World no.1 Andy Murray has done better than most people would have thought so far at the French Open. The Scot has been struggling for the most of 2017, winning just one title so far but he seems to have improved his game for the second Grand Slam of the year. He now takes on the Russian, Karen Khachanov, who has already defeated two big names on his way to the fourth round.
Murray will be looking forward to make it to the quarter-finals of the French Open for the seventh time where he goes up against the 21-year old Khachanov. And, if he fails to make it, it will be the first time since 2010. Not much is known about his opponent Khachanov but the young Russian will definitely prove to be a tough opponent for Murray.
It's fair to say that Murray is set to face his toughest test against Khachanov later today and even though not a lot is known about him, he is slowly becoming one of the most talked about players in tennis. The Russian already defeated Tomas Berdych and John Isner on his way to making the fourth round and if Murray is not at his best, another upset could be on the cards.
Khachanov is the youngest man to make it to the fourth round of the Roland Garros since Marin Cilic did it in 2009 and the fact that he did it on his very first try is outstanding. The young Russian struggled initially in 2017 but once the clay court season started, he flourished. He reached the quarter-finals of the 500-level Barcelona Open and beat – Pablo Cuevas and David Goffin in the process.
He has also reached the quarter-finals of Lyon last week before losing to the eventual champion, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Khachanov believes that this match against Murray is going to be a good experience for him and is really looking forward to it.
"I think it's going to be a good match and good experience for me. I'm in the fourth round, and I will try to prepare and to do my best. I think that is what we are looking for, to play on the big arenas like here, centre court, and to play against the world no. 1. I'm really looking forward to it," ATP's official website quoted Khachanov as saying.
As for Murray, the world no.1 defeated Juan Martin del Potro in the third round to set up this match with Khachanov and he feels that that was his best match so far in clay court this season. While Murray and Khachanov have never played before, the Scot used to practice with him and feels he is a big strong guy.
"I have never played a match against him, but I practised with him before he got on to the tour when he was like 350, and he was really good. Big, strong guy. Generates a lot of power. He's also got a big serve," Murray said.
Before defeating Del Potro in a hard fought straight set win, Murray was once again pushed to the limit in his first two matches but he managed to find a way to get to the victory. Andrey Kuznetsov was his first round opponent and after each player won the first two sets, Murray came back strong and dominated the next two sets to win.
Against Martin Klizan, the Scot lost the first set in the tiebreaker but went on to win the next three to win the match. It's going to take a lot more from Murray to come out with a win against Khachanov. If Murray feels that he played his best match against Del Potro, he will need to be better than his best to make it to the quarter-finals.
Where to watch
The French Open match between Andy Murray and Karen Khachanov is set to start tentatively at 12:30pm local time, 4:00pm IST and 11:30am BST.
TV and live streaming information
India: TV: Star Sports Select HD1 and Star Sports Select HD2. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: ITV. Live Streaming: ITV Hub.
USA: TV: Tennis TV and NBC Sports. Live Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra.
Europe: TV: EuroSport. Live Streaming: EuroSport Player.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
Middle East: TV: Bein Sports Arabia. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Canada: TV: TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5. Live Streaming: TSN TV.