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"It’s not about points, I believe Wimbledon 2022 will be an inferior accomplishment due to absence of best possible field" - Reilly Opelka

Reilly Opelka is not a fan of Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
Reilly Opelka is not a fan of Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players.

American tennis star Reilly Opelka believes the absence of many top players at the upcoming Wimbledon Championships will leave a stain on any major accomplishments at the event.

Wimbledon has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons of late after the ATP and WTA decided to strip ranking points from the tournament in light of the grasscourt Major's ban on Russian and Belarusian players. While most players have spoken about the reduced importance of Wimbledon with no ranking points involved, Opelka feels the problem is much bigger than the absence of points.

In a post on Twitter, the World No. 18 said that winning Wimbledon this year will be an "inferior accomplishment" due to the absence of a competitive field.

"A lot of people seem to be missing the “point” it’s not about the “points”. I believe Wimbledon 2022 will be an inferior accomplishment due to the absence of the best possible field," Opelka wrote.
A lot of people seem to be missing the “point” it’s not about the “points”. I believe Wimbledon 2022 will be an inferior accomplishment due to the absence of the best possible field.

Top players such as Aryna Sabalenka, Daria Kasatkina, Victoria Azarenka, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and Karen Khachanov, among others, are set to miss the 2022 edition due to Wimbledon's ban.

The Michigan native believes that the biggest tournaments like Wimbledon should have a full strength draw, the absence of which takes away the integrity of the event. He expressed that those playing the event, like himself, will have an "unfair advantage".

"Sport is the ultimate meritocracy. When you take some of the best players in the world out of the draw based on merit you erode the integrity of the event. It’s about the competitive advantage given to players, like myself by virtue to other great players not being able to play," Opelka said.
Sport is the ultimate meritocracy. When you take some of the best players in the world out of the draw based on merit you erode the integrity of the event. It’s about the competitive advantage given to players, like myself by virtue to other great players not being able to play. twitter.com/ReillyOpelka/s…

A Twitter user responded to the towering American player's sentiment, noting that big players often pull out of Slams due to reasons like injuries and bans on account of bad behaviour.

However, Opelka stressed that the current ban on Russian and Belarusian players is a different matter altogether.

"Injuries are part of sport, managing behavior/emotions on court are part of sport. Discrimination/xenophobia cannot be part of sport," Reilly Opelka said.
@ReillyOpelka But Wimbledon NEVER is the top 128 ranked players competing. It’s always missing some, plus they give wildcards to lower-ranked players, and there are players banned for things like match fixing, bad behavior, etc.. It’s never the best possible field.
@KyleGoetz Injuries are part of sport, managing behavior/emotions on court are part of sport. Discrimination/xenophobia cannot be part of sport.

Can Reilly Opelka produce his best result at a Grand Slam at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships?

Reilly Opelka in action at the Delray Beach Open
Reilly Opelka in action at the Delray Beach Open

Regardless of the issues Reilly Opelka raised about the absence of top players, the 6'11" American has the ingredients to whip up a strong campaign at Wimbledon.

Known initially only for his big serve, he has since worked on improving other aspects of his game. The 24-year-old has won two of his four ATP titles this season, in Dallas and Houston.

Reilly Opelka also achieved his highest career ranking of No. 17 in February.

Very nearly 14 feet of tennis player height between, and they just shared the longest tie-break the ATP Tour (and David Law anywhere, and he be like 👀) has ever seen. Laughs all round. Reilly Opelka d. John Isner 7-6(5), 7-6(22). Yes. 24-22.https://t.co/UEs9290tWg

His best result at a Grand Slam came at the 2021 US Open, where he reached the fourth round. The World No. 18 will look to match that result at the very least at the upcoming Wimbledon Championships.

The American's big serve and booming forehand promise to be even more lethal on the grass courts of Wimbledon, where players with such qualities have tasted great success over the years.

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Edited by Anirudh
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