Daniil Medvedev, Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev are at the front of an exciting time for Russian Tennis.
Daniil is of a course a former US Open finalist and was a standout player last season. Karen Khachanov has had some success as he won Paris Masters in 2018 but has struggled for consistency. Andrey Rublev may have began his year as the lowest ranked out of three but 10 wins on the bounce and two titles have made people take notice of him.
Now all three in the same half of the Australian Open draw have some interesting battles to try and orchestrate their way through.
Daniil Medvedev v Alexei Popyrin
If the organisers want the best for Alexei Popyrin then get this match on Melbourne Arena.
The energy from the crowd will be a fantastic tool for the young Aussie to feed off. We saw in New York last year the Russian get frustrated with the crowd and managed to turn a sour situation into a good one over the course of the fortnight.
I like what Alexei does bring to the court, he has a full range of variety at his disposal and I hope that he doesn’t get into the Russian’s rhythm too early.
Once Daniil gets into a rhythm the majority of the time it will be either up to someone very or Daniil himself to disrupt it.
I do like Alexei, I’ve seen a lot of him and he really impressed me at Wimbledon last year but I do feel that this will be a Russian win but I expect four sets of tennis but I would love five!
Andrey Rublev v David Goffin
Two underrated players?
Definitely two players who could cause the top 10 some issues quite soon if their form continues. Goffin continues to climb the rankings and we know about Andrey’s standout year so far.
A worry for the Belgian will be that he led by two sets and had to get to five to secure the win which included a medical time out for a hip injury.
A tough battle between the two baseline players who have skills at the net but the question will be, which player will initiate that move to the net first?
I think Goffin has the better skills at moving an opponent around the court but Rublev has that explosive power to strike into empty space on the court and pull you about.
Interesting match to keep an eye on… I have a feeling David Goffin will end the winning run though if he is fully fit.
Karen Khachanov v Nick Kyrgios
Probably the one match I do have concerns in for Karen Khachanov.
He doesn’t seem to be playing with too much confidence and has struggled for consistency for a while now. He was top 10 and winner of Paris Masters just over 12 months ago but has struggled since.
Surely this match will be on the Melbourne Arena as well? The crowd and atmosphere I imagine will be too much for the Russian.
This will be a tough one for Karen who has reached out on social media to say how he is feeling right now after a tough couple rounds knowing he isn’t at his best and saying he continues to give all he has got to get a result.
It will take something to get a result and this will be the final match on Melbourne Arena on Saturday which will be perfectly Saturday night viewing at Melbourne Park.