TennisSection previews the 2021 US Open as Reilly Opelka takes on Lloyd Harris in the Round of 16 on Monday, September 6th, 2021.
Will Lloyd Harris get yet another big win under his belt as he continues to make a name for himself on the ATP Tour? Will Reilly Opelka show us his amazing game which has gotten him far in 2021, especially in the last couple of months? Both of these big hitting players can win this match, but only one will make their way to the Quarter-Finals of the 2021 US Open. Who will it be?
Lloyd Harris got his 3rd top 10 win of the year in the Round of 64, beating the very in form and high ranked, Denis Shapovalov, with incredible ease in straight sets 6-4/6-4/6-4. Lloyd is so underrated in the Men’s Singles game and he has shown us that he can beat big names, like Dominic Thiem, Rafael Nadal, and Denis Shapovalov (twice this year, but only now as a top 10 player). Lloyd has a huge serve which is hard to return, and this gives him the confidence in his game to return freely against his opponents. However, Lloyd will now face an even bigger server in Reilly Opelka, so his return game needs to be at its best here at the 2021 US Open.
Reilly Opelka also cruised through his Round of 64 match, beating the experienced Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets 7-6/6-3/6-4. Reilly Opelka has been in great form in the North American hard court swing this year, reaching the Final of the Toronto Masters and showing us that he has expanded his game to be more than just a servebot. When looking at Opelka’s games last year, he would heavily focus on just getting to a tiebreak and winning it like that. However, nowadays, Opelka has adapted his forehand to be more likely to hit the lines and get deep returns. This has allowed Opelka to win sets through breaks of serve, which used to be unheard of. Can the American show us this again as he now meets Lloyd Harris here at the 2021 US Open?
Reilly Opelka and Lloyd Harris have met 2 times before, with the head to head tied at 1-1. They met most recently around a month ago at the Toronto Masters where Opelka won in 3 tight sets 4-6/7-6/7-6. Both of them are big serves and have a big forehand, so they will both have a similar gameplan in my opinion. However, going off of who has had more success in the last few months, as well as who the crowd will be fully behind, Reilly Opelka will have the edge here. This is going to be a great match, and I expect it to go down to the wire. However, Opelka will get himself in the Quarter-Finals of the 2021 US Open as he will hold his serve more easily.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Reilly Opelka in 5 Sets.
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