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Player Spotlight – Reilly Opelka

Oracle Challenger Series
Feb 1, 2018

For hard hitting, 6-foot 11-inch American Reilly Opelka, tennis wasn’t always the plan – or even a part of it. Opelka was born in St. Joseph, Michigan and didn’t pick up playing tennis seriously until age 13 – when his father, George, crossed paths with former Davis Cup captain and US Olympic coach Tom Gullikson while enjoying a round of golf in Daytona Beach. Gullikson saw potential in young Opelka and began teaching him the ways of the game. At age 15, Opelka moved to Boca Raton, Florida to begin training in the USTA Development Program.

As a junior, Opelka shined early in his career by winning the 2015 Wimbledon Junior Championships, defeating ITF No. 1 and best friend Taylor Fritz en route to securing the title over Mikael Ymer.

In 2016, Opelka made his ATP World Tour debut at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. Just a few months later, Opelka secured three victories in his third career tour event at the BB&T Atlanta Open, defeating ATP World Tour No. 27 Kevin Anderson. He picked up his career best and only top 10 win in 2018 at the Delray Beach Open over No. 10 Jack Sock.

At the 2018 Oracle Challenger Series – Newport Beach, Opelka reached the semifinal before falling to eventual champion, Taylor Fritz, and bowed out in the second round at the Oracle Challenger Series – Indian Wells. Finishing third in the inaugural Road to Indian Wells Leaderboard, Opelka earned one of the two wild card spots into the 2018 BNP Paribas Open after Fritz entered the main draw on the basis of his ranking.

Opelka is currently ranked No. 152 in the ATP World Tour rankings.

Fun facts about Reilly Opelka:

  • Is an avid Chicago sports fan (Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks)
  • Enjoys playing pickup games of basketball on-tour
  • Tennis idol growing was Juan Martin Del Potro
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