Date: 21 October 2020
Tournament: European Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Antwerp, Belgium
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: Approx. €394,800
Match timing: Approx. 2.30 pm CEST, 6 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Taylor Fritz vs Reilly Opelka preview
Compatriots Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka will square off against each other in the first round of the 2020 European Open at Antwerp.
Both players will be continuing their European hardcourt swings after taking part in the 2020 St. Petersburg Open. However, Fritz and Opelka had quite runs in the Russian city. While Opelka made the quarterfinals by knocking out top-seed Daniil Medvedev, Fritz was knocked out in the first round by Cameron Norrie.
Taylor Fritz’s form has been a bit of a concern since the resumption of the tour. Before the COVID-19 pandemic brought tennis to a complete halt, the 22-year-old had shown some promise by reaching the finals in Acapulco. Fritz was expected to maintain that level at the very least. but of late he has largely failed to deliver.
Be it on hardcourt or clay, Taylor Fritz has struggled to produce the tennis he is capable of. His best runs during this period have come at the US Open and the French Open, at both of which he made the third round.
Reilly Opelka on the other hand has been a sort of giant-killer ever since the start of the Cincinnati Masters. The 6’11 American has defeated the likes of Diego Schwartzman, Matteo Berrettini and Daniil Medvedev over the past couple of months.
Indoor hardcourt is the surface that both Fritz and Opelka enjoy playing the most on, given its ability to assist their aggressive first-strike tennis. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the big-hitting baseline battles.
Taylor Fritz vs Reilly Opelka head-to-head
Taylor Fritz leads Reilly Opelka 2-1 in head-to-head matchups. They have played twice before on hardcourts, with the head-to-head tied at 1-1 on that front.
Their most recent encounter was at Tokyo 2019 where Opelka won comfortably by a scoreline of 6-3, 6-4.
Taylor Fritz vs Reilly Opelka prediction
Reilly Opelka comes into this match on the back of some good performances in St. Petersburg. The 23-year-old showed good improvement on his groundstrokes, and could hold his own in a significant percentage of the longer rallies.
Taylor Fritz will be hoping that his forehand isn’t as off-color as it has been in the last month. If that shot isn’t up to the mark, Opelka could make short work of him in his service games.
The key weapon for both players will undoubtedly be their serves. If Opelka and Fritz are consistent with their deliveries, this match could be decided by one or more tiebreaks.
Prediction: Reilly Opelka to win in three sets.Published 18 Oct 2020, 18:52 IST