World No. 27 Aslan Karatsev of Russia will take on the 47th-ranked Reilly Opelka of the USA in the third round of the Rome Masters on Thursday, May 13 Get the live streaming options of this Aslan Karatsev v Reilly Opelka match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aslan Karatsev v Reilly Opelka Head to Head
The pair have never met before. This will be the first match between the 27-year old Russian, and the American, who is four years younger.
Karatsev Eases Past Fellow Russian Medvedev
Karatsev has a legitimate claim as one of the players of the season so far, having won his maiden ATP title in Doha, where he also had doubles success with compatriot Andrey Rublev.
He followed that up by reaching his first senior clay final in Serbia, beating Novak Djokovic in his own backyard, before eventually losing to Matteo Berrettini.
And he has maintained the momentum that has helped him reach his highest ever career ranking in Rome,
He began on Monday with a straights set win over Miomir Kecmanović, although it was a match of fine margins, and the Russian was made to work hard by his Serbian opponent.
That earned him a meeting with compatriot Daniil Medvedev, the world number two, now restored to health after contracting Covid.
Karatsev broke first, mid-way through the first set, and then consolidated his lead with a second break, eventually taking the first set easily.
In the second set he had to save a break point but having done so, broke Medvedev in the very next game. He controlled the rest of the match from there.
Opelka Serves His Way into the Third Round
Opelka began Rome with no great expectations, He was in the middle of a poor run of from and was playing on a surface that does not suit his game.
Yet, despite that, he finds himself in the third round of a tournament in which he had failed to qualify for the main draw even once previously.
To get here, he has leaned heavily into his main weapon, his serve.
That helped him brush aside the challenge of Richard Gasquet in the first round and to fend off the Italian clay court specialist Lorenzo Musetti in the second round on Tuesday.
Opelka, the joint tallest man on tour served 23 aces and won 86% of his first serve points.
In the end, the barrage proved too much for the Italian, and he was beaten in straight sets.
Karatsev v Opelka Prediction and Tip
Opelka has got to this stage by blowing opponents away with his serve. However, the Russian will be a step up in class compared to who he has faced before, and should have the ability to nullify his threat.