Match of the Day: Taylor Fritz vs. Reilly Opelka, Antwerp

Match of the Day: Taylor Fritz vs. Reilly Opelka, Antwerp

The rising American stars and best buds will face off in Antwerp's opening round.

Competing against one of your best friends is never easy, but Reilly Opelka and Taylor Fritz are definitely used to it by now. When they aren’t roasting each other on Instagram, they are probably hanging out with each other and the rest of “the boys.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@atptour ???????? @reillyopelka fight me ????????

A post shared by Taylor Fritz (@taylor_fritz) on

Knowing a roast of this cheesy picture was immenent, Fritz called out his friend in the caption.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

My bruddas

A post shared by Reilly Opelka (@reillyopelka) on

It's all fun and games, though, as Fritz and Opelka are two of the closest friends on the ATP Tour.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Happy Birthday brudda! @tommypaull 23! The Last Dance is a must on this Sunday

A post shared by Reilly Opelka (@reillyopelka) on

The two huge-servers have long been the face of their American tennis generation, along with fellow buds Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul. 

While the stakes are higher now than they were in junior tennis, it’s safe to expect nothing but kindness and good sportsmanship between the two lifelong friends. But still, neither Fritz nor Opelka reached the ATP’s upper echelon at such a young age by being bashful competitors. The result surely won’t affect their friendship, but neither player wants to lose this match. Fritz owns a 2-1 head-to-head record over his frequent doubles partner, but Opelka won their most recent meeting last year in Tokyo. 6-3, 6-4.  

Both players thrive on a quick indoor hard court, much like the one in Antwerp, so a good first-serve percentage will be paramount. Don’t expect many long rallies between the two 140+ mph servers, but the ones we might see are bound to be entertaining. You’d be hard pressed to find two players with this much familiarity between their respective games. 

According to the oddsmakers, this match is a complete and total toss-up, with Fritz listed as an ever-so-slight -120 favorite. But Opelka, fresh off a victory over Daniil Medvedev in St. Petersburg, should enter the match with a bit more confidence than Fritz, who is just 4-6 in his last 10 matches.

The Pick: Reilly Opelka