- Alexander Zverev derailed Novak Djokovic’s Golden Slam campaign Friday with an upset win
- He’s the favorite against No. 12 seed Karen Khachanov, who upset No. 6 Pablo Carreño Busta Friday
- See below for a breakdown of Sunday’s matchup, and our prediction for the gold-medal match
Even if most people know what Alexander Zverev is capable of at his best, his 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic Friday in the Olympic semifinals was monumental.
Alexander Zverev vs Karen Khachanov Odds
| Alexander Zverev (GER)||-2.5 (-160)||-285||O 22.5 (-130)|
| Karen Khachanov (RUS)||+2.5 (-115)||+220||U 22.5 (+100)|
Odds as of July 30 at DraftKings
Djokovic in the Driver’s Seat – Until …
The man who was chasing a “Golden Slam”, all four Grand Slam titles plus Olympic gold in a calendar year, was up a set and a break.
And then, it looked like a combination of nerves, brutal weather conditions and an unplayable run by his German opponent crushed his spirit.
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 30, 2021
Zverev demonstrated what he’s capable of when he’s playing his very best tennis, especially in the best-of-three format. And now, he is playing for Olympic gold.
Khachanov Pulls off Upset vs Carreño Busta
The 25-year-old Russian, ranked No. 25 on the ATP Tour, was the lowest-ranked of the Russian men competing in the Olympics. But Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev all exited relatively early.
He is looking to become the first player from Russia to win Olympic gold in singles since Yevgeny Kafelnikov at Sydney in 2000.
Zverev is looking to be the first German man ever to win Olympic singles gold. Countryman Tommy Haas won silver in Sydney – losing to Khachanov’s countryman Kafelnikov.
Is that an omen? We’ll see.
Alexander Zverev vs Karen Khachanov Match History
|2019||Masters Canada (QF)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 6-3||Khachanov|
|2018||Masters Paris (QF)||Indoor Hard||6-1, 6-2||Khachanov|
|2018||French Open (R16)||Outdoor Clay||4-6, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3||Zverev|
|2016||St. Petersburg (R32)||Indoor Hard||7-6 (4), 6-4||Zverev|
Khachanov Struggles against Top-Five Players
It has been two years since the two have met. But Khachanov won their last two meetings – both on hard courts.
But Khachanov has not defeated an opponent ranked in the top five since the 2018 Paris Masters final.
Overall, his record against top-five players is a less-than-stellar 2-16.
Alexander Zverev vs Karen Khachanov Tournament Stats
|Stats (Five Matches)||Alexander Zverev||Karen Khachanov|
|Aces/Double Faults||44 / 2||49/12|
|Total time on Court||6h56||9h02|
|Break Points Converted||18 / 37 (48.6%)||18 / 42 (42.9%)|
|Break Points Saved||8 / 12 (66.7%)||15 / 20 (75%)|
Big Serve vs Bigger Serve
Most of the numbers in the head-to-head comparison between the two are favorable to Zverev.
He has nearly as many aces. But despite being famously prone to double faults, especially in pressure situations, he has only two in five matches in Tokyo. That’s unreal.
Zverev also has spent more than two hours less on court. And his rate of conversion on break points (with similar opportunities) is better than that of Khachanov.
Of the 12 break points Zverev has faced in the tournament, eight came in the match against Djokovic, four in his other four matches.
Zverev is by far the biggest server Khachanov has seen this week. It’s not even close.
Alexander Zverev vs Karen Khachanov Head-to-Head
|24 (April 20, 1997)||Age||25 (May 21, 1996)|
|Hamburg, Germany||Birthplace||Moscow, Russia|
|15||Career ATP Singles Titles||4|
|No. 3 (Nov. 6, 2017)||Career High Ranking||No. 8 (July 15, 2019)|
|No. 5||Current Ranking||No. 25|
|$25, 171,770||Career Prize Money||$9,847,132|
|32-11||2021 Won/Loss record||25-15|
|2||Career Head to Head||2|
It’s the Olympics: So Many Intangibles
Winning Olympic gold clearly means the world to both. Otherwise, they could easily have skipped it as many of their colleagues did.
Will the golden pressure get to one, or both? A huge intangible.
At the same time, even a silver medal is huge for Khachanov, who began the tournament at +4000 to win gold.
For Zverev, anything less than gold after defeating the world No. 1 and tournament favorite, would be a letdown.
But he has struggled in the past to bring his best on the biggest occasions. How he reacts will say a lot about which direction his career will take from here.
It feels as though Zverev’s road will not be smooth. The service yips that he’s avoided so far likely will hit Zverev at a certain point.
That translates into this being a long one (+23.5 games stands at +100).
They should both hold serve early as they get used to each other’s power (3-3 score in the first set is at +125).
Best Bet: Over 2.5 sets (+130)