‘Clay is not my thing. It’s probably a fluke’ – Reilly Opelka reaches Rome semi-finals
Reilly Opelka reached his first Masters 1000 semi-final after beating Federico Delbonis at the Italian Open in Rome on Friday.
The American defeated the Argentine 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) in the quarter-finals of the Masters 1000 event. The 23-year-old will face nine-time champion Rafael Nadal in the last four.
The world No. 47 had lost six matches in a row heading into Rome – where he has now won four matches without dropping a set.
“I am surprised. Clay is not really my thing. [It is] not much of an American thing. It is probably just a fluke, but I’ll run with it,” Opelka said in his post-match interview.
The Life of Reilly!
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 14, 2021
“I’ve definitely served well. I hit my spots really well today, especially in big moments. I think that has been critical. I have stayed calm [and on] big points, I have delivered.
“I’ve made some adjustments on my serve recently and I think it’s starting to pay off. I’m seeing some improvements, so I don’t think it’s coincidence that things are starting to click now.
“I did get COVID, I wish I could use that as an excuse. But the first 10 weeks of the year I just didn’t play well. It wasn’t COVID related at all.”
- Join the tennishead CLUB and receive £250/$350 of FREE GEAR including ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 trainers, shorts, shirt & socks
- Keep up to date with the breaking news & tennis action at our tennis news section
- Win amazing prizes by entering our competitions
- Learn more about your favourite players including Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic
- Check out the latest tennis equipment with our tennis gear reviews
- Receive regular updates in our legendary free newsletter
- Read in depth features with stunning photography in tennishead magazine
- Can’t visit the tournaments you love? Check out our guide on how to watch tennis on TV
- Don’t miss a thing with our Live Scores service
- Follow tennishead on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube
- EXCLUSIVE 5% DISCOUNT for all tennishead readers on tennis rackets, balls, clothing, shoes & accessories with All Things Tennis, our dedicated tennis gear partner