“Says a Lot About the Players”: Reilly Opelka Praises Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev and Others for Helping the Smaller Tournaments

Published 12/06/2020, 6:17 AM EST
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – Russia’s Daniil Medvedev shakes hands with Austria’s Dominic Thiem as he celebrates winning their final match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs


The pandemic has been really hard on tennis, especially the tournaments that have been really cash-strapped and struggled to sustain themselves. Because of that, Reilly Opelka heaped praise on Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, and other top players for their support to the tournaments in the post restart schedule.

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He appreciated the efforts from the big players like Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman to play smaller ATP 250 tournaments. That helped these tournaments to stay afloat and recover some lost revenue.

“I think it says a lot about the players—about the Dominic Thiems, the [Diego] Schwartmans, the [Roberto] Bautista Aguts, [Alexander] Zverevs, [Daniil] Medvedevs. Those guys that have $20 mil in the bank, they don’t need to play right now, especially at an ATP 250, where the winner makes $12K, but they did it, and it was almost out of charity,” Opelka said in an interview with racquet magazine.

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Daniil Medvedev in action during his second round match against Reilly Opelka. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov.

Reilly Opelka on the efforts taken by Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev and others

Opelka was happy to see the top players play their best tennis at these events. He reckons it was tough for the players to give their best in the congested 2020 calendar.

“They went, and they competed, and they played unbelievable high-quality tennis. As much respect given to those guys as possible for playing, and playing as if they’re playing for $1 million each week, and that’s not easy to do for them.”

Opelka also saw an improvement in ATP’s measures that they took post the restart of tennis. The American was critical of the lack of effort from the ATP during the pandemic break.

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“So the restart, I think there were a lot of positives. I don’t want to completely critique the ATP all the time, I know things aren’t gonna be perfect. But I thought it was great, from the standpoint of, everyone tried their best.” 

Reilly Opelka  in action during his second round match against Daniil Medvedev. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov.

The pandemic isn’t over yet. The ATP calendar will again be a bit congested to accommodate the tournaments postponed because of the delayed 2021 Australian Open. Until the vaccine comes, the tournaments will be on their toes and avoid any unnecessary financial burdens.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1060 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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