Reilly Opelka gradually established himself among the world’s top players by mid-2022. But since then the American has been plagued by injuries.
by Daniel Hofmann
last edited: December 1, 2023, 10:52 a.m
Reilly Opelka was denied a comeback in 2023.
When Reilly Opelka was eliminated in the round of 16 against Nick Kyrgios in August 2022, the 26-year-old was certainly not aware of the special nature of this match. Because it was not only supposed to be the last game on the ATP Tour that the 2.11 meter tall American played, but also the last encounter ever until November of this year.
A hip operation and many other injuries repeatedly delayed the return of the former number 17 in the world. It was only almost four weeks ago that Opelka felt fit enough to take part in the tour. Equipped with a wildcard, the 26-year-old started the Challenger tournament in Charlottesville. There Opelka won in the first round in two sets against Tennys Sandgren.
Reload video content…
Opelka stops arm injury during comeback
But Opelka continued to be unlucky and had to cancel his second round match due to an arm injury. The comeback plan with some challenger tournaments until the end of the year was stopped after just one match. The four-time champion on the ATP Tour has played a single match in 2023. After all, Opelka can claim to have won all the matches of the season. But that is certainly no longer any consolation for the long-term injured.
The hope of a final recovery continues to drive Opelka, who now wants to return to the start of the year in Australia. It remains to be hoped that the self-proclaimed “Serve Bot” will succeed in this step and that many players will be able to work on Opelka’s serve again.