With both players a win away from a silver medal at worst, this looks to be a massive opportunity for both players. Given the form coming in and the opponents they have beaten along the way, there is one player that I am trusting a little more than the other.
Whilst Karen Khachanov has put together a super week this week, Pablo Carreno Busta is far and away the toughest opponent for the Russian this week, and arguably the worst style of match up as well. Whilst Khachanov had the ability to find his way into the service games of Nishioka and Schwartzman given their lack of power, and used the experience in his favour to overwhelm Duckworth and Humbert, with Ugo putting up very stiff resistance in the quarter final. PCB has a very capable first serve, is consistent off both wings and is going to be able to limit his errors and force Khachanov to beat him.
Outside of a first set lapse against Marin Cilic, PCB has returned to the hardcourt in impressive fashion. I was a little worried that Dom Koepfer was going to be a difficult out in the third round, however he handled that match-up incredibly well. He backed it up with a very consistent performance to beat Daniil Medvedev 6-2 7-6, including coming from a break down in the second set.
This match-up, and the odds, look good for the Spaniard. Nerves will be in play for both, so I am a little hesitant to stake highly in this one. I will take PCB at the game handicap for 1.5 units.
1.5 units PCB -1.5 games vs Khachanov at $1.90 at Unibet