October 24, 2021

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SBD Preview: Longshots Delbonis, Opelka battle for Rome semis spot

(Photo: Mutua Madrid Open/Alvaro Diaz)

That particular quarter of the Rome men’s singles draw was always going to be a bit of a lottery.

With No. 8 Diego Schwartzman struggling, and No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev allergic to clay at this point, it was going to be a great opportunity for a couple of players.

You’d probably have picked Aslan Karatsev and Félix Auger-Aliassime, right?

It turns out to be big-serving American Reilly Opelka and Argentine lefty qualifier Federico Delbonis.

The meet Friday, and the winner will be in his first career Masters 1000 semifinal.

Here’s our preview for SBD.