Fixture: Nick Kyrgios vs Reilly Opelka
Tournament: National Bank Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Aviva Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Outdoor hard
Prize money: $2,850,975
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | Australia - beIN Sports | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Nick Kyrgios vs Reilly Opelka preview
Nick Kyrgios will look to turn his flagging fortunes around when he takes on the dangerous Reilly Opelka in the first round of the 2021 National Bank Open in Toronto.
Kyrgios' tournament appearances have been few and far between over the last few months. The Australian returned to the tour after a prolonged break at the Australian Open, where he squandered a two-set lead against Dominic Thiem in the third round.
The 26-year-old then played Wimbledon, where he reached the third round before having to retire due to physical problems. Kyrgios then bowed out in the second round in Atlanta and the first round in Washington.
Opelka, meanwhile, has blown hot and cold this year. He got off to a poor start before finding some form at the Masters 1000 event in Rome, where he defeated Lorenzo Musetti and Aslan Karatsev en route to the semifinals.
More recently, Opelka reached the quarterfinals in Atlanta, losing to compatriot Taylor Fritz in three tiebreak sets. He then bowed out of the second round in Washington.
Nick Kyrgios vs Reilly Opelka head-to-head
The first-round encounter in Toronto will be the first meeting between Nick Kygrios and Reilly Opelka, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Nick Kyrgios vs Reilly Opelka prediction
Reilly Opelka has been in decent form of late and thus comes into the match as the slight favorite. The 6'11" American's biggest weapon is undoubtedly his serve, which he uses to dominate opponents from the get-go. He also has a powerful, flat forehand that can deal some damage.
Nick Kyrgios, meanwhile, may not have much momentum coming into the encounter, but he will be hungry to make a deep run in Toronto.
The Aussie's massive serve and topspin forehand allow him to dictate points from the baseline. But he has plenty of variety as well and will look to keep Opelka guessing with his mix of slices and drop shots.
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Kyrgios has not played much tennis of late and a player like Opelka can cause him plenty of problems, especially early in a tournament. Ultimately, the Australian's lack of competitive tennis in recent months could cost him in the crunch moments.
Prediction: Reilly Opelka to win in straight sets.