Cincinnati (Round 2): Reilly Opelka – Diego Schwartzman

Latest confrontations

There’s a 1-1 in the one-on-one.

Diego Schwartzman won their first match in 2017 in Montreal. Reilly Opelka took his revenge last year in Miami.

Note that he had 3 sets in these two previous matches.

Tournament history

Reilly Opelka has played twice at this tournament in Cincinnati, in 2016 and 2019. He has always reached the second round and has never managed to do better.

Diego Schwartzman, for his part, is competing in this Masters 1000 for the fourth consecutive year. This is the second time he has reached the second round of this competition, and his best performance is a 1/8 final (last year).

In this edition

In the first round, Reilly Opelka defeated Cameron Norrie (6-3 6-4).

For his part, Diego Schwartzman defeated Casper Ruud, in 2 sets including a tie-break.

Analysis

Diego Schwartzman should undoubtedly be the favourite to win. And yet, the match looks like a trap game to me.

Reilly Opelka certainly lacks the experience and maturity to beat the best players on the circuit. But he has some interesting qualities to win against the likes of Mister Schwartzman.

First of all, the American is a monster in service. In his first round for example, it’s 18 aces, 64% first balls for 71% points earned on them, and 65% points on seconds. He also saved the two small break balls he conceded. In short, if Diego Schwartzman wants to steal the American’s serve, he’s going to have to come out with a very big match or his opponent will miss out on his serve.

Second, Diego Schwartzman doesn’t have the best service on the circuit. His firsts are interesting but they struggle to get over 60%, and his seconds hardly flirt with the 50% points. Reilly Opelka could well take advantage of this failing sector of the game to get into good conditions (or simply make winning returns).

Finally, the little Argentinean should indeed take more than once the upper hand in the rallies. He’s a metronome who knows how to play long rallies and who forces his opponents to force things. However, Opelka shouldn’t get caught up in this kind of delirium. He should undoubtedly cut this short by dropping powerful forehand shots or going up to the net (and why not even both in the same action).

The big servers haven’t done Diego Schwartzman much good in the last few months. Reilly Opelka’s first match at home was interesting. I expect him to really put the Argentinian in trouble. That’s why I’m going for this American giant.

Prediction: Reilly Opelka wins

High risk

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