Reilly Opelka calls out ATP's Carbon Tracker program - "Why not adjust the schedule to avoid players flying every other week?"

Reilly Opelka slams ATP Carbon Tracker
Reilly Opelka slams ATP Carbon Tracker

Reilly Opelka has not shied away from making thought-provoking statements in the past, and he has once again found himself in the middle of another controversy, this time surrounding the ATP Carbon Tracker.

The ATP Tour introduced an app called the ATP Carbon Tracker to allow players to track the distance they traveled during their trips and calculate the amount of carbon their journeys emit.

The app debuted in June 2023, and several top players like Dominic Thiem, Cameron Norrie, Andrey Rublev, and Emil Ruusuvuori agreed to participate to cut down their carbon footprint.

The ATP Tour took to Instagram to announce that over 200 players have used the Carbon Tracker app, and American Mackenzie McDonald is on top of the list of players who have successfully reduced their carbon footprint. Reilly Opelka reacted to the post with sarcastic laughter.

Opelka made several comments calling out the ATP Tour for using such tactics from a purely PR point of view rather than making substantial changes. The 26-year-old highlighted the travel that players have to make throughout the year to play in tournaments.

He believes planting trees for one player does not make any significant mark in the fight against climate change and called on the ATP Tour to do better.

"If sustainability was such a concern for the ATP why does our schedule say otherwise? Can drinking from a metal water bottle really offset flying from australia to south america, to usa, to europe, back to us, to asia, back to europe in 10 months?" Reilly Opelka wrote on Instagram.
"They post it about it every week so clearly its a concern.. so why not adjust the schedule to avoid players flying with a coach and physio overseas every other week? Planting trees for one person, doesnt off set anything. But its great optics. The mentality of something is better than nothing does not seem to be getting us anywhere. if they really cared about carbon footprint, they would look at the schedule. Other it's just pr and optics," he continued.
Screenshot of Reilly Opelka's Instagram comments
Screenshot of Reilly Opelka's Instagram comments

Reilly Opelka shares an update on his injury and comeback plans

Reilly Opelka
Reilly Opelka

Reilly Opelka has not featured on the ATP Tour this year due to persistent injuries and a prolonged recovery period.

The American last played in August last year when he exited the Citi Open in Washington DC in the second round. He has dropped out of the ATP rankings as he was more than a year away from the tour. Since then, Opelka sustained injuries to his wrist and hip, with the latter requiring surgery.

He recently reflected on his physical troubles while appearing on The Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast. The former World No. 17 hoped to be in the best shape ever after recovering from the wrist injury. He also recalled the hip surgery and emphasized the need for patience in his recovery.

"Once my wrist heals up, I'll hopefully be in the best shape of my life. I had a procedure (on the hip). I took a fall on the court and wiped out. It was very awkward...I'll make a full recovery, there's no big concern. They didn't have to open up the joint, it was just outside of it. If you're looking at the brighter side of things, that's it. I'll make a full recovery, it'll all be fine. I just have to be patient," he explained.

Reilly Opelka is not putting a timeline on his return to professional tennis. He hopes to be back on the court within a few months and expects his comeback to be quicker once he practices.

"I'm really hoping to get the racquet in my hands in two months or so. Then, its hard to say. I'm not putting a timeline, I want to make sure I'm ready and fit, that's more important to me," Opelka said.

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