American Reilly Opelka, 25, last played in Washington last August. Reilly dropped out of the top 100 this week for the first time since January 2019 after dropping 150 points in last year’s Delray Beach final. Opelka is not yet ready to compete again, as he withdrew from Indian Wells a year after challenging Rafael Nadal in the first Masters 1000 event of the season..
The American has not spoken much about his problems, having undergone hip surgery and staying off the pitch for half a year. Opelka claimed four home ATP 250 titles in the US between 2019 New York and Houston last April.
Reilly was ranked 17th a year ago and will have to work hard to get back in the top 20 once he returns to action. The American started the previous season ranked 26th and reached the third round of the Australian Open. Back home, Opelka had a notable turn in Dallas and Delray Beach.
Reilly Opelka dropped out of the top 100 for the first time since January 2019.
He captured the title in Houston after tight victories over John Isner and Jenson Brooksby in four tiebreaks. Reilly experienced an additional eight tiebreakers in Delray Beach and was unable to go all the way following a 7-6, 7-6 final loss to Cameron Norrie.
Opelka gave his best against Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells, falling 7-6, 7-6 and retiring in the opening match in Miami. Reilly was a player to beat in Houston, beating Nick Kyrgios and John Isner to secure his second title of the season and fourth overall.
Opelka could have played better on clay in Europe, reaching the Geneva semifinal and losing in the first match at all four other events, including Roland Garros. Things could have been better on grass as well, picking up a win at Wimbledon and experiencing three losses.
Struggling physically, Reilly took a couple of weeks off and returned to action in Washington in August. The giant server prevailed over Denis Kudla in the first round, winning sets two and three and firing 28 aces. Opelka faced Nick Kyrgios in the second match and suffered a 7-6, 6-2 defeat in 76 minutes.
As we already said, it was Reilly’s last match on the Tour, skipping the rest of the season after hip surgery and missing all the events of 2023. The American played one of his best matches of 2022 against Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells .
The Spaniard prevailed in two tiebreaks after two hours and 11 minutes. Opelka did her best to keep up with the opponent’s pace, serving 76% and dodging four of five break points. The American led 4-2 in the second set before the Spaniard won back the break.
Nadal claimed a lone mini-break in the tie-break to emerge on top and set up the quarterfinal clash against Nick Kyrgios.