Nikoloz Basilashvili v Reilly Opelka Streaming, Prediction & Preview for US Open 2021: Can the Georgian Handle the American’s Serve?

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World No. 39 Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, will take on Reilly Opelka of the USA, the world number 24, and number 21 seed, in the third round of the 2021 US Open on Saturday, September 4. Get the live streaming options of this Nikoloz Basilashvili v Reilly Opelka match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.

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Nikoloz Basilashvili v Reilly Opelka Head to Head

The pair have never met before. This will be the first match between the 29-year old Georgian, and the American, who is five years younger.

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Basilashvili Faces Another American Opponent

This is the third time that the Georgian has made the third round of the US Open, although only two years ago did he make it further than that in Flushing Meadows.

Opelka will be the third consecutive American opponent he has faced in this year’s tournament, although he had a stroke of fortune in his first round match with Sebastian Korda.

Basilashvili was leading by a set, and had just gone a break up in the second set, when Korda was forced to retire with an injury.

That earned him a match against Maxime Cressy, the qualifier and world number 151, who had caused a first round shock by knocking out the number 9 seed and Olympic bronze medallist, Pablo Carreno-Busta of Spain.

There was to be no upset this time though. Basilashvili began by breaking Cressy in the opening game of the match, but the American hit back to level, and it went to a tie-break. Three dropped service points gave the set to the Georgian.

Four games into the second set, Basilashvili engineered another break, and controlled the rest of the set from there.

The pair swapped breaks in the third set, but then Cressy was broken once more, giving Basilashvili the chance to clinch the match next game, which he duly did.

Opelka, the Highest Ranked American Left

Opelka is now the highest ranked American male player left in their home Grand Slam event, and he has made it into the third round of the US Open for the first time.

So far, he has been relatively untroubled this week, winning both his matches in straight sets, beginning with Soonwoo Kwon of South Korea, the world number 76, who he beat on Tuesday.

On Thursday, he faced the Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti, who was making his debut in New York, and is better known, so far in his short career, for his performances on clay.

One of the American’s main weapon is his serve, and he used it to full effect in this match, serving 31 aces, and winning 82% of points on first serve.

The Italian did well to withstand the barrage in the first set, which eventually went to a tie-break. However, three dropped serves form Musetti gave Opelka the set.

Serve continued to dominate the second set, and there was only one break point created on either side of the net until Musetti was broken again, Opelka then serving out to love.

Again, Musetti was broken again midway through the third set, and, in his next service game, he faced a match point. He saved that but the reprieve was temporary as Opelka put the match to bed next game.

Basilashvili v Opelka Prediction and Tip

The key to this match will probably be how well Basilashvili can handle the serve of Opelka. The American will serve a lot of aces and it is how well he can stay strong on his own serve and convert whatever break opportunities that come his way that may prove decisive.

However, as Opelka is the highest American still in the tournament, this match is bound to be on a show court, and he can count for raucous local support. That should be enough to help him reach the fourth round.

Tip: Opelka to win: 1/2 (Click Here to Bet with bet365)

The 2021 US Open will be played from August 30 to September 12. You can watch & bet on these matches here. Get your latest premium tennis predictions here.

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About Andy Dalziel 1214 Articles
Andy is English but a long time resident of Cyprus. When not writing about tennis and other sports, he is also a Chartered Accountant. In his spare moments, he spends more time than is healthy worrying about his beloved Arsenal.

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