Reilly Opelka lauds John McEnroe for his commencement speech at Stanford, says it's a 'must watch'

Reilly Opelka (L) and John McEnroe
Reilly Opelka (L) and John McEnroe

American tennis player Reilly Opelka recently showered praise on John McEnroe for his inspiring commencement speech at Stanford University.

McEnroe, a former student at the renowned university, addressed the Class of 2023 on June 18. The former World No. 1 enlightened the students by giving them heartfelt life advice. He touched on the importance of teamwork, decision-making, and having a proper work-life balance.

Taking to social media on Wednesday, July 26, Opelka expressed his admiration for McEnroe's inspirational speech and urged everyone to watch it.

"Must watch commencement speech from Mac [John McEnroe]," Opelka wrote on Instagram.
Reilly Opelka's Instagram story on Wednesday
Reilly Opelka's Instagram story on Wednesday

During his speech, McEnroe assured the students that 'amazing things' are imminent upon graduating from the university, something which he feels they cannot possibly fathom given how much they are 'hyper-focused' on their careers.

"Absolutely amazing things are going to happen to you that you can’t possibly fathom right now, because just like I was at your age, you’re probably hyper focused on your career," McEnroe stated.

The 64-year-old maintained that it is important not to miss out on life on the way to building a career.

"Everyone wants a great career, but don’t miss your life on the way to work. Work-life balance may seem impossible, but it’s worth pursuing. It took me a long time to learn that lesson," the American continued.

John McEnroe stressed the significance of dealing with failures in life during his commencement speech

John McEnroe at the 2022 Laver Cup
John McEnroe at the 2022 Laver Cup

In his recent commencement speech at Stanford University, John McEnroe stated that students needed to learn how to deal with both success and failure. The seven-time Grand Slam Champion opined that life would be difficult for those who struggle to learn from their defeats.

"If your mentality is, ‘If it’s not success, then it’s failure’, your life will be really, really hard," McEnroe said. "Success gives us another chance to keep plugging away at what we love to do. That’s all it really is."

Borrowing words from English novelist Rudyard Kipling's famous poem 'If', McEnroe stated that striving with one's full might is what matters, and not the end result.

"If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same," McEnroe said, quoting Kipling's poem. "Kipling’s point is that one person’s victory is another one’s defeat. Win or lose, what matters is giving everything you’ve got."

John McEnroe retired from professional tennis in 2006 with 77 tour titles and 883 match wins to his name. He also finished first on the season-end ATP rankings on four occasions and is the only male player in history to hold the World No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles simultaneously.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay
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