Khachanov Fights Past Lopez Into Wimbledon Third Round
Bautista Agut, Paire and Vesely also advance on day three
Karen Khachanov initially found himself out of sync, battling the great service variety of Feliciano Lopez, but found his game in the second set and won a 20-point final game for the match on Wednesday at The Championships.
The Russian saw three match points go by, largely courtesy of brilliant net play from Lopez, but on his fourth chance, Khachanov raced into the net to fire a backhand winner through his opponent to complete a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 win in two hours and 44 minutes on No. 1 Court.
Tenth seed Khachanov, who initially served for the match at 5-3 in the fourth set, extended his perfect FedEx ATP Head2Head record to 3-0 against Lopez, in their second meeting of the year (BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells). With greater consistency on first serve — 62 of 76 points won — he is through to the Wimbledon third round for the third successive year. Last year, the 23-year-old lost in the Last 16, which, prior to last month’s Roland Garros quarter-final was his best Grand Slam championship performance.
Three-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist Lopez, who won 33 of his 52 serve and volley points, hit 18 aces — 10 more than Khachanov — and 62 winners, 20 more than his opponent. Two weeks ago, the 37-year-old captured his second Fever-Tree Championships crown (d. Simon).
“I think that match was under control after winning the first set,” said Lopez. “[I] had a few chances [at the] beginning of the second set, two times 15/40 on his serve. [I] didn't make it. Then, I got broken two, three times today, just when I didn't have to get broken by the end of the set at 5-4. Then, to finish the match, also after getting the [service] break, playing great, saving match points in the last game… I didn't serve well enough, I think, in those moments, because I got broken two, three times at the end of the sets.”
More From Day 3
* Djokovic Rolls Into Third Round
* Auger-Aliassime Take #NextGenATP Battle
* Opelka Hangs Tough, Edges Wawrinka
* Low Backhand Slice Helps Anderson To Victory
* Klaasen/Venus Set Clash With Hewitt/Thompson
Khachanov will next face Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, the No. 23 seed, who was leading 6-3, 6-3, 4-2 when Steve Darcis of Belgium retired in their second-round clash after one hour and 33 minutes of play on Court 16.
Elsewhere, sixth seed Alexander Zverev’s conqueror, Jiri Vesely, continued his run by hitting 21 aces past Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 in just under three hours. The Czech qualifier now plays Benoit Paire, the No. 28 seed from France, who moved through after Miomir Kecmanovic retired due to an ankle injury at the end of the second set. Paire was leading last week’s Turkish Airlines Open Antalya finalist 7-6(5), 6-4.