Reilly Opelka

5 things to know about American star Reilly Opelka ahead of Rafael Nadal clash

American star Reilly Opelka has reached his first ever Masters 1000 semi-final this week after a tough year on the ATP circuit.

The 23-year-old has found form after six consecutive defeats coming into the Italian capital and just two wins on tour all year, largely due to contracting Covid-19.

Tennishead looks at five things you should know about the American.

1) Already a Grand Slam champion… as a junior

Reilly Opelka’s big serve and all-round game is very much suited to the grass courts, and it is no surprise his one Grand Slam title as a junior was at Wimbledon.

The American beat fellow ATP player Mikael Ymer to win the title in 2015.

2) Boats a promising record against Top 10 opponents

Opelka has a good track record when it comes to beating Top 10 opponents and is currently 6-6 in his career.

The American earned his biggest win over defending champion and World No 6 Daniil Medvedev at St. Petersburg in 2020.

3) Opelka is part of the ‘Triple Powers’

The American star is joined by compatriot John Isner and Ivo Karlovic as a trio nicknamed the ‘Triple Powers’.

At 6’11”, Opelka joins Karlovic (6’11”) and Isner (6’10”) as the three tallest players on the ATP Tour.

4) Often mistaken for John Isner

Reilly Opelka finds himself frequently mistaken for the other American giant in tennis. The 23-year-old told ESPN that fans came up to him in France and asked for autographs thinking he was Isner.

“That one I had to play along with,” joked Opelka. He admitted to intentionally spelling Isner’s name wrong at times and signing for fans as “Jon”.

5) The American loves fashion

Whilst travelling the world to play at various ATP Tour events, Opelka will always reserve time for fashion.

Whether in Tokyo, which he calls the ‘fashion capital of the world’, or New York, where he enjoys fashion shows, the 23-year-old always has his eyes on the fashion scene.