Indian Wells 2022: Rafael Nadal vs Reilly Opelka preview, head-to-head & prediction | BNP Paribas Open

Rafael Nadal (L) and Reilly Opelka
Rafael Nadal (L) and Reilly Opelka

Match details

Fixture: (4) Rafael Nadal vs (17) Reilly Opelka.

Date: 16 March 2022.

Tournament: BNP Paribas Open.

Round: Fourth round (Round of 16).

Venue: Indian Wells, California, USA.

Category: ATP Masters 1000.

Surface: Hardcourt.

Prize money: $8,584,055.

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Voot.

Rafael Nadal vs Reilly Opelka preview

Rafael Nadal at the 2022 Indian Wells Masters
Rafael Nadal at the 2022 Indian Wells Masters

21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will square off against World No. 17 Reilly Opelka in the fourth round of the 2022 Indian Wells Masters on Wednesday.

After being on the brink of defeat in his second-round match against Sebastian Korda, Nadal played much better in the third round against Dan Evans. The Spaniard was down a break in the opening set, but regrouped to win it. He won the second set in more convincing fashion to defeat the Brit 7-5, 6-3.

This was Nadal's 17th consecutive win, further improving on his career-best start to the season. The victory also marked the Spaniard's 400th at the Masters 1000 level, becoming the first man to achieve the feat. Rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are some way behind him with 381 and 374 wins respectively.

Reilly Opelka at the 2022 Indian Wells Masters
Reilly Opelka at the 2022 Indian Wells Masters

Reilly Opelka's 2022 season has been excellent so far. He won his third career title at the Dallas Open and was a finalist at the Delray Beach Open. He has continued his good run of form on home soil at the Indian Wells Masters.

Opelka had no trouble dispatching Lorenzo Musetti in the second round, winning 6-1, 6-4. He faced a stern test against Denis Shapovalov, who had beaten the American in the third round of the Australian Open in January.

Reilly Rallies ๐Ÿ˜Œ@ReillyOpelka digs deep to beat Shapovalov 6-7 6-4 6-4 to reach R4 for the first time in the desert!He awaits Nadal next...#IndianWells

Shapovalov clinched the first set in a tie-break, but Opelka stepped up his level to score a 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 win and reach the fourth round in the California desert for the first time.

Rafael Nadal vs Reilly Opelka head-to-head

Nadal leads Opelka 1-0 in the head-to-head, having won their only previous encounter at the 2021 Italian Open in straight sets.

Rafael Nadal vs Reilly Opelka prediction

Nadal at the 2022 Abierto Mexicano Telcel
Nadal at the 2022 Abierto Mexicano Telcel

Nadal will be the favorite heading into the contest. However, the Spaniard hasn't been at his best in his two previous matches.

Opelka's serve is a huge weapon and something he relies heavily on, especially against top-ranked opponents. He'll need to be impeccable on serve to challenge the Spaniard.

However, the heavy conditions at Indian Wells are likely to aid the former World No. 1 while hampering Opelka's serve a little. Nadal is an excellent mover around the court and will look to use his forehand to put the American on the backfoot and keep him on his toes.

Nadal has improved with every outing. Opelka might make it a competitive match, but it seems unlikely that he will end the Spaniard's winning streak.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets.

Also Check Out: Indian Wells Masters 2022 Results

Edited by Nihal Taraporvala


Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...