Finals day at the Delray Beach Open in Florida will see Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka take on the huge-serving Reilly Opelka for the title. But who will emerge victorious?
Delray Beach Open Final Prediction
Yoshihito Nishioka vs Reilly Opelka
Head-to-head: Opelka 1-0 Nishioka
The big question heading into this match is how Opelka is feeling after his lengthy semifinal battle with Milos Raonic, which was played earlier today after rain washed out the second half of the schedule on semifinals day. Opelka had to rally from a set down, saving a match point in a second-set tiebreak, to book his place in the final and, although it was not the most taxing of three-setters, he has had little time to recover ahead of the final.
Nishioka has been taken the distance three times in four matches so far at the Delray Beach Open, but he will surely be the fresher of the two men after finishing his semifinal, a 1-6 6-4 6-0 win over Ugo Humbert, yesterday before the rain started to fall. As a result, the Japanese may well look to lengthen the points and keep Opelka moving, although one rather suspects that would have been the basis of his approach regardless, with the man from Michigan possessing formidable power but limited in his movement.
Either way, Nishioka will need to find a way to break the Opelka serve, a far from straightforward proposition against the 6’11” American, who has been broken just once so far this week. But with Opelka having already played three sets of tennis today, his serve speeds could fall off, particularly if this match goes the distance, and Nishioka is a fine returner. If he can impose himself against Opelka’s serve, expect him to win the baseline battle and claim the second title of his career.
Prediction: Nishioka in 3
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