Karen Khachanov will head to Dubai shortly with plenty to think about.
The Russian has had a tough time on the tour lately but has continued to fight needs to find something else to add to his game.
Following his victory against Fognini I said in the piece I wrote that this was more of Fognini’s doing and it was the Italian even in defeat who opened up the court and created chances.
Creating chances was something Karen struggled to do and this was evident against Dan Evans. First set was just toe to tow, there wasn’t much too it in all honesty until Dan brought out the slice in the second set.
Dan found success in his sliced backhand dropping a short and low ball into the backhand of Karen who just looked uncomfortable. He was in his best spot when he was able to release off his forehand but wasn’t allowed to consistently find that shot.
Even though he was a set up against Dan Evans he just didn’t doo much at all. It was too safe from the Russian and whether that comes from a lack of confidence is something that he will have to figure out.
Just a few weeks ago I liked what he did against Nick Kyrgios in Melbourne. If anything the obituary was written before the match began as 99% expected a win for Nick. We saw a more laid back Khachanov who let loose on his shots and played freely.
These two matches in Rotterdam felt like Karen was waiting for something to happen but you have to go and get it.
Defeat to Dan Evans didn’t really surprise me. Dan has been in good form this year. He was seeded at a Grand Slam for the first time at the Australian Open and victory against Khachanov was his third top 20 win of the year.
Plenty of positives for Dan so far but plenty to ponder for Khachanov.