins

Medium risk

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