TennisSection previews the 2022 Australian Open as Reilly Opelka (23) meets Kevin Anderson in the First Round on Monday January 17th.
A battle of the big servers is upon us here in the First Round of the Australian Open as American Reilly Opelka, the twenty third seed will play South African veteran Kevin Anderson in what is sure to be an exciting match. Both men will be heavily reliant on their serves here, and it will likely come down to who is able to hold their nerve during their return games. Opelka has the edge in recent form, can the veteran cause the upset here in Melbourne?
Reilly Opelka is ranked 25th in the world and is the 23rd seed here at the 2022 Australian Open in Sydney. The American is known for having one of the biggest serves in the history of the game, and will be depending on that in order to get him through this tricky First Round encounter with former top five player Kevin Anderson. Opelka has been in mixed form to start the new year, losing in the opening round in Melbourne before reaching the Semi-Finals in Sydney, narrowly losing to Andy Murray. His opponent has been in poor form recently and has struggled with injuries, so Opelka starts as the favorite to advance here.
Kevin Anderson is unseeded here at the 2022 Australian Open and finds himself ranked at a lowly #101 in the world. The big South African was once ranked as high as number five in the world and has a wealth of Grand Slam experience, reaching two Finals at Wimbledon and the US Open. After a very rough 2021 season he will be hoping for a bounce back year, but has started poorly, losing in the First Round in Melbourne to Jaume Munar. The draw here in Sydney has not been kind to him either, and he will face the dangerous American Reilly Opelka in the First Round.
This will be the second meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, with Reilly Opelka winning their only match back in 2016 as a youngster. This is sure to be an entertaining match filled with short points and big serving, and it is likely that we will only see a few breaks of serve. Kevin Anderson has a ton of Grand Slam experience and he won’t be an easy opponent, but it is hard to ignore the turbulent times that he has endured over the past few seasons. Opelka is younger, fitter and is in good form, and I expect him to come away with the very close win here at the 2022 Australian Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Reilly Opelka to win / Both men to win a set
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