Rotterdam R1 previews and predictions: Goffin vs. Paire, Khachanov vs. Kohlschreiber

David Goffin, the runner-up last year in Rotterdam, will kick off his week against Benoit Paire on Tuesday. First-round action is also continuing with a showdown been Karen Khachanov and Philipp Kohlschreiber. The Khachanov-Kohlschreiber winner will likely face Roger Federer in round two.

Benoit Paire vs. (4) David Goffin 

Goffin and Paire will be meeting for the fifth time in their careers at the ATP main-draw level when they clash in round one of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Tuesday. The head-to-head series stands at 3-1 in favor of Paire, who has prevailed once on clay, once on grass, and once on an indoor hard court–the latter via a 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-6(7) decision last season in Metz. Goffin’s lone victory came at the 2016 Shanghai Masters, where he got the job done 6-1, 7-6(0).

Although Goffin’s history in this matchup is somewhat alarming, he remains an obvious favorite on paper. The Belgian is up to No. 7 in the world and he finished runner-up at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals–upsetting Roger Federer in the process. Goffin has not yet hit top gear in 2018 and he is coming off a Montpellier semifinal loss to Richard Gasquet. Paire advanced to the quarterfinals in Montpellier, where he beat Mischa Zverev and John Millman before succumbing to eventual champion Lucas Pouille. The 45th-ranked Frenchman struggled with a back injury at the Australian Open and he looked less than 100 percent last week, so this will be an especially tough test for him against Goffin.

Pick: Goffin in 2

Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Karen Khachanov

Khachanov and Kohlschreiber will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers on Tuesday. Their only previous encounter came two years ago on the clay courts of Kitzbuhel, where Khachanov scored a 6-4, 6-4 victory. As expected, the 21-year-old Russian has only improved since that point in time. He is up to No. 48 in the world (although his career-high is 29th) with one ATP title at the 2016 Chengdu event. Khachanov is off to a solid start in 2018, having lost only to Goffin (Montpellier) and Juan Martin Del Potro (Auckland and the Australian Open) to go along with five wins.

Kohlschreiber, on the other hand, appears to be on the way down at 34 years old. The German is still in the discussion for Grand Slam seeding at 36th in the rankings, but he is 0-3 so far this season. Kohlschreiber got blown out by Daniil Medevedev in Sydney, fell to Yoshihito Nishioka–who was returning from a torn ACL–in Melbourne, and lost to eventual champion Mirza Basic last week in Sofia. A relatively tough draw in Rotterdam against Khachanov will likely see Kohlschreiber’s woes continue.

Pick: Khachanov in 2

8 Comments on Rotterdam R1 previews and predictions: Goffin vs. Paire, Khachanov vs. Kohlschreiber

  1. watch the khachanov vs. kohlschriber match. It is the most sad match in the world. how can someone be so dumb? that is hilarious. dominated the whole match for 2 hours, is going to serve out the match, and just…loses after that. to a struggling old man Kohlschriber.

    please watch the match. you will consider if karen has a brain in his head for the rest of your life. its one of the worst ive seen in 3 years of watching tennis for mens tennis. it beats Thiem vs. Del Potro only because kholschriber is so old compared to del potro.

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