Tournament: Abierto Mexicano Telcel 2022.
Round: First round (Round of 32).
Venue: Acapulco, Mexico.
Category: ATP 500.
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt.
Prize money: $1,832,890.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Tennis TV.
Rafael Nadal vs Reilly Opelka preview
Fourth seed Rafael Nadal takes on Reilly Opelka in the first round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.
The Spaniard started 2022 at the Melbourne Summer Set 1, where he was the top seed. Nadal progressed to the final of the competition by beating Ricardas Berankis, Tallon Griekspoor and Emil Ruusuvuori. In the summit clash, he beat qualifier Maxime Cressy to win the tournament.
The King of Clay then entered the Australian Open as the sixth seed. Nadal started off by registering convincing wins over Marcos Giron and Yannick Hanfmann. The Spaniard then overcame Karen Khachanov in four sets before beating Adrian Mannarino to seal his place in the quarterfinals of the competition.
Here, Nadal successfully battled stomach problems to beat Denis Shapovalov in five sets and reach the semis. The 35-year-old then defeated Matteo Berrettini in four sets to qualify for his sixth Australian Open final.
Standing between Nadal and a 21st Grand Slam title was World No.2 Daniil Medvedev. The Russian won the opening two sets and had three break points in the third. However, the Spaniard fought hard and produced a sensational comeback to beat Medvedev 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. Nadal thus won his second Australian Open crown and his 21st major title.
Meanwhile, Opelka started 2022 with a first-round exit at the Melbourne Summer Set 1. He followed this up by reaching the semifinals of the Melbourne Summer Set 2, where he lost to Andy Murray.
The American began the Australian Open with wins over Kevin Anderson and Dominik Koepfer. However, he lost to Shapovalov in four sets in the third round.
Opelka then competed at the Dallas Open and won it by beating Jenson Brooksby in the final. He did not drop a single set during the tournament. The 24-year-old was seeded second at the Delray Beach Open and reached the final following three-set victories against Jack Sock, Adrian Mannarino and John Millman.
However, he was defeated in straight sets by Cameron Norrie.
Rafael Nadal vs Reilly Opelka head to head
The two will meet for the second time when they lock horns in Acapulco. Their previous meeting came in the semifinals of last year's Rome Masters, with Nadal winning 6-4, 6-4.
Rafael Nadal vs Reilly Opelka prediction
Nadal has had an impressive start to 2022 with two titles and 11 wins out of as many matches. Opelka hasn't fared too badly either, winning 11 out of 14 matches so far this year.
The American's strongest weapon is his big serve and he will be keen to serve as many aces as possible. Nadal may not be as dependent on aces as Opelka but will undoubtedly put pressure on the latter with his service game.
The 35-year-old will be keen to make the most of his strong forehand, which will undoubtedly trouble Opelka. Nadal has a fine net game as well, which could also help him overcome his opponent.
Opelka could put up a bit of a fight but Nadal should be able to get the better of him and move on to the next round.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets.
Also Check Out : Mexican Open 2022 Results