Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro plays Reilly Opelka in the second round of the 2019 Delray Beach, Florida on Thursday, February 21. The match will begin at 8 pm local time (1 am BST on Friday).
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Juan Martin del Potro v Reilly Opelka Head to Head
The two players have never met before on the ATP circuit.
Rusty del Potro Will Look for a More Solid Performance
Juan Martin del Potro returned to the tour this week after a long injury lay-off, beginning October 2018. Del Potro looked rusty and it is not clear if he has fully recovered from his knee injury as he was not moving as freely as he normally does, in his opener. Although he won in straight sets, he did nott look himself yet for most of the match against Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka.
Del Potro had the best year of his career in 2018, winning the Indian Wells ATP Masters 1000, reaching a career high ATP ranking of three, playing the US Open final and qualifying for the ATP Tour Finals in London, before having to withdraw with an injury at the Shanghai Masters and end his season.
Del Potro will be looking for a return to his 2018 form sooner rather than later and hopefully another strong season ahead.
Opelka Looking for Biggest Win of His Career
21-year-old American Reilly Opelka is the tallest player on the ATP circuit at 6’11”. The giant serving American has had a good start to 2019, reaching a career high number 56 in the ATP rankings. The highlight of his year has been his first ATP singles title at the New York Open last week. Opelka has beaten the number one American John Isner twice this year already, at the Australian Open, and at the New York Open, with both being battle of tie breaks.
Opelka has been in tremendous serving form and will look to continue that and work on improving his return game further to put pressure on del Potro’s serve, which looked atypically softer than usual, given the Argentine’s long layoff from match practice. Opelka had a convincing straight set win in his opening around against fellow American Tennys Sandgren.
Del Potro v Opelka Predictions & Tips
It promises to be an entertaining clash of big serves and booming forehands. Del Potro has experience and an all-round game on his side, where as Opelka has been in the best form of his life recently and will be full of confidence. Expect a match of few breaks of serve, if any.
On paper, one would pick del Potro to go through, but given his long layoff and rusty return to the tour this week, expect the in-form Opelka with more match practice to win in three close sets – 3/1 with bet365 .
You can watch & bet on Juan Martin del Potro v Reilly Opelka on Thursday, February 21 here .