Reilly Opelka has officially punched his ticket on the Road to Indian Wells, securing the final men’s wild card into the main draw of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open.
While Opelka is not competing this week at the final event in the 2018-2019 Oracle Challenger Series, his impressive runner-up finish in Chicago earned him the fourth most leaderboard points behind only Taylor Fritz, Bradley Klahn and Donald Young. With Fritz and Klahn receiving direct entry into the BNP Paribas Open based on their ranking and Young earning the first wild card, Opelka’s 75 points have secured him the final men’s main draw wild card. It is the second consecutive BNP Paribas Open wild card Opelka has earned, who received the same honor from the Oracle Challenger Series due to his performance in the 2017-2018 Series.
At the Oracle Challenger Series Chicago, Opelka made a statement to the rest of the field with an exciting run to the finals that included wins over Roberto Quiroz, Donald Young and Dominik Koepfer. The runner-up finish secured him 75 ranking points and cemented him as an early frontrunner for one of the main draw wild cards. Along with his advancement up the Road to Indian Wells leaderboard, his play in Chicago would set the stage for his breakout start to the 2019 season.
At the Australian Open in January, Opelka won the biggest match of his career with a first round upset over World No. 10 John Isner. Behind the strength of his biggest on-court weapon, his serve, he propelled past Isner in a four-set thriller. Taking a look at Opelka’s serves by the numbers over the past 12 months sheds an even better light on the elite level in which he is playing. Throughout the last year, he is averaging an astonishing 27.8 aces per match, blowing the rest of the ATP Tour field out of the water. On the heels of his Australian Open performance, Opelka carried his recent momentum into the New York Open where he won his maiden ATP Tour title. Opelka rose 33 spots to a career-high of No. 56 in the ATP ranking after overpowering a slew of worthy opponents including Adrian Mannarino, Denis Istomin, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, John Isner and Brayden Schnur. Opelka is playing the best tennis of his career, and he will look to continue his momentum into the main draw of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open.
While Opelka secured a wild card into the 2018 tournament, he was eliminated in the first round by fellow Oracle Challenger Series compatriot Taylor Fritz. This year, he will look to continue the magic of his 2019 season and make his mark in Tennis Paradise.
Make sure to catch Reilly Opelka in this year’s BNP Paribas Open, as the men’s main draw action gets underway next week.