Reilly Opelka pays tribute to "tennis legend" Tony Graham on his demise

Reilly Opelka pays tribute to former tennis player Tony Graham on his demise
Reilly Opelka pays tribute to former tennis player Tony Graham on his demise

Reilly Opelka has paid tribute to fellow American and former tennis player Tony Graham after the 66-year-old passed away on May 2.

Tony Graham was a former professional tennis player. He won two doubles titles over the course of his career, reaching a career-high ranking of World No. 88. He also achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 100 in 1980.

Tennis commentator and host of 'The Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast,' Craig Shapiro penned a heartfelt eulogy for Graham on social media, lamenting the loss of one of the sport's "mythological and colorful characters."

"He lived his life as if the whole world was a players lounge and he was the number 7 seed. Tennis has lost one of it’s mythological, colorful characters," Shapiro wrote.

After detailing his career achievements, Shapiro highlighted Graham's close friendships with Vitas Gerulaitis, Kenny Rogers, John McEnroe and his brother Patrick.

"He was close friends with all the players-on and off the court. Vitas, Kenny Rogers, and the McEnroes to name a few. By all accounts he was a social chairman of sorts, his straw stirred many a drink, he loved a good steakhouse and was the original high end Beverly Hills tennis concierge," he added.

Shapiro concluded with some parting words to his friend.

"Go easy old boy and we’ll see you and your tight curly hair and giant calves courtside somewhere down the road," he said.

Reilly Opelka reshared Shapiro's post on social media celebrating Graham and added his own tribute to the late player.

"Tennis lost a legend," Opelka captioned the post on his Instagram story.
Reilly Opelka's Instagram story
Reilly Opelka's Instagram story

Rafael Nadal still remains French Open favorite ahead of Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, believes Reilly Opelka

Rafael Nadal won the 2022 French Open
Rafael Nadal won the 2022 French Open

In a recent interview with the Tennis Channel, Reilly Opelka opined that Rafael Nadal is still the favorite to win the 2023 French Open.

"If Rafa Nadal is still in the draw, if he's in the tournament, if my life is on the line, I'm going with Rafa every time, just out of respect, you kind of have to," Reilly Opelka said. "But behind Rafa, for sure, I'd say Carlos is the only guy who could beat him there, and also, I like his chances against Novak at the French Open."

Opelka fancies Alcaraz's chances at the tournament as well, stating that the 19-year-old could potentially be favored above both Nadal and Djokovic.

"That's how good this guy [Alcaraz] is. You are talking about the two greatest players that have ever played tennis and you know, he is potentially favored above them. I mean that's how crazy this discussion even is," he added.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay
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