Opelka To Face Shane In Champaign Challenger Final

Reilly Opelka (photo: Illinois Athletics)

CHAMPAIGN, November 17, 2018

The 32-man-singles draw has been whittled down to the final two at the $75,000 JSM Challenger of Champaign-Urbana, held at the University of Illinois. No. 4 seeded US-American Reilly Opelka will meet compatriot Ryan Shane in Saturday’s title match.

Opelka battled back after falling in the first set to defeat US-American youngster Tommy Paul in three sets, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. The 21-year-old from Florida fired 17 aces, winning 78 per cent of his first service points to prevail after one hour and 42 minutes.

Qualifier Shane continued his great run at the Atkins Tennis Center this week, cruising past Slovenian Blaz Rola, 6-4, 6-3. In his first semi-final at ATP Challenger level, the 24-yaer-old broke his opponent’s serve three times to advance in only 54 minutes.

After lifting four trophies on the ITF Pro Circuit, Shane is now seeking his maiden Challenger title. He will meet Opelka for the first time. Opelka, currently ranked on a career high World No. 116, could clinch his third title of the season, his second in a row.

Doubles final is set

No. 2 seed Aussie duo Matt Reid and John-Patrick Smith eased through their semi-finals match, defeating Canadian’s No. 4 seed Peter Polansky and Adil Shamasdin, 6-4, 6-2. This is Reid’s first time competing at the JSM Challenger, while Smith finally broke through to the finals after his sixth year competing at the tournament. The pair will take on Hans Hach Verdugo of Mexico and Luis David Martinez from Venezuela in the doubles final.