Date: 9 April 2022.
Tournament: U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships 2022.
Venue: Houston, Texas, USA.
Category: ATP 250.
Prize money: $665,330.
Match timing: 1 pm local time, 7 pm BST and 11:30 pm IST.
Live telecast: USA - ESPN 3 | UK - Amazon Prime Video.
Reilly Opelka vs Nick Kyrgios preview
Third seed Reilly Opelka will take on 2022 Australian Open doubles champion Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals of the 2022 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships on Saturday.
Opelka has posted some strong results in the first few tournaments of the year. But a shoulder injury in Miami forced him to retire from his opening match, bringing his momentum to an abrupt halt.
The effects of that injury were visible in his second-round clash against Mitchell Krueger in Houston as well. The American was stretched to three sets, but ultimately prevailed.
Opelka took on Dutch player Gijs Brouwer in the quarterfinals. The third seed secured an early break to lead 4-1 in the first set. He held on to that advantage until the end to clinch it. The American trailed 1-3 in the second set, but recovered to level the score.
He nabbed the decisive break towards the end of the second set and closed out the match 6-3, 7-5. Opelka has now reached his fourth semifinal of the season, following last-four appearances in Sydney, Delray Beach and Dallas.
Nick Kyrgios, meanwhile, was scheduled to play Michael Mmoh in the quarterfinals in Houston. However, Mmoh withdrew prior to their match due to a right abductor strain, giving the 26-year-old a walkover into the semifinals.
Kyrgios defeated Mackenzie McDonald and Tommy Paul in the first couple of rounds in Houston. He has reached his first semifinal on clay since the 2016 Estoril Open.
His last-four appearance in Houston comes on the heels of a quarter-final showing at Indian Wells and a fourth-round finish at the Miami Open. After reduced action on the court over the last couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and injuries, Kyrgios has been quite consistent in 2022.
Reilly Opelka vs Nick Kyrgios head-to-head
Opelka leads Kyrgios 1-0 in the head-to-head. He won their solitary encounter at the 2021 Canadian Open in three sets.
Reilly Opelka vs Nick Kyrgios odds
Kyrgios is the oddmakers' favorite to win this match at -185, while the underdog Opelka is listed at +140.
The Australian's odds of winning the first and second set are -165, with Opelka at +120.
All odds are sourced from BetMGM.
Reilly Opelka vs Nick Kyrgios prediction
Both players have produced consistent results over the last few weeks. However, Opelka's injury could hinder him in this match.
The American's serve is normally a huge asset, but he managed to hit only four aces in his previous match. To put that number in context, Opelka hit a total of 100 aces across four matches during his title-winning run in Dallas. He'll need to find a way to replicate that if he wants to beat his next opponent.
Despite his clear disdain for the surface, Kyrgios has been playing quite well on clay this week. His serve hasn't let him down so far and could be the difference in this match. If Opelka isn't serving optimally, the Australian will have an opportunity to do well on return and possibly earn a crucial break.
Kyrgios' ground game has been working quite well too and he has been as focused as ever. In his previous match against Tommy Paul, he saved all six break points that he faced. A determined Kyrgios will be tough for Opelka to overcome, especially if he's not fully fit.
Pick: Nick Kyrgios to win in three sets.