"Four walkovers in two rounds" - Reilly Opelka reiterates call to scrap doubles tennis after players prioritize singles at Indian Wells

Reilly Opelka wants doubles tennis to be scraped out of tour
Reilly Opelka wants doubles tennis to be scraped out of tour

Reilly Opelka has once again come into the spotlight, claiming that doubles tennis is inherently inferior to singles on the ATP Tour. While Opelka had earlier talked about the supposed lack of interest in doubles among fans, he has now opined that even several top-ranked players no longer care about the game.

The ongoing Indian Wells has witnessed four doubles teams withdraw from the competition in the first two rounds. The backouts have largely been due to respective players prioritizing their singles matches.

Cameron Norrie, for example, was paired with Lucas Miedler for the doubles. However, with Norrie putting out a valiant fight against Taro Daniel in the third round, he, citing fatigue, decided to pull out of his Round-of-16 doubles match against Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov

The grounds for withdrawal were no different for the other three teams: Francisco Cerundolo/Diego Schwartzman pulling out before their clash against Frances Tiafoe/Wawrinka, the latter team then pulling out before their clash against Wesley Koolhof/Neal Skupski and Grigor Dimitrov/Hubert Hurkacz withdrawing before their match against Rohan Bopanna/Matthew Ebden.

In that context, Opelka took to social media to point out the apparent dire state of doubles tennis.

"4 walk overs in only two rounds of doubles at Indian Wells.." he wrote on his Instagram story.
Reilly Opelka's Instagram story on Thursday
Reilly Opelka's Instagram story on Thursday

Opelka's initial remarks calling for a ban on doubles tennis were opposed by several journalists. A reporter claimed that massive crowds were in attendance at Indian Wells for the doubles matches, particularly pointing out the spectator numbers drawn for matches involving Coco Gauff and her partner Jessica Pegula.

However, reacting to such statements, Opelka maintained that huge crowds are drawn only for matches where top-ranked singles players are contesting in doubles.

"Journalists using top ranked singles players as examples of people watching doubles further proves my point," he added.
Via Instagram: Opelka opines people watch doubles matches only for top-ranked singles players
Via Instagram: Opelka opines people watch doubles matches only for top-ranked singles players

"Only time people watch are when its singles players or the Bryan brothers" - Reilly Opelka on doubles tennis

Reilly Opelka at the 2022 Delray Beach Open
Reilly Opelka at the 2022 Delray Beach Open

Reilly Opelka recently engaged in a Q &A session with fans on social media, where he expressed his disdain for doubles tennis.

During the session, a fan asked Opelka whether he would change anything about the ATP Tour if he ever had the chance. The American replied that he would like to remove doubles tennis, highlighting the stunted growth in viewership numbers for the game in recent times.

Opelka opined that people only watch doubles for singles players and the Bryan Brothers -- one of the most successful duos in the history of the men's game.

"Get rid of doubles, only time people watch are when its singles players or the bry bros," he wrote on Instagram on Monday.
Via Reilly Opelka's Instagram
Via Reilly Opelka's Instagram

Meanwhile, on tour, Opelka last played a match in August 2022 at the Citi Open. He has since been ruled out of action due to injury, and no return date has been announced by the American as of right now.

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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