Just four men remain in contention at the Delray Beach Open after what has been a thrilling week of tennis. But who will book their place in Sunday’s final in Florida?
Delray Beach Open Semifinals Predictions
Yoshihito Nishioka vs Ugo Humbert
Head-to-head: first meeting
Ugo Humbert has been impressive all week. The Frenchman, who reached the quarterfinals at the New York Open last week, was taken the distance the distance in his Delray Beach opener, but toughed out a 6-7 6-3 6-1 against the American Stefan Kozlov. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength. In the second round, he beat Miomir Kecmanovic in straight-sets, avenging the defeat he suffered at the Serbian’s hands in New York, before dismantling the USA’s Frances Tiafoe to win 6-1 6-2.
His opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka, has had to work hard for his spot in the last four. In the first round, the Japanese rallied from a set down to beat the fifth-seeded John Millman, before dispatching Noah Rubin 6-1 6-2. He was again pushed hard in the quarterfinals, but hung in against the 18-year-old Brandon Nakashima to score a more than creditable 3-6 7-6 6-4 win. But that will surely have taken a lot of out him, physically and mentally, and up against a player of Humbert’s quality, that could prove terminal.
Prediction: Humbert in 2
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Reilly Opelka vs Milos Raonic
Head-to-head: Raonic leads 1-0
Reilly Opelka has been dominant from the line so far at the Delray Beach Open, having not yet been broken. Indeed, the big American did not even face a break point in the quarterfinals, beating South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo 6-3 6-4. After his title defence at the New York Open ended in a disappointing quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Jason Jung, this has surely been a welcome return to form for Opelka. But he may need to be at his best up against the second seed Milos Raonic.
The Canadian has also impressed on serve so far in Florida, having been broken just once, and unlike Opelka, he is yet to drop a set. Breaks of serve will be at a premium in this match and it would be a major surprise if the contest did not feature at least one tiebreak. As a result, this match will almost certainly be decided by who can play the biggest points the best. And the advantage there surely lies with Raonic, who is the more experienced and the more consistent off the ground.
Prediction: Raonic in 3
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