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On Wednesday, world No. 25 Reilly Opelka takes on Jordan Thompson in the Sydney Tennis Classic, with a quarterfinal ticket on the line. Thompson, ranked 73rd, is coming off of a straightforward, 6-4, 6-2, win over Marcos Giron in the first round of this tournament, while Opelka received a bye to get to this point.

The Australian will have the benefit of playing at home, of course, but more pertinent may be his American opponent’s form: Opelka has only come away with one win in his last seven matches, dating back to last October. His lone match this year came against Maxime Cressy—a three-set defeat against a serve-and-volleyer who offered Opelka little opportunity to get into a rhythm. Thompson, meanwhile, is 2-1 to begin the season.

Line Calls Jan 11 2022

Line Calls Jan 11 2022

When handicapping this match-up, it’s hard not to see the value in riding with both players to win a set, especially at plus odds. With Thompson playing a bit better than Opelka at the moment, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the Australian were to win at least one set. Opelka can’t be feeling too confident after having played only one match in the last 42 days, so it might take him a little time to get going. But he always has his serve, which should still be more than enough to keep this contest competitive.

Opelka is listed at -550 to win at least one set, meaning the oddsmakers are fairly certain that he won’t walk away without forcing a decider, at least. But considering Thompson won 69.0 percent of his first-serve points in his win over Giron, it wouldn’t be shocking if Opelka struggles to return. If we see multiple tiebreakers here, Thompson could come away with one of them.

This play is far from a slam dunk, but it’s worth taking a shot on. And should they split sets, you’ll get the bonus prize of watching a stress-free decider.

Line Call: Both Players to win a Set (+114)