TennisSection previews the 2021 Rome Open as Aslan Karatsev meets Reilly Opelka in the Round of 16 on Thursday, May 13th, 2021.
Will Reilly Opelka be able to serve his way through yet another match here at the 2021 Rome Open? Will Aslan Karatsev back up that superb performance against Daniil Medvedev? Both players can win this match if they are on top of their game, but only one will make their way to the Quarter-finals of the 2021 Rome Open. Who will it be?
Reilly Opelka was able to servebot his way through both of his matches here in Rome, beating the likes of Richard Gasquet and Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets. Opelka is the tallest man on the ATP Tour, and he can basically serve aces to win a game in less than a minute if he wanted to. However, where Opelka falters is his movement around the court. Due to his height, it is hard for the American to reach down to low balls and get them back over the net with interest. Opelka will have to ensure his serve is at its best because he now meets a great returner in Aslan Karatsev on Thursday.
Aslan Karatsev caused the upset in the Round of 32, as we predicted, by beating Daniil Medvedev in straight sets 6-2/6-4. Aslan Karatsev has been in great form all of 2021, and he has already claimed 5 wins over Top 10 players this year. Aslan has both a great serve, and a great return game which enable him to power through opponents and move them around the court out of their comfort zone. Aslan has beaten the likes of Novak Djokovic on clay this year, and he will be very confident in his ability to beat Reilly Opelka to make his way to the Quarter-finals here at the 2021 Rome Open.
Aslan Karatsev and Reilly Opelka have never met before, with this being their first meeting on the ATP Tour. Although Reilly Opelka has an incredible serve, and more experience on the ATP Tour, when we compare their successes this year, Aslan wins it for me. Aslan has won nearly 20 matches this year (only losing 6), whilst Opelka has only won a handful of matches and has lost 7! Opelka is good on serve, but when opponents are able to return it, more often than not he is found to lose. Aslan Karatsev will do the same and pick Opelka’s poor movement around the court out.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Aslan Karatsev to Win.