Venus Williams Comes in Support of Reilly Opelka Over $10k Fine at US Open 2021

Published 09/06/2021, 6:39 AM EDT
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


Just a couple of days back, the USTA handed Reilly Opelka a $10,000 fine for bringing an ‘unapproved bag’ during his second-round match against Lorenzo Musetti. Among a host of players coming to support Opelka following the incident, Venus Williams is the latest to join the bandwagon.

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For his second-round match, Opelka arrived on-court with a pink bag along with his huge, red Wilson kit bag. However, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) found the pink bag violated a rule put in place regarding the size of logos on it.

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

As per the rule book, the logos on any sporting identifications cannot exceed 4 square inches. Since the size of the logo on Opelka’s bag was reportedly too large, the authorities fined him $10,000 for his actions.

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Venus Williams supports Reilly Opelka

The 7-time Grand Slam champion, Venus Williams, voiced her support for Opelka through a sarcastic Instagram story. Williams uploaded a picture of the same pink bag that read ‘Tim Van Laere Gallery’, which Opelka was carrying and took a dig at the cost of the bag.

“Yes, this bag costs $10,000 (I got in seed round),” wrote Williams, also mentioning she received the bag during a US Open seed round earlier.

 

Interestingly, in the aftermath of the bizarre controversy, Opelka posted a tweet and mocked the US Open authorities over the ticket sales of the hard-court Grand Slam.

“US Open ticket sales must be strugglin this year 10k for a pink bag, at least it looked fly #Corporate,” tweeted Opelka. 

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The 2003 US Open champion, Andy Roddick, had a unique viewpoint. Roddick mentioned the publicity Opelka has raised for his pink bag company through his $10k fine is ‘totally worth it.’

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Seeded No.22, Opelka has reached the fourth round at the US Open, which is his best-ever result at any Grand Slam tournament. Up next, he faces South African, Lloyd Harris, for a place in the quarterfinals.

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Kshitij Tayal

470 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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