Reilly Opelka Lashes Out at the ATP as ‘Sustainability’ Effort Called Out Viciously for Undeniable Hypocrisy

Published 10/14/2023, 5:30 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The imminent threat of global warming is now subject to desperate concerns and measures. Over the years, many programs have been launched by governments as well as private firms to fight and resist global warming and its effects. Some were quite fruitful while most were not so worthwhile. Last year’s Dallas Open winner, Reilly Opelka gave out his unfiltered opinion about the very popular Carbon Tracker initiative, slamming the attempted greenwashing of the ATP.

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The Carbon Tracker program is the product of a collaboration between the ATP and the Indian MNC, Infosys. However, it seems like there are some major loopholes in this program. Opelka raised a reasonable concern over the subject on his social media.

Reilly Opelka slams ‘Carbon Tracker’ sustainability efforts

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Reilly Opelka is one of the few players in the tennis scene who is confident enough to speak his mind. His stature and presence in the sport throws weight behind his words. Raising an issue that is being talked about by the whole world is a move bound to attract attention – both good and bad. However, he made some strong points while criticizing the ATP.

Opelka, who missed all four majors in 2023, said: “If sustainability was such a concern for the ATP, why does our schedule say otherwise? Can drinking from a metal water bottle really offset flying from Australia to South America, to the USA, to Europe, back to the USA, to Asia, to Europe in 10 months?” He took a serious jab at the ATP for not being more thoughtful about other aspects of tennis that had greater contributions towards climate-impacting patterns.

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The American player’s frustration about match schedules all over the world was quite apparent as he said: “They [ATP Tour] post it about it every week, so it is a concern… Why not adjust the schedule to avoid players flying with a coach and a physio overseas every other week? Planting trees for one person does not set anything. But it is great optics”. 

In Opelka’s opinion, this approach is like moving one step forward while taking 3 steps back. He thinks this proactiveness by the ATP is merely for show and not a real solution. Before finishing, Opelka yet again directed the ATP to make changes in their schedules, in his words: “If they really cared about carbon footprint, they would look at the schedule.” So what exactly is the infamous Carbon Tracker?

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Reilly Opelka’s bone of contention: The Carbon Tracker

The ATP is committed to the very serious cause of bringing down carbon emissions to net zero by the year 2040. The Carbon Tracker is a digital feature by Infosys to track the emissions by players on a round trip for their matches. It even comes with a reward scheme for the players who are successful in producing lesser carbon emissions and lowering their carbon footprint.

It is an expectation that players make smart choices while traveling. However, the ATP is notorious for holding matches around the world in an uncoordinated manner. Players often travel from one end to the other the whole year to participate in these tournaments. Essentially, this move lacks proper planning to serve the cause.

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Reilly Opelka brought forth quite an important discussion. Even if the ATP chooses not to acknowledge it, the masses will resonate with his message. It is high time to bring changes that actually contribute to making the environment healthier. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Charrvi Singh

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Charrvi Singh is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports. Having majored in psychology, she brings a unique perspective to her articles, often exploring the psyche of the biggest tennis stars. At ES, Charrvi focuses on covering the numerous intriguing developments in the personal lives of tennis stars along with topics that provide readers with the different aspects of their favorite sports personalities.
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Edited by:

Mitali Dey

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