23 Feb David vs Goliath for second straight week in Sunday singles final
Today’s Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com singles final will feature 5’7” Japanese No. 2 Yoshihito Nishioka against 6’11” local West Palm Beach resident Reilly Opelka. Nishioka, 24, is making his fourth appearance in Delray Beach, with his best result coming in 2015, a run to the quarterfinals. Today will mark the left hander’s second career final after claiming his one and only tour title at Shenzhen 2018. Nishioka is the first left handed player in the final since Donald Young in 2015, and if victorious today will be the first Japanese champion in Delray since Kei Nishikori in 2008. In his semifinal, Nishioka had a remarkable comeback against No. 6 seed Ugo Humbert, coming from a set down for the third time this week. Nishioka used an extended rain delay to his advantage winning 10 of the last 13 games to steamroll Humbert 1-6, 6-4, 6-0.
For Opelka, today marks his second career final in his third trip to Delray Beach. His previous best result was a quarterfinal appearance in 2018, where he beat then world No. 8 Jack Sock. Opelka will be looking for his second career title on Sunday having won the title in New York last year. If Opelka can win in front of his home crowd today, he will become the fourth American winner in five years at this tournament. The 22-year-old American will certainly enter the match full of confidence after beating Nishioka last week in New York 6-4, 6-4, the pair’s only career meeting.
Sunday’s final will largely depend on how Opelka can recover from his semi-final win earlier in the day. Opelka was forced to play No. 2 seed Milos Raonic on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as rain suspended play on Saturday night in Delray. Opelka defeated Raonic 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 in a little over two hours, saving a match point in the second set tiebreak. Opelka will take on Nishioka after suitable rest and not before 3:30 p.m. on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com.