Federer cruised through his opening match of the team tournament, beating Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-4, 6-3 where he showed exactly how fit he is even after a month off.
Now the 36-year-old faces the 6ft 6in Khachanov for the second time in his career, having beaten him on the grass of Halle in 2017.
Federer secured a 6-4, 7-6 win on that occasion and will expect to take a similar win to give his Switzerland team the perfect start to their second match of the week.
Express Sport brings you all the action from the men’s singles, live from Perth in Western Australia.
Roger Federer vs Karen Khachanov LIVE
(*denotes next to serve)
*Federer 6-3, 4-5 Khachanov
There is a blink at 15-15, Khachanov netting a forehand from the baseline, but Federer floats a return into the backhand wing and the Russian guns one down the line. Another second serve is not punished by Federer and his opponent escapes the game unscathed. Just.
Federer 6-3, 4-4 Khachanov*
Federer is in top gear. That is very clear now. Even between points he’s barely taking a breath. There’s an ace, here’s an ace – and then a weak approach looks to have been punished… only for Federer to produce a brilliantly crisp backhand volley winner.
*Federer 6-3, 3-4 Khachanov
That’s seven straight holds in the second set and it’s only taken them 19 minutes too. Flying through this match.
Federer 6-3, 3-3 Khachanov*
These two are quite happy trading holds to 15 at the moment, quite a contrast to the start of the first where they were trading breaks. Hard to say who is more likely to get the first break here – although you’d say Federer because, it’s Federer…
*Federer 6-3, 2-3 Khachanov
That’s a pretty speedy service game from a big server on a fast court. He might fancy the set here, the 21-year-old.
Federer 6-3, 2-2 Khachanov*
Oh wow. Khachanov thinks he’s in the point, even at 40-15 down, but Federer finds a beautiful forehand down the line, caressing it past the Russian from the baseline.
*Federer 6-3, 1-2 Khachanov
Khachanov gets within a point of another love hold only for Federer to rush the return and steal a point.
He holds though and looks well into his rhythm.
Federer 6-3, 1-1 Khachanov*
An uncharacteristic forehand miss from the baseline by Federer gives Khachanov a sniff at 30-30 but the Swiss quickly slams the door shut to keep the second set on serve.
*Federer 6-3, 0-1 Khachanov
More excellent serving from Khachanov, whose power and spin levels on the serve are a real weapon when he gets it right.
A very cleverly constructed point pins Federer into the forehand corner and then makes a high forehand volley to take the game, holding to love.
ROGER FEDERER WINS THE FIRST SET 6-3
Not even half an hour on court, and it’s “game and first set Federer”. Well actually the umpire said Switzerland, because this is a team competition. It’s not all about you Roger! (I mean it kind of is…)
*Federer 5-3 Khachanov
Khachanov ensures Federer will have to serve for it, sealing the game with two tremendous aces.
Federer 5-2 Khachanov*
Federer is really enjoying himself out there, passing comment on almost every point to the delight of the Perth Arena crowd.
The Swiss is now, having been broken in the first game, cruising towards this opening set for Switzerland.
*Federer 4-2 Khachanov
Federer jumps out to 0-30 and he is hitting the ball just so well. But he is human and his attempt to lob the 6ft 6in Russian is just long and his challenge is unsuccessful.
And Khachanov finds some massive serves and seals the game with two very handy volleys off big Federer groundstrokes.
Federer 4-1 Khachanov*
Tough to play against. The Swiss gets to 40-0 and then plays a delicate, sliced forehand deep into the court, catching Khachanov on the stretch. All of a sudden, he’s got a convincing lead.
*Federer 3-1 Khachanov
That’s three games in a row for Federer, who has quickly got the measure of the big-serving Russian, it would appear.
Khachanov stops the point to challenge at break point, only to be wrong – that ball was clipping the smallest portion of the baseline. Federer breaks again.
Federer 2-1 Khachanov*
Yet another break point, on the Federer serve again, but he goes out wide again and is able to save rather comfortably.
He misses an on-the-run forehand at game point though and ends up in a bruising baseline battle with Khachanov, which he wins with a steered forehand, followed by a serve and volley to clinch the first service hold of the match.
*Federer 1-1 Khachanov
Federer is back level immediately. A fine volley from Federer forces two break points and Khachanov drives his own volley long to allow the Swiss to break back at once.
As you were.
Federer 0-1 Khachanov*
Expect a big game from the Russian and he is showing as much. He forces an early break point but Federer finds a forehand winer to save it. Another follows at advantage only for the Swiss to rely on his old faithful serve out wide.
But the third he can’t save and in less than five minutes, Khachanov breaks.
9.35am: Warm-ups are complete and Khachanov, having won the toss, has asked Federer to serve first…
9.15am: It was 34 degrees in Perth today, so the players will probably be thankful for the fact that this is a night match and the temperature is dropping.
That said, Khachanov is based in Dubai so probably has no problem with the heat, while Federer is basically invincible.
This is an exhibition tournament remember – there are no ranking points and we’ve had the occasional giggle – but with the Australian Open less than a fortnight away, it is a very useful warm-up for both players, who will be happy to treat it with due gravity.
They’ll be on court in a few minutes with a 9.35am start expected.