Reilly Opelka and Fabio Fognini meet again in the 1st round of a Grand Slam, this time in the Australian Open 2020.
The American participated in the Adelaide ATP 250 last week, but unfortunately for him, he ended up losing in the 1st round against Pablo Cuevas. He’ll arrive at the Australian Open with little playing time this season, something that could be a factor on a best-of-5 match. Opelka squared off with Fognini last year at the US Open, winning in 4 sets, something that he’ll try to reproduce in Melbourne. The 22-year-old is known for his big service, remembering his peer John Isner, but lately, he’s been improving immensely on his groundstrokes as well, and against Fognini he’ll need more than his service. It’s still a question mark if Reilly will be ready fitness-wise to a best of 5 match this early in the season.
Fabio Fognini, on the other hand, has been playing a lot to start the new season. He has participated on an exhibition tournament in Saudi Arabia, on the ATP Cup, and now recently on the Auckland ATP 250. His rhythm will be much higher than the one from Opelka, but still, he’ll need to be on one of his best days to cancel the American’s service. A repeat from the last US Open is not on Fognini’s mind, and he has the chance here of at least going as deep as in 2018, a year where he produced his best result in the 1st Grand Slam of the season.
This match will probably go to distance, and will contain a few tiebreakers like it’s usual on Opelka matches. I’m expecting quite long sets, with a lot of games being played.
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