Playing in the heat of the day, on a fast hardcourt, against a player with the style of Ricardas Berankis, sounds to me like an absolute nightmare.
I think it has the potential to be a nightmare for Khachanov as well giving his shot mechanics and his general form. Berankis is a player that has the ability to keep the ball incredibly low and flat. With the balls zipping through off the court in the heat of the day, this presents a bit of a problem for Khachanov, particularly on the forehand wing. Berankis will be able to regularly keep the ball out of the Russian’s strike zone on that wing, which is important considering the struggles he has displayed lately in terms of consistency on that wing.
At the end of the day, is the form of Khachanov over the last fortnight hold much weight? The win over Kevin Anderson didn’t stack up with the South African losing to Berrettini in straight sets. Khachanov then won against Van de Zandschulp after saving a match point in the second set, then lost to Jannik Sinner. The Russian was then on the brink of a 2 sets to 1 deficit to Aleks Vukic, with the Australian failing to serve out the set twice. Khachanov had 33 winners and 50 unforced errors for the match, however was able to escape in 4 sets.
Berankis is the type of player that lurks around the outskirts of these kind of draws without really attracting any attention. He has beaten Nagal twice convincingly in the last fortnight, and was able to beat the local Jason Kubler last week as well. His ability to be aggressive and take the ball early in these conditions will be crucial.
Again, like Martinez yesterday, I think there is more value in the head to head price for the Lithuanian. I will take him to win this match outright for 2.5 units.
2.5 units Berankis to defeat Khachanov at $4.50 (+350) at Unibet