World No. 52 Richard Gasquet of France will take on Reilly Opelka of the USA, the world 46, in the first round of the 2021 Italian Open on Sunday, May 9. Get the live streaming options of this Richard Gasquet v Reilly Opelka match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Richard Gasquet v Reilly Opelka Head to Head
The pair have never met before. This will be the first match between the 34-year old Frenchman, and the American, who is eleven years his junior.
Gasquet Struggling with Injury Problems
Now heading towards the veteran stage of his career, Gasquet has won 15 senior titles, but only two of those have been on clay.
He has done well in Rome in the past, reaching the semi-finals in 2011, and the last eight the following year, but has not been beyond the first round her since 2016.
Gasquet had the misfortune earlier this year to travel to Australia spend two weeks in mandatory quarantine and then play in the warm-up event, only to have to pull out of the Australian Open itself with a knee injury.
He returned in Doha but having won his first round match, again had to withdraw through injury.
After taking a month off after Dubai, Gasquet made his clay court season debut in Barcelona, losing in the first round to Jordan Thompson of Australia before heading to Madrid.
There he beat the Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero, but drawn against Christian Garin in the next round, his injury problems struck again and he had to pull out.
Opelka in the Middle of a Poor Run
Opelka is in the middle of a poor run of form, and he has not won a match since losing to Taylor Fritz in the second round of the Australian Open.
To be fair, he has not entered that many tournaments, but, when he has, each time he has lost in the first round.
He did not make his season debut on clay until last week in Madrid, but that ended the same way as his previous matches had done, with a first round loss to the German world 54 Dominik Koepfer.
That was no surprise because clay does not suit his natural game, which relies a lot on his heavy serve, which loses some of its power on a slower court.
This will be his first in the main draw in Rome, never having qualified for the event previously.
Gasquet v Opelka Prediction and Tip
Gasquet will start the marginal favourite for us because of his greater familiarity on clay, but there must be a doubt over his fitness given his recent injury struggles. If his body does not let him down, he should defeat Opelka.