“Totally Worth it”: Andy Roddick Backs Reilly Opelka Over $10K Fine at US Open 2021

Published 09/05/2021, 12:22 PM EDT
Sep 2, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Reilly Opelka of the United States returns a shot against Lorenzo Musetti of Italy in a second round match on day four of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports


Reilly Opelka has been in brilliant touch during the second half of the 2021 season. He has been blowing away opponents one by one, rising up the rankings in the process. Currently taking part in the US Open 2021, Opelka has steamrolled past his opponents to enter the fourth round. However, a peculiar incident occurred in the American’s Round-2 encounter against Lorenzo Musetti. Due to an unapproved bag, he was fined a large sum by the tournament.

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Reilly Opelka fined $10,000 for carrying inappropriate bag

Sep 2, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Reilly Opelka of the United States serves against Lorenzo Musetti of Italy in a second round match on day four of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The 22nd seed Reilly Opelka was due for a monumental 2nd round battle against the formidable Musetti. Yet, Opelka walked out with a bright pink bag, a choice that raised many eyebrows. He held the bag along with his kit and a number of rackets. This bag that read ‘Tim Van Laere Gallery’ however, was the cause of controversy very soon. Just a couple of days later, it was revealed that Opelka was being fined by the US Open for sporting the bag.

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According to the rule book, the logos on any sporting identifications cannot exceed 4 square inches. However, the logo on the bag carried by Opelka was reportedly too large. Thus, the United States Tennis Association charged the tall hometown favorite a sum of $10,000 for his actions. Following the incident, Opelka even hit back at the tournament for their ridiculous rules. And now, a tennis legend has come in support of him.

Andy Roddick states what makes Opelka’s fine ‘worth it’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 21: In town for the US Open, Andy Roddick walks the red carpet at the IHG “Legends, Unmatched” soiree at the Kimpton Hotel Eventi on August 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for IHG Hotels & Resorts)

Many players and tennis geeks have come in support of the big-hitting American following the incident. One of them is the former American sensation Andy Roddick. The ex-Slam finalist has many similarities with Opelka – big serves, booming forehands, and very athletic for their build. On social media, Roddick spoke about how the buzz around the whole situation has been of a bigger magnitude than the fine itself.

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In a recent tweet, Roddick said, “The press stories the big guy [Opelka] is getting for this company through his 10k fine is totally worth it. If I’m the company I pay the fine for him, and have him take the bag back out again for next match.” He also had another solution. “Or you will start seeing other companies finding players to run the same program Opelka did. If I was an agent, I’d be on the phone finding a bag deal that far outpaces the 10k fine.”

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Andy Roddick definitely made a lot of sense, while still making light of the situation. What do you think about Opelka’s fine? Do you agree with what Roddick had to say? Do comment below.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

227 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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