Fixture: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Reilly Opelka
Date: 26 August 2020
Tournament: Western & Southern Open 2020
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $4,674,780
Match timing: 5 pm EDT, 2.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Sony Ten 2
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Reilly Opelka preview
Tsitsipas has had his work cut out over the past few days. He first faced towering two-time Slam finalist Kevin Anderson in his opening match, where he beat the South African in straight sets. He then faced another giant in the form of John Isner for a place in the quarterfinals, which put his return to the test again.
The Greek's return is considered to be one of the weakest aspects of his game, but he used it well to defuse the mammoth serves of both Anderson and Isner. To add to that he has also been serving well - Tsitsipas won 84% of his first serve points against Isner.
The 2019 ATP Nitto Finals winner would be hoping to repeat a similar pattern when he faces Reilly Opelka for a place in the semifinals. The American has had quite the week at the Masters 1000 tournament being held at Flushing Meadows.
Pitted against the in-form World No. 8 Matteo Berrettini, Opelka brought out the goods at the most crucial times. He lost just two points on his first serve, and wrapped up the match in straight sets to continue his giant-killing spree - even though at 6'11" he is a 'giant' himself.
Prior to beating Berrettini, Opelka had also beaten World No. 14 Diego Schwartzman in straight sets. The match practice that the American got at the UTR Pro Match Series and the Altec Styslinger Tennis Exhibition during the lockdown has helped him produce his sharpest tennis right from the get-go in New York.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Reilly Opelka head-to-head
The quarterfinal match between the two Next-Gen stars will be their first-ever career meeting on the tour. The head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Reilly Opelka prediction
Both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Reilly Opelka have had a fine season coming into the 2020 Western & Southern Open. Tsitsipas reached the Dubai Open final in February (where he finished runner-up to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic), before lifting the trophy at Marseille a few weeks later.
Opelka has also won a hardcourt ATP title in 2020, successfully defending his 2019 New York Open trophy. And now the American is in his first ever Masters 1000 quarterfinal, which suggests he is ready to take the next step.
Both Tsitsipas and Opelka have a great first serve, which will be quite effective on the fast courts at Flushing Meadows this year. Opelka naturally has a better second serve, but the Greek makes up for that with his superior baseline consistency.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is known for his intensity and fight, especially in big matches. If he can remain focused while returning Opelka's serve, he would be favored to dominate just enough of the baseline points and eke out a close win.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in two tiebreak sets.Published 26 Aug 2020, 13:18 IST