World No. 35 and number thirty two seed, Reilly Opelka of the USA, will take on the 119th ranked Andrej Martin of Slovakia, in the first round of the 2021 French Open on Sunday, May 30. Get the live streaming options of this Reilly Opelka v Andrej Martin match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Reilly Opelka v Andrej Martin Head to Head
The pair have never met before. This will be the first match between the 23-year-old American, and the Slovakian, who is eight years older.
Opelka Looking to Improve Paris Record
Opelka has never been beyond the first round in Paris, in four previous attempts, failing to qualify in 2017 and 2018, and falling at the first hurdle the past two years.
Both his ATP title wins have been on hard courts, the most recent of which came in Delray Beach last year, because they are ideally suited to his big serving game.
However, as he showed in Rome recently, he can make a virtue out of necessity.
Few gave him much chance at the start of the tournament, but he defied expectations by reaching the semi-finals before losing in the end to Rafael Nadal (no disgrace in that on clay).
There was nothing subtle about how he did it – he just blew his opponents away with his big serving and powerful ground strokes. Lorenzo Musetti, Aslan Karatasev and Federico Delbonis all fell victims to his barrage.
It will not always work on clay – he was beaten in the first round in Geneva io his follow-up event. But when it does, it can be devastatingly effective.
Martin Has Clay as His Natural Habitat
Martin reached the third round in Paris in 2016, and the following year reached his one and only senior ATP final to date, losing the Croatian Open title to Fabio Fognini.
That helped propel the Slovakian number one to a career high ranking of 98, though he has drifted a little since then.
Clay though is his favourite surface, as his 27 final and 17 tournament successes on the junior tours demonstrate, although the last of those successes was more than two years ago in Kazakhstan.
Since losing in the first round of the Australian Open, Martin has played exclusively on clay, without notable success, although he did get to the semi-final of a Challenger event in Chile.
Following that he experienced a sequence of tournaments where he went out in either the first or second round but he at least bettered that in Belgrade last week.
Having come through the qualifying competition, he made the third round, beating Nikoloz Basilashvili – winner of two titles already this year – – before going down in three sets to local man Dasun Lajovic.
Opelka v Martin Prediction and Tip
The surface suits the natural game of Martin better than it does Opelka, but, as the American showed in Rome, he can overcome his deficits by leaning into his big serve and powerful ground strokes.
If he can get both of them working, he should be able to overpower the Slovakian.