Alexander Zverev vs. Karen Khachanov – Tokyo Olympics Men’s Tennis Final

| July 31, 2021 8:42 am PDT

The odds on the ATP no.1 Novak Djokovic winning the Olympic gold were as short as -1400 a few days ago. But then, Alexander Zverev stepped in. The 24-year-old German beat the Serbian 2-1 in the semifinal.

By crushing Novak’s Golden Slam dreams, Sascha secured himself an Olympic medal. The question is which color is going to be – gold or bronze?

That’s what we’re going to find out on Sunday afternoon local time (early morning US time) when he takes on Karen Khachanov in the final. Here’s my betting preview of the match.

Zverev vs. Khachanov Odds

Zverev to Win1.33
Khachanov to Win3.40
Zverev -1.5 Sets1.85
Khachanov +1.5 Sets1.85
Over 22.5 Games1.82
Over 22.5 Games 1.96

As you can see, Olympics betting sites see Alexander Zverev as the favorite for the gold medal. No surprise there, really. After all, Zverev is ranked much better than his opponent.

He is currently sitting in the no.5 position in the ATP Rankings. Khachanov, meanwhile, is 20 places below.

Zverev has also been in a much better run in 2021 than his rival. However, there’s one thing that’s giving the Russian international confidence ahead of the final – he’s beaten Zverev in straight sets in their past two meetings.

Zverev’s Lost Only One Set at the 2020 Olympics

You could say that 2021 is the year of Alexander Zverev. He’s been brilliant since the start of the year, winning two tournaments already – ATP Acapulco and ATP Madrid.

Zverev also reached the semifinal of the Wimbledon this year. However, his biggest achievement thus far is getting to the final of the Olympics.

The German, who’s been in the ATP top 10 for more than four years has been brilliant in Tokyo, winning the first four matches in straight sets each.

One could argue that his opponents in those four matches weren’t elite players – Yen-Hsun Lu (#575), Daniel Elahi Galan Riveros (#113), Nikoloz Basilashvili (#41), and Jeremy Chardy (#68).

Well, it’s true, those four aren’t elite. But the man Zverev faced in the semifinal certainly is! In fact, you can’t get more elite than Novak Djokovic!

Zverev entered the match with Djokovic as a 5.00 underdog. Those odds became even longer after the first set which he lost 6-1.

After losing the first set, we saw Zverev rising from the ashes. He won the next two sets comfortably (6-3 and 6-1).

So, what happened? In simple words, Zverev went all-in and Djokovic completely lost his nerves!

However, there might another reason why Zverev managed to get his first victory against Djokovic after five straight defeats. The 34-year-old Serbian superstar has also been playing in the mixed doubles.

Actually, Djokovic played in the quarterfinal of that tournament some 20 hours before the clash with Zverev.

Khachanov Is a Sort of Hardcourt Expert

Both finalists seem to love playing on the hardcourt. Nine of the 15 trophies Zverev has in his collection were won on this surface. However, the fact is that the German has a better win percentage when playing on clay than on the hardcourt.

It’s a similar case when Karen Khachanov is concerned. His win rate is higher on grass, but he’s never won a tournament on that surface. Instead, he’s won four titles on the hardcourt and one on clay.

What’s interesting is that he seems to be focused on the hardcourt matches over the last couple of years. For instance, 33 of the 40 matches he played in 2020 were played on this surface.

Another interesting fact is that in the previous two hardcourt matches he played against Alexander Zverev, Khachanov won each time. He beat the German 2-0 both times!

The trouble for Khachanov is that those victories happened two and three years ago.

Zverev vs. Khachanov Prediction and Betting Picks

The Olympic tennis final is going to be a clash between two titans – both metaphorically and literally!

Zverev and Khachanov are among the tallest players in the ATP, each being 6’6 tall. That said, both players play a similar style of tennis with an offensive approach and incredibly hard serves.

Still, there’s one major difference between the two; Sascha Zverev is simply a much better player.

I know this, but so do oddsmakers who are giving only 1.33 on Zverev winning the gold medal. If that’s not good enough for you, you could spice things up by betting that Zverev will win in straight sets.

These are my betting picks for the Zverev vs. Khachanov match.

  • Alexander Zverev to Win Gold (1.33)
  • Alexander Zverev -1.5 Sets (1.83)
Zarko Naric
Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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