Novak Djokovic's courage to take a stand makes him the "undisputed greatest tennis player," says Reilly Opelka

Novak Djokovic dubbed the greatest ever by Reilly Opelka
Novak Djokovic dubbed the greatest ever by Reilly Opelka

Novak Djokovic's willingness to stick by his principles, regardless of the situation, has impressed Reilly Opelka, who has labeled the Serb the greatest tennis player to have ever lived.

Djokovic's fans have often accused the media of unfairly portraying him as a villain. The bias against Djokovic was allegedly severe during his early days of challenging Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and many claim it continues to this day.

Djokovic's stance on COVID-19 vaccines led to him being deported from Australia last year. However, he was supported by Opelka and many others in the tennis world for his willingness to stand by his beliefs.

In a recent episode of the Tennis Channel Inside-In podcast, Opelka praised Djokovic for consistently taking a stand and sticking to it, something that the American believes many other players have failed to do.

"People like criticizing Novak," Opelka said. "He has applied those concepts that he has in life like him having the courage to just take a stand, not play both sides of the coin like how his peers do and just face things head on is the reason why he is the undisputed greatest tennis player that has ever lived."

Opelka further claimed that the media does not like Djokovic because of his authenticity, and that that is the very reason why other players cherish him.

"He puts himself on the line and I respect that, part of it because the media has never given him a fair share because like I said, he doesn't play into what they want so he's the enemy of the tennis media. Most players are super grateful for him, he's a pro's pro, he really is," Opelka said.

Novak Djokovic to face Tomas Martin Etcheverry in Italian Open R2

2023 Monte-Carlo Masters
2023 Monte-Carlo Masters

Novak Djokovic will begin his title defense at the 2023 Italian Open in Rome on May, 12. The top seed has received a bye in the first round and will take on Argentina's Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the round of 64.

This will be the first tour-level meeting between the two players. World No. 61 Etcheverry downed Frenchman Luca Van Assche in his opening match.

Djokovic is aiming to win his seventh title in Rome and a record-extending 39th Masters 1000 title. There is a difference of just five points between him and World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz, and the Spaniard is guaranteed to regain the top spot simply by playing a match at the event.

That means Alcaraz will enter the 2023 French Open as the No. 1 seed, with Djokovic just behind at No. 2.

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