Reilly Opelka at the 2021 US Open
Fixture: (16) Reilly Opelka vs (23) Grigor Dimitrov
Date: 11 October 2021
Tournament: BNP Paribas Open
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Indian Wells, USA
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Prize money: $8,761,725
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK – Amazon Prime Video
Reilly Opelka vs Grigor Dimitrov preview
Home-favorite Reilly Opelka will square off against Grigor Dimitrov in the third round of the 2021 Indian Wells Masters.
Opelka began his campaign with a win over Taro Daniel. The towering American beat the Japanese 7-5, 6-3 to register his first-ever win at the event in four attempts. The 6’11” giant had fallen in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open on three previous occasions.
Opelka hammered 11 aces past Daniel and won a whopping 90% of his first serves. More impressively, the 16th seed won a remarkable 75% of the points played on his second serve and did not concede a break point throughout the encounter.
Such was the dominance Opelka displayed on his delivery that the Japanese only managed nine return points. On the other hand, the American won a respectable 37% of the points on Daniel’s service games, which proved to be the difference in the end.
Opelka has won 10 of his last 14 matches on tour and will look to continue his hot streak in the Californian desert.
Grigor Dimitrov, too, hasn’t enjoyed much success at the Indian Wells Masters. The Bulgarian has not made it past the third round in seven previous attempts.
However, Dimitrov matched his best result at the event by beating Daniel Altmaier in the second round. Dimitrov, a former Masters 1000 champion, won 6-4, 6-2, in what proved to be a straightforward opener.
The 30-year-old dropped just eight points on his serve and did not get broken throughout the contest.
Reilly Opelka vs Grigor Dimitrov head-to-head
Reilly Opelka leads Grigor Dimitrov 1-0 in the head-to-head. The two faced off at the Cincinnati Masters earlier this year, with Opelka winning 6-3, 6-4 in 74 minutes.
Reilly Opelka vs Grigor Dimitrov prediction
Grigor Dimitrov at the San Diego Open
Reilly Opelka and Grigor Dimitrov both like to dictate play on the back of powerful first serves. The last time the two faced each other, both were untouchable on that shot. However, Opelka was much more efficient on second serve, which tiled the scales in his favor.
Having said that, the surface at Indian Wells is not very conducive to first-strike tennis, and we could witness a few long rallies. Opelka has a lot more to his game than just a big serve and he can hold his own from the baseline against the best ball-strikers.
Ultimately, this match could boil down to a battle of second serves, and Opelka has the edge in that respect.
Prediction: Reilly Opelka to win in three sets.