TennisSection previews the 2021 Qatar Open as Roberto Bautista Agut (5) meets Reilly Opelka in the first round on Monday, March 8 2021.
Will Roberto Bautista Agut continue to impress in these hard-court conditions as we have seen him do both at the 2021 Montpellier Open (4/7), or will the big swinging and big serving American, Reilly Opelka (11/8), be able to get this match to go to the distance, where more often than not, he thrives. This is going to be a very tight encounter in the first round here in Qatar, but only one player can come out on top and book their spot in the second round.
Reilly Opelka has not had the best of time on the tennis court as of recent, not performing too well at the Australian Open, where he was knocked out of tournament after being 2-1 up and serving for the match by his fellow American Taylor Fritz. Since then, Opelka went to the Rotterdam Open, where he lost in the first round. Opelka lost in 3 tiebreak sets to Marton Fucsovics who was on fire last week and even reached the Semi-Finals. Reilly knows that to win matches he needs to be hitting a very high first serve percentage, because if his second serve is in play, opponents can return it a little bit more easily. Opelka is not a great rallier, and if he has to play long rallies, more often than not, he will end up losing. Can Opelka find some success here at the 2021 Qatar Open?
Roberto Bautista Agut has been playing some solid tennis as of recent. The No.5 seed reached the Final of the 2021 Montpellier Open a couple of weeks ago, and he is definitely looking to go far here in Qatar. Bautista Agut is such a tough opponent to play against as he continuously plays 20-30+ shot rallies and outwears his opponents. Roberto is one of the best hard-court and indoor hard-court players at ATP 250 and 500 level, and I would be shocked if he does not end up winning a title or two in these tournaments in 2021. Roberto has had a great career so far, being one of the most dominant, but underrated, players on the ATP Tour. RBA even reached the 2019 Wimbledon Semi-Final where he put on an incredible display against the eventual Champion, Novak Djokovic. Will RBA go far here in Qatar this week?
This is going to be the third meeting between Roberto Bautista Agut and Reilly Opelka, with the head to head standing tied at 1-1. They met both times in 2019 towards the end of the year at the Shanghai Masters 1000 and the Basel Open. RBA won their Shanghai encounter in straight sets 6-4/7-5. Opelka won their Basel encounter in 3 sets 6-3/3-6/6-3. They play very tight matches when they come up against each other, and I am sure that it will be the same here in Qatar. If Opelka was a bit better at rallying and could move around the court faster, I would have given him the edge in this match. However, this is not the case. On the other hand, Roberto Bautista Agut can both win points easily with his serve, and he can outwear nearly anyone with his amazing movement around the court.
This is definitely going to be a tight match, perhaps even a three setter, however, at the end of the day, only one player can win. In my opinion, Roberto Bautista Agut is in better form, and thrives more in these conditions. Roberto Bautista Agut to win and book his spot in the second round of the 2021 Qatar Open.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Roberto Bautista Agut to win (4/7).