Karen Khachanov spoke about the differences between playing against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Davis Cup. The Russian player said: “Both are different but both, they can play good tennis, no?” he joked. “So it’s different.
I was saying to the guys actually in the locker today after the match that against Rafa, for example, the intensity is really high, but the ball comes different, you know, there’s more spin. And with Novak, you know, you feel always also pressure.
Like, he plays really deep, flat shots. He doesn’t open you so much but he plays you, he pushes you outside of the court, and that’s the toughest thing. He returns great. I think that’s also one of the advantages that you have.
With Rafa, I feel that I’m serving, not better, but that I have more advantage on my serve. With Novak, he always puts you under pressure. So, you know, and then of course if he played like he played today, so I think that was really high level from him.
So I had maybe two break points but he served well. Otherwise, there were no other opportunities.” On how playing Davis Cup in a neutral venue changes the scenario, he added: “The Davis Cup atmosphere, still, we can see some, for sure, Russian guys.
Thanks for them who came to Madrid, it is not easy and it is quite expensive I can say. And at the same — I think you still feel the Davis Cup atmosphere because both countries are cheering, the crowd is cheering for you, and you still know you are playing not only for yourself but for the country. So pretty similar.”