Home » Sport » Reilly Opelka beats Yoshihito Nishioka to win the Delray Beach | title ATP tour

Reilly Opelka beats Yoshihito Nishioka to win the Delray Beach | title ATP tour

On Sunday Reilly Opelka had to overcome many obstacles, playing two games against opponents – one 6 “and the other 5” – with completely different playing styles. But the American 6’11 “is literally and figured tall to win the VITACOST.com Delray Beach Open title.

Opelka won his second ATP Tour trophy behind 27 aces with a 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-2 win against Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka. Earlier in the day, the 22-year-old rallied ahead of former world number 3 Milos Raonic, saving a meeting point in the semifinals to triumph 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3.

“I’m really proud of the way I fought in the third set,” said Opelka of his win over Nishioka. “I had an initial break and I broke again. Physically I was feeling pretty good. If it broke me and we had to play tennis, I was fine.”

That game was postponed due to rain on Saturday night. However, Nishioka was able to finish his semi-final on Saturday, so he only had to play one game on Sunday. Nothing could stop the great Opelka, however, since it defeated the 2018 Shenzhen champion after two hours and 10 minutes in his home tournament. Opelka resides on Delray Beach.

“I love playing at home. I have a home not far from here, 10 minutes. So I’m based here, I’ve been here for the past 10 years, so I’m very comfortable,” said Opelka. “It will be an event that I will play a lot for the rest of my career just because I plan to stay in South Florida. I love playing Delray.”

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The fourth seed is the fourth American champion in Delray Beach in the past five years, with Radu Albot in Moldova making an exception last year. Opelka won its first ATP Tour trophy a little over a year ago at the New York Open.

Opelka first played Nishioka in the ATP Head2Head series last week in New York, winning that game 6-4, 6-4. In those internal conditions, Opelka saved all four breaking points he faced. He broke up in Delray Beach, but saved three of the four breaking points he faced, playing brave tennis under pressure.

“The conditions were very different last week indoors, but much slower. This is where I want to play,” said Opelka. “These are much better conditions for me to play it. I played well.”

Opelka showed no fear of engaging in rallies with Nishioka, showing a great footwork for her height by playing a stubborn defense when necessary. But he also went for his shots when the balls got up, and this paid dividends at key times.

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Opelka crushed a 6-5 straight at the opening to gain his third set point. And after playing a lot of defense on the front, he hit a cross-court backhand shot that Nishioka couldn’t handle, jumping on the chair and popping his chest in celebration.

Nishioka was under pressure in the second set, he needed to save three set points – Opelka didn’t face anyone – but he stayed around to force a tie, where his solid play helped him force a decision maker. The 24-year-old continued to move Opelka, placing Americans in uncomfortable positions, which led to mistakes.

But a concentration interval in the first game of the third set proved deadly for Nishioka. He made a double mistake to give Opelka the break, and that was all the champion needed. Later Nishioka lost a backhand down the line to give the home favorite a second break in the set, and Opelka finished his win with his 27th ace.

“It is very difficult to stop his service games,” said Nishioka. “In the third set I lost my mind a little and maybe he saw it, he went out and tried to be a little aggressive. It worked. This was fundamental in this game. But much better than last week when I played against him. “

Opelka adds 250 FedEx ATP points to its total and earns $ 97,585, while Nishioka leaves Florida with 150 points and $ 53,615.

Did you know?
Opelka hit a total of 46 aces on Sunday, hitting 27 against Nishioka and 19 against Raonic.

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