The final stage of the ATP 250 event in Zhuhai has been reached. Much superb tennis has been played, marking a successful return for the ATP Tour in China. French Open quarterfinalist Karen Khachanov faces Yoshihito Nishioka for the title. Can the Japanese star cause an upset? We at LWOT give our prediction and analysis in this article. But who do you think will win the final?
ATP Zhuhai Final Prediction
Karen Khachanov vs Yoshihito Nishioka
Head-to-head: Khachanov 3-1 Nishioka
It has felt like a very important week for both players. Khachanov had only played one match since the French Open due to injury. This week has confirmed that he is back to full fitness, and playing quality tennis. Nishioka on the other hand had been largely struggling for positive results throughout the season. But he often plays his best tennis after the US Open, with both his previous ATP titles coming during the Asian swing.
Some may assume that the moderately fast conditions at the ATP Zhuhai Open harms the less powerful Nishioka in this matchup. However, this is not true. The 27-year-old is most comfortable when redirecting pace, rather than having to generate it himself. This is proven by Nishioka’s only previous win against Khachanov coming in Washington last year, which has some of the fastest conditions on the ATP Tour. By contrast, the world #15 thrashed Nishioka twice on the slightly slower Australian Open courts in 2019 and 2023. The contest earlier this year included the extraordinary situation of Khachanov winning the first two sets 6-0 6-0.
Expect the final at the ATP Zhuhai Open to be far closer. I think Nishioka does have a chance here, in conditions that suit his playing style perfectly. This could come down to how well Khachanov serves. He is capable of taking the racket out of Nishioka’s hands, which can help him pile on the pressure during his return games. But he could have problems if he does not find his range on serve. The two-time Grand Slam semifinalist generally prefers to have time to wind up his groundstrokes, (especially on the forehand side) something Nishioka is unlikely to allow due to how adept he is at redirecting pace.
Overall, I predict Khachanov to win a very tight final at the ATP Zhuhai Open. That is based on him serving his best when it matters most. But do not rule out an upset in this one.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports