Fixture: Reilly Opelka vs Borna Coric
Date: 16 October 2020
Tournament: St. Petersburg Open 2020
Venue: St. Petersburg, Russia
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,243,790
Match timing: Approx. 5 pm Moscow Standard Time, 7.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Reilly Opelka vs Borna Coric preview
Reilly Opelka has struggled for form in recent months, but he seems to have turned a corner at St. Petersburg - where he is into the quarterfinals.
Wounded by the forgettable results, Opelka entered St. Petersburg with a point to prove. He's played two three-set marathons in the tournament thus far, but has shown impressive fight and desire to come through them unscathed.
The 23-year-old lost the first set in both encounters, but made a strong comeback each time.
Opelka's performance in the second round against defending champion Daniil Medvedev was particularly impressive. He fired 11 aces and won 76% of his first-serve points to stun the local favorite and top seed.
In comparison, seventh seed Borna Coric has had a fairly straightforward run at the tournament so far. The Croat won both his matches in straight sets, albeit with tight margins.
Coric was tested by Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in the second set of the first round, but he held his nerve to win 6-3, 7-6(2). The 23-year-old then put up a patient and professional performance against local boy Roman Safiullin, whom he beat 6-3, 7-5.
Coric was a finalist at St Petersburg last year, where he was railroaded 6-3, 6-1 by Medvedev. The Croat will be eager to go one step further this time around.
Reilly Opelka vs Borna Coric head-to-head
Reilly Opelka and Borna Coric have met on tour once before, in the Round of 64 at the Cincinnati Masters last year. The American leads the head-to-head 1-0, having won that match with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 scoreline.
Reilly Opelka vs Borna Coric prediction
As seen in his matches against Daniil Medvedev and Nino Serdarusic, Reilly Opelka's big weapon - the serve - is in fine working order right now. And if the American can find his first serve regularly against Borna Coric, he has a more than decent chance of ousting the seventh seed.
Opelka's groundstrokes have also been quite solid. His powerful forehand and accurate two-handed backhand have done plenty of damage on the indoor hardcourts of St. Petersburg this week.
Coric, on the other hand, is a consistent and conservative baseliner. He has a decent serve too which - while not as big as Opelka's - has produced 16 aces in the tournament so far.
The Croat is an excellent mover on the court, and by virtue of being born left-handed, has a reliable two-handed backhand. If he can get into a baseline groove on Friday, he might be able to draw enough errors from Opelka and eke out a positive result.
Prediction: Borna Coric to win in three sets.Published 16 Oct 2020, 01:12 IST