Rafael Nadal: Karen Khachanov makes Novak Djokovic quip ahead of Indian Wells showdown

Rafael Nadal: Karen Khachanov makes Novak Djokovic quip ahead of Indian Wells showdown

Khachanov is gearing up to take on Nadal in the Indian Wells Masters quarter-finals this afternoon.The 6ft6 Russian knows a potential semi-final sh

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Khachanov is gearing up to take on Nadal in the Indian Wells Masters quarter-finals this afternoon.

The 6ft6 Russian knows a potential semi-final showdown with Roger Federer could await if he knocks out the second seed.

But ahead of that clash, Khachanov was asked about the advantages of taller stars on tour.

The likes of Alexander Zverev, Juan Martin del Potro, Maric Cilic and Sam Querrey were given of examples of players who benefit from a giant serve.

“Obviously the advantage I think that we have more power; we have bigger serve than the guys who are a little bit shorter,” Khachanov said.

“Yeah, I mean, especially for me, I have more shots, more aggressive.

“On the other side, I think the players that you named, we are moving really well on the baseline.

“It’s not only serve. We do serve and volley.

“So we are kind of rallying and trying to play points against guys like Rafa, Novak (smiling).

“Yeah, the other guys who are shorter, of course, they have maybe advantage in the moving, so they are even faster. But that’s logical, right?”

World No 13 Khachanov has lost all five of his previous matches with Nadal.

But he has happy memories from facing the 17-time Grand Slam winner.

“I think it was one of the best matches from last year and in general, maybe, like, in terms of fight, spirit, intensity, the rallies, the atmosphere. Everything was amazing,” Khachanov added.

“What to say? He’s one of the best tennis players, great champion. And nothing to lose, let’s say.

“I’m playing better. Feeling more confident. It will be a good challenge, good match for me.

“I’m really looking forward to have a good match against him.”

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