Americans Will Enter Top 10 if Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, and Others Retire, Says Reilly Opelka

Published 10/11/2021, 1:03 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev after their final match REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


American No.1 Reilly Opelka is one of the more outspoken players on the ATP Tour, who does not shy away from giving his honest take during conversations. Opelka gave a hilarious response to a question about the rankings of American tennis players. Interestingly, he even included Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, and many other top players in his answer.

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At first, Opelka answered that the current state of American tennis is “quite good.” However, when asked what they need to reach the Top 15 or Top 10, the 24-year-old American gave a playful answer. 

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Reilly Opelka adds Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev in a witty response

First of all, a Tennis Channel interviewer asked Opelka about the current state of American tennis, given around 14 Americans are in the men’s Top 100. For this, he said, “It’s quite good, yeah. Really good. I’d say it’s really good.”

Oct 9, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Reilly Opelka (USA) hits a shot during his second round match against Taro Daniel (JPN) during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As a follow-up question, the interviewer asked Opelka, who is currently World No.20, what it takes to make it into the Top 15 or Top 10. In response, he named the players who ought to retire for it to happen.

“It takes Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud, Matteo Berrettini, and Felix Auger-Aliassime to retire,” Opelka said with a smile. “And [Alex] De Minaur and [Roberto Bautista] Agut. And maybe [Alexander] Zverev, and then we’ll have a shot.”

 

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Indeed, the Top 20 spots on the men’s circuit have been tight in the 2021 season. Hence, an American might need a Masters 1000 win or a Grand Slam next year to push their rankings up.

However, with young stars such as Jenson Brooksby and Brandon Nakashima, the future of American tennis looks promising. Let’s see how the rest of the season unfolds for them.

Who will Opelka face next in Indian Wells Masters 2021?

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Notably, the 24-year-old American defeated Japanese Taro Daniel in the second round in the desert. As per the draw, he will now face Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov to reach the Last 16.

Sep 26, 2021; Boston, MA, USA; Reilly Opelka hits a forehand. Team Europe (Rublev and Zverev beat Team World (Opelka and Shapovalov) 6-2,7-6, 10-3 tie break to win the Laver Cup at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports

Without any doubt, Opelka has had an exceptional 2021 season. Moreover, with the high bouncing surface in Indian Wells courts, he has the opportunity to go deep into the tournament.

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Let’s see if the American rises to the challenge in the desert. Can he win against Dimitrov and book his place in the last 16?

Watch this story: A Look Inside Million Dollar Lifestyle of Tennis Star Novak Djokovic

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Purav Joshi

1211 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

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