Tournament: Citi Open 2022
Date: August 3, 2022
Round: Second round (Round of 32).
Venue: Washington, D.C., United States.
Category: ATP 500.
Prize money: $1,953,285.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | Canada - TSN | UK - Amazon Prime Video.
Reilly Opelka vs Denis Kudla preview
Compatriots Reilly Opelka and Denis Kudla are set to square off in the second round of the 2022 Citi Open on Wednesday.
Opelka has done quite well on hardcourts this year, compiling a 13-6 record on the surface. At the start of the season, he reached the semifinals of the Sydney Tennis Classic. He followed it up with a third-round appearance at the Australian Open.
Opelka then won his third career title at the Dallas Open, defeating the likes of John Isner and Jenson Brooksby. The following week, he made it to the final of the Delray Beach Open, but lost to Cameron Norrie. The American reached the fourth round of the Indian Wells Open before going down to Rafael Nadal in two tight sets.
An injury forced Opelka to retire midway through his second-round contest at the Miami Open. The 24-year-old was set to resume his hardcourt season once again at the Atlanta Open last week, but withdrew due to an injury. He's all set to return to action at the Citi Open, where he received a bye into the second round.
At last week's Atlanta Open, Denis Kudla lost to Mackenzie McDonald in straight sets in the first round. The 29-year-old was up against Michael Mmoh in the first round of the Citi Open.
The opening set was quite one-sided as Mmoh broke his opponent's serve twice to clinch it. Kudla stepped up his game thereafter. He jumped to a 3-0 lead in the second set, which was enough to bag the set down the line. He started the deciding set by going up a break to lead 2-0.
However, Mmoh immediately broke back to level the score at 2-2. Kudla claimed the next couple of games to go 4-2 up, but his opponent once again fought back to make it 4-4. The 29-year old then broke Mmoh's serve yet again, and closed out the match to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Reilly Opelka vs Denis Kudla head-to-head
This will be the first meeting between them, so the head-to-head stands at 0-0 for now.
Reilly Opelka vs Denis Kudla odds
(All odds are sourced from BetMGM)
Reilly Opelka vs Denis Kudla prediction
Including his first-round win at the Citi Open, Kudla has won just five main draw matches this year. As such, Opelka will be favored to come through this clash without much fuss.
Opelka's huge serve will skew things heavily in his favor. He has won 90% of his service games this year, with the number going up to 94% if only hardcourt matches are considered. Kudla's main task will be to figure out a way to make inroads on his opponent's massive serve.
Against Mmoh in the first round, he won 43% of points on return. It's a decent number, and if he manages to improve that somehow, he could stand a chance against Opelka. However, another worrying stat that goes against Kudla is his record against top-20 players. He has won just two of his 26 matches against them.
Opelka's serve isn't the only thing working in his favor, as he can do plenty of damage from the back of the court as well. The young American should be able to easily dispatch his older counterpart to make a winning start at the Citi Open.
Pick: Reilly Opelka to win in straight sets.