Fixture: (8) Karen Khachanov vs Benjamin Bonzi
Date: 18 May 2021
Tournament: Lyon Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Lyon, France
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €419,470
Match timing: 11 am local time, 9 am GMT, 5 am EST
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Eurosport
Karen Khachanov vs Benjamin Bonzi preview
Karen Khachanov is set to open his 2021 Lyon Open campaign with a first-round encounter against home favorite Benjamin Bonzi.
Khachanov, the eighth seed at this year’s tournament, has made first-round exits in his last three main draw appearances. Needless to say, he will be hopeful of turning over a new leaf here in Lyon.
Bonzi, on his part, has had a mixed start to the season. While the 24-year-old has struggled to string together wins on the ATP tour, consistent showings at the Challenger level have seen him climb up to a career high ranking of No. 115.
Bozni has managed a rake in a few strong wins over the likes of Emil Ruusuvouri and Lorenzo Musetti in recent months. He also came close to scoring a first top-25 win when he led David Goffin by a set at the Open Sud de France earlier this year.
Against an out-of-form Khachanov, the Frenchman will be sensing another opportunity.
Karen Khachanov vs Benjamin Bonzi head-to-head
This is set to be the first career meeting between Karen Khachanov and Benjamin Bozni, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Karen Khachanov vs Benjamin Bonzi prediction
His recent form on the tour notwithstanding, Karen Khachanov will enter this contest against Benjamin Bonzi as the firm favorite on paper.
The Russian has a power-packed game and will look to take on the role of the aggressor in the match. He will, however, need to keep a check on his shot selection and unforced error count – two things that have cost him a few matches on the red dirt already this year.
For Bonzi, the key will lie in finding a way to take time away from his opponent. The Frenchman has a strong front court game, and he will need to put his volleying skills to good use against Khachanov.
All things considered, Khachanov does hold a slight edge over Bonzi in this one. But the Russian will need to be more patient with his game and not give too much away for free, or he could end up at the receiving end of another first-round upset.
Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in three sets.