The previous meeting between Khachanov and Norrie was a much different story, with the Brit winning 6-1 6-1 in Lyon earlier this year.
Norrie recently won his first ATP Tour title at the Mifel Open in Los Cabos, and this defeat is only his second loss in the first round in the 18 tournaments that he has played in 2021.
Khachanov took firm control of the match immediately, racing to a double-break lead in the opening set. Norrie’s level rose towards the end of the set, putting pressure on Khachanov, but he was ultimately unable to prevent Khachanov from taking a one-set advantage.
The second set was a tense affair, with neither player able to break serve until the final game, with Norrie taking it 7-5 on his fourth break point of the set.
In the deciding set it was the World No. 28 Khachanov who held his nerve, moving on to the second round where he will play fellow Russian Aslan Karatsev. Both Khachanov and Karatsev won medals in Tokyo, with Karatsev taking silver in mixed doubles.