Tokyo Olympics Gold Medal Match Predictions – Alexander Zverev vs Karen Khachanov

Karen Khachanov in action at the Tokyo Olympics.

It may not be the final that most expected at the start of the week, but both Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov have earned their place in the showpiece event at the Tokyo Olympics. Both will also no doubt be desperate to get their hands on the gold medal. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for the match. But who will come out on top?

Tokyo Olympics Gold Medal Match Predictions

Alexander Zverev vs Karen Khachanov

Jim: Zverev played superbly to end Novak Djokovic’s bid for a Golden Calendar Slam (although the more important part of that equation remains in play for the Serb), but he will need to guard against a let down here. Particularly because Khachanov has been superb so far at the Tokyo Olympics, with his 6-3 6-3 triumph over Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals especially impressive. He also has the power to go toe-to-toe with Zverev from the baseline.

There has been nothing to split them so far in their rivalry, although Khachanov has won their last two matches and handily. Still, Zverev is the more versatile player of the two and he also has more big match experience than the Russian having won four Masters titles, as well as the ATP Finals, and he has also played in a Grand Slam final. In a match that looks likely to turn on small margins, that may well prove to be decisive.

Prediction: Zverev in 3

Anurag: Before the Olympics it looked like Djokovic then Medvedev then the rest of the field. But neither is in the final, with this uncharted territory for both Khachanov and Zverev. The Russian probably did not expect to reach the final. But in taking out Carreno Busta in a crushing semifinal win, Khachanov fired 10 aces in the semifinal and he was also frugal with unforced errors. That accuracy is unlikely to dip in the final and if he keeps calm and stays focused, Khachanov can do a lot of damage.

Zverev defeated gold medal favourite Djokovic in one of the biggest upsets this year. The German will be looking to attack Khachanov’s backhand wing. He may also plan to disrupt his opponent’s rhythm by volleying or using his slice to place the ball. Both players are serving extremely well and this match might be decided by who handles the moment better. But given Djokovic’s run this season, if Zverev can replicate what he achieved in the semifinals it would be a surprise if he falls short.

Prediction: Zverev in 2

Yesh: Zverev took out Djokovic in an incredible display, but he has one more hurdle before he can win Gold. And that hurdle is a tough one. Khachanov’s serve is clicking this tournament and his baseline game is so impressive right now. He’ll be more aggressive in rallies than Djokovic was in the semifinal, and that should make a huge difference.

Prediction: Khachanov in 3

Anish: Khachanov hit a staggering ten aces and 28 winners in the semifinals. Despite perhaps not being the most celebrated Russian, Khachanov has been their best performer since arriving at Wimbledon. He is using his powerful forehand to full effect and is doing well at the net. But the key to Khachanov’s success in Tokyo has been his unreturnable first serves. Carreno Busta managed to win just two points out of 28 when Khachanov made his first serve.

Zverev, meanwhile, fought back from a set down to defeat Djokovic in a fiery display, pounding 44 winners in the match. He also managed to win a healthy amount of points behind his rather-edgy second serve and hit only one double fault. The way he clawed his way back into the match after going a break down in the second set and then maintained the lead should give him confidence. The result may depend on the contest between Khachanov’s serve and Zverev’s return. Zverev has a better baseline game and also has more experience. He will be hungry for gold, all the more so after his performance in the semifinals. Khachanov had a great run to the final, but may have to settle for silver.

Prediction: Zverev in 2

Damian: Khachanov has been thriving in the heavy conditions at Tokyo. The Russian is a physical beast and he can handle the heat in a way many other players can’t. But Zverev is among the very few that can match him in that. While Khachanov is an ATP Masters 1000 champion, he has contested a lot fewer finals at this elite level than the German. Zverev wasn’t ready for a big title at last year’s US Open, but he won’t make that mistake again. Experience is on his side and getting a monumental win against Djokovic can only have helped him settle down the nerves this time.

Prediction: Zverev in 2

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