Rising American star Reilly Opelka spoke positively of former world No. 10 Ernests Gulbis after their tight first round clash at the Delray Beach Open. Opelka, seeded at No. 4, came from a set down to edge out qualifier world No.
224 Gulbis 6-7 (5) 6-4 7-6 (4) and set up a round-of-16 meeting against fellow compatriot Mackenzie McDonald. It was the first-ever meeting between 22-year-old Opelka and 31-year-old Gulbis. Opelka, who stands at 6 feet 11 inches tall, is well aware that he has to hold on to his serve and then deliver his best tennis in tie breaks if he wants to give himself a chance to win a tennis match.
"Ernests is a tough competitor. He’s playing well and he’s had a good start to the year. I just mentally competed really hard and was able to get the win,” Opelka said, per the ATP Tour. “I think I play more tie-breakers than the average tennis player, so having a plan for each one is important to me."