It was a duel of too similar actors. Not only that both caps were worn back to front, their structure is similar, too. 1,98 m zu 1,96m: The Russian ist 2 cm taller than Jan-Lennard Struff. Both serve well and can play from the baseline with their forehand as well as their backhand.
No. 3 seeded Karen Kahachanov startet with a bang and got the first six points of the match. But then Jan-Lennard Struff found his way into the match. After he had fend off a break point, the German Davis-Cup player made it 1:1. But while the Russian was able to win his service games easily, the player from Warstein had more difficulties. And in the sixth game of the first set it happened. Karen Khachanov, after three wasted chances in both the service games before, grasped his forth chance to make it 4:2. After that the 23-year-old Russian wasn’t playing around and won the first set after 29 minutes 6:3. Notable were his points serving: 20:2!
Jan-Lennard Struff wasn’t too troubled by all of this. The question was if Karen Khachanov could keep up the high level in the second set. The German’s patience was rewarded at a score of 4:2. He had his first break point to go into the lead 4:2. While his play was nearly error-free, the Russian made quite a few. The consequence was 6:3 for Jan-Lennard Struff after another 35 minutes, an even score meant the match was open again.
Up to 5:4, 30:30, both players showed a great performance. The service player dominating the match. And then came two points, that were very unlucky for Jan-Lennard Struff. First his double-fault giving Karen Khachanov a match point. The German served strong, but then a volley wasn’t placed precisely and the Russian at once used this chance at once to win the match. “It was an incredibly close match. One or two points decide the match. This time, I was lucky and so it’s a better outcome for me” the clearly very satisfied Karen Khachanov said.