TennisSection previews the 2022 Sydney Open as Andy Murray takes on Reilly Opelka in the semifinal on Friday, January 14th, 2022.
Will Reilly Opelka get another straight sets win under his belt as he aims to make his first final of the year? Will Andy Murray be ready to be at his best on the return game to give himself a chance at his first title since 2019? Both players know that if they win here they will have a very good chance to win the title. But only one will make their way to the Final of the 2022 Sydney Open. Who will it be?
Reilly Opelka met his fellow American, Brandon Nakashima, in the quarter finals, beating him in straight sets 7-6 / 6-2. Opelka had to fight through that first set, and his serve was the difference. In the second set, Opelka played with more freedom as he had already won a set, and this allowed him to get a few breaks against Brandon. Now that he is in the 2022 Sydney Open semifinals, Opelka will be very excited to start his year off with a title, but he will also know that he needs to both think about the opponent he has coming ahead, in Andy Murray, and also whether his body needs to recover for the Australian Open next week.
Andy Murray will be happy with his quarterfinal match as he met David Goffin, winning the first set 6-2 and then not having to play the second set as Goffin withdrew. Murray made up for some recovery time after his long and draining match against Basilashvili, and he is sure to be ready to go for this semifinal encounter at the 2022 Sydney Open. If we see Murray win a title at the start of the season it will be a great sign of things to come. However, he will need to ensure he is patient and consistent off of the return as he meets the big serving Reilly Opelka.
Andy Murray and Reilly Opelka have never met before, with this being their first career meeting. Although Reilly is ranked 110 places higher, this match is not going to be a walk in the park for either player. Opelka will definitely have the advantage on the serve, but I think when push comes to shove in the tight moments, Murray will be able to hold his composure more during the rallies. I expect an entertaining 3 set encounter here, and I think that once Murray gets a read off of Opelka’s serve, he will force the American into many rallies which will eventually favour Murray and his chances to make the Final of the 2022 Sydney Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Andy Murray in 3 Sets.
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