Opelka Gets The Biggest Win Of His Career

BB&T Atlanta Open, Georgia  

[28] Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs. [837] Reilly Opelka (USA)

Memories of Anderson failing to serve it out last year against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon still lingers in his mind and practically everyone who follows tennis.  It will be brought back to the surface once again after today’s match. Anderson was clearly struggling physically, but the conditions were the same for both players.  Opelka should have been the one struggling physically because he had a very demanding match against fellow American, Christopher Eubanks, the day before.  Today was Anderson’s first match so he should have been was well rested. 

In a match where both players struggled with their movement, the advantage went to Anderson. Opelka was anxious and was getting a tad frustrated when he missed some shots on break chances. I thought the match was over when Anderson managed to hold to get to the point of serving for the match; however, he proved once again that he is still mentally vulnerable when he is trying to close out his matches.  This was the biggest upset that I can remember watching from start to finish.  I was impressed that Opelka maintained his belief and kept fighting even when he was down the break in the final set.  I think his movement has improved since the last time I saw him play.  He won 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 and this should give him a huge boost of confidence going forward.

Where does Anderson go from here?  Is this mental collapse going to crop up in his matches going forward or can he find a way to suppress his anxiety enough to avoid squandering important leads?

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