Jason Kubler has had quite a comeback story over the last few months. If you google and have a look at just what Kubler has overcome just to be on the tennis court, it is amazing that he is even out there at Playford in the Semi Final. Kubler finds himself coming up against Reilly Opelka, the monster server from the USA.
Both players have put together some really solid performances this week, however Kubler has certainly been the more impressive. Straight sets wins over Whittington, Ignatik and Bolt has meant Kubler is two wins away from a second Challenger Title in 3 events (Won Traralgon late last year).
Those who follow on twitter would have noticed earlier I reported on the weather conditions for the start of play in Playford. South Australia has a “catastrophic fire danger” warning out for parts of the state today, and the forecast for start of play is 39 degrees Celsius, moving to 41 degrees Celsius not long after commencement. Long story short – it’s going to be MIGHTY hot.
Opelka has spent a bit more time on court this week, needing 3 sets to defeat Berankis in round 1, 2 tiebreaks to defeat Majchrzak in round 2, and 3 sets again in the quarter final to defeat Jasika.
At the moment, Kubler is player far better tennis than Jasika is, so not only is the fatigue factor of three longer matches and more time on court going to impact Opelka today, he is also coming up against a better player. If Opelka’s energy stores are drained slightly, he may not be able to use his biggest weapon, his serve, as effectively as normal, and will want to keep the points quite short, which will lead to more errors. Kubler is a very good return of serve, so if he can consistently pressure Opelka on serve and find his way into points regularly, he should come away with the win.
Kubler today is going to show people why he deserves a Wildcard into the Australian Open, as I think he will be too strong for Opelka in these conditions.
5 units Kubler to defeat Opelka at $1.90 at Pinnacle