French Open 2017: Andy Murray is confident of knowing what to expect from Karen Khachanov
Murray dispatched Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets 7-6, 7-5, 6-0 on Saturday in his most convincing clay-court performance of the year so far.
The Brit had dropped a set in each of his opening two matches but beat the No29 seed comfortably to set up a clash with Russia’s Khachanov.
The 21-year-old is on his best ever run in a Grand Slam while Murray is aiming to reach his fifth major quarter-final in his last six attempts, although he did lose at this same stage at the Australian Open earlier in 2017.
However, the world No1 believes he has figured out the tactical challenge posed by Khachanov at Roland Garros today.
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“Some guys games are more complicated than others,” Murray told ITV.
“Some play the same shots over and over, some have a little bit more variation. It really depends on the player.
“We’ll have to see out there today but I have a fair idea of how he plays.
“He’s obviously a big guy [who] takes chances and goes for his shots.
“I’ll need to keep a good weight on my shots so he’s not able to dictate so much.”
Khachanov has already taken out two seeded players in the 2017 draw, beating Tomas Berdych (13) in straight sets before out-slugging the big-serving John Isner in the third round: a four-set match that featured three tie-breaks.
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And Murray is under no illusions about the threat the rising star represents, having practiced with him several times.
“You get an idea on what [a player’s] game style is but also practice is very different from a match,” Murray added.
Andy Murray beat Juan Martin del Potro with ease in a potentially tricky third-round match
Andy Murray will hope not to follow Tomas Berdych out of the French Open at Khachanov's hands
“There’s pressure on and guys change.
“They change the way they play and change their tendencies a little bit so it’s important to watch matches to get a better idea of what they like to do.”
Khachanov meanwhile has admitted he will call upon fellow Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, who lost to Murray in the opening round, for some extra information on the 2016 French Open finalist.
“[Kuznetsov’s coach] can tell me some tips, give me some tips and explain how was the match, yeah, with Andy with Andrey,” Khachanov said.
“I think it’s going to be a good match and good experience for me.
“I’m in the fourth round, and I will try to prepare and to do my best.
“I think that is what we are looking for, to play on the big arenas like here, centre court, and to play against the world No1.
“I’m really looking forward for it.”