TennisSection previews the 2021 Cincinnati Open as Casper Ruud (8) meets Reilly Opelka in the Second Round on Wednesday August 18th, 2021.
Casper Ruud and Reilly Opelka are two of the most in-form players on the ATP Tour, and have been playing some career-best tennis over the past few weeks. Can Reilly Opelka continue his fantastic streak which resulted in a first Masters-1000 Final last week in Toronto? He’s up against Casper Ruud who has just won three titles in a row and reached the Quarters in Toronto over an extraordinary four week span. One thing is for sure, this is bound to be an exciting battle, who will get the win and advance to the Round of 16 here at the 2021 Cincinnati Open?
Casper Ruud is the eighth seed here at the 2021 Cincinnati Open and is ranked a career-high #11 on the ATP Tour. The Norwegian star has been in breathtaking form over the past month, winning three titles in three weeks and reaching the Quarter-Finals last week. He also won a title earlier in the year and reached back to back Masters-1000 Semis in Monte-Carlo and Madrid, which shows the type of year that he is having. He has elite movement and court coverage, and his aggressive groundstrokes are among the best in the men’s game. His one weakness, his serve, has been constantly improving and is not a liability anymore. He should be considered a dark horse candidate for the title here and is the slight favorite here against Reilly Opelka.
Reilly Opelka is unseeded here at the 2021 Cincinnati Open and is currently ranked at #23 in the world rankings, which is a career high. The big serving American has long been considered a “one trick pony”, relying almost exclusively on his serve to win him matches. However, he has been proving the doubters wrong of late, sensationally reaching the Finals of the Rogers Cup last week where he lost to Daniil Medvedev. With his seven foot frame movement is a weakness of his, and that can spell trouble against one of the quickest and best movers on the ATP Tour in Casper Ruud. He overcome a tough three setter against Corentin Moutet in the First Round, and while he is the underdog here he should not be discounted, as his form and huge serve will keep him in the match.
This will be the second time that the two players are meeting on the ATP Tour, with Casper Ruud leading the head to head 1-0. He won their only encounter four years ago at the Australian Open, winning in straight sets in the Qualifying Rounds. This match has the potential to go the distance, and should be a very exciting one regardless of the outcome. All things considered, I am backing Casper Ruud to get the win here. He is much more versatile than his opponent Reilly Opelka, and if he is able to get a break of serve or two he should have no problems winning here. Opelka is a dangerous opponent due to his massive serve, but Ruud has simply been outstanding this season and proven that he deserves a spot in the top 10. I expect a battle, but Casper Ruud will win here, advancing to the Round of 16 at the 2021 Cincinnati Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Casper Ruud to win in three sets
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