ATP Rotterdam: Karen Khachanov outguns Stan Wawrinka in straight sets
Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos

In a showcase of power hitters, Karen Khachanov outdueled eighth seed Stan Wawrinka, with the Russian winning their first-round match at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament by a score of 6-4, 7-5.

Khachanov won 10 of 11 points at net in the one hour, 32 minute contest while forcing Wawrinka into 30 unforced errors. He broke once in each set to even the head-to-head with the Swiss at two wins apiece.

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Khachanov came out as the aggressor on return, forcing Wawrinka to deuce in his first service game of the match before the Swiss held, but consecutive forehand errors gave the Russian a 2-1 lead with a break.

Both players were playing aggressively from the baseline and each man had to save break points in subsequent service games with Khachanov still on top 4-3.  Three games later, the Russian served out the set as Wawrinka missed a forehand long on set point.

The beginning of the second set was in stark contrast to the beginning of the first as Wawrinka generated a break point chance in the second game only to see Khachanov save it.

Both men were cruising along until the Russian forced the Swiss into a three deuce game before Wawrinka held on to stay in front 5-4. He wasn't as fortunate in his next service game, Khachanov playing some fine defense to force the fourth seed into errors to break.

Serving for the match at 6-5, the world number 21 held to love as he fired off a deep forehand that Wawrinka had no reply to, closing out a most impressive performance.