Reilly Opelka withdraws from Australian Open, extends his break

Reilly Opelka has not played on the ATP Tour since August 2022

by Jovica Ilic
Reilly Opelka withdraws from Australian Open, extends his break
© Mark Metcalfe / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The 26-year-old Reilly Opelka will not compete at this year's Australian Open. The American withdrew from Melbourne, sending Dominic Thiem directly into the main draw. Reilly underwent his surgery in 2022, and we have not heard much from him since, especially not about tennis.

Opelka enjoys his life outside the court, collecting paintings and focusing on fashion. Troubled by tennis tradition, especially at the oldest and most prestigious events, Reilly has yet to show much interest in returning to the practice court, playing only one Challenger match in the previous year and a half.

As was expected, the American will not travel to Melbourne, extending his already notable break from the sport. Reilly kicked off the 2022 season from inside the top-30, experiencing tight losses to Maxime Cressy and Andy Murray ahead of the Australian Open.

The giant server passed two obstacles in Melbourne before falling to Denis Shapovalov 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Reilly Opelka withdrew from the Australian Open.

Opelka defended nine out of 12 break points, but it was insufficient to stay competitive and force a decider.

Reilly conquered the title in Dallas on an indoor court, winning thrilling tie breaks and lifting the trophy. A week later, he lost the Delray Beach final to Cameron Norrie, falling in two tie breaks. Competing in Indian Wells as a top-20 player, the American pushed Rafael Nadal to the limits before losing in two tight sets.

Reilly took down Nick Kyrgios and John Isner in Houston in April, lifting his second title of the season before embracing a terrible streak. Bothered with an injury and lack of motivation, Opelka clinched four wins by August, losing to Nick Kyrgios in the third round and taking a break from tennis.

Reilly did not play for 15 months, enjoying his time off the court before making a surprising comeback at the Charlottesville Challenger last November.

Reilly Opelka, Delray Beach 2022© Mark Brown / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Former world no.

17 faced Tennys Sandgren in the first round and scored a 6-4, 7-5 victory in an hour and 40 minutes. Reilly blasted 23 aces and saved six out of seven break points, pressuring his rival. Opelka broke Sandgren three times, enough to control the scoreboard and celebrate a win.

Reilly erased an early break in the opener and clinched another at 5-4 after a volley winner. They served well at the beginning of the second set before Opelka faced issues at 3-3. He saved four break points, three with service winners, and produced a pivotal hold.

They served well in the next four games, with Sandgren serving to stay in the match at 5-6. Reilly pushed strong on the return and seized the second match point after Tennys' backhand mistake, earning his first victory in 15 months.

However, Opelka withdrew ahead of the second-round clash with Aidan Mayo, extending his rest and not thinking too much about a comeback.

Reilly Opelka Australian Open