American tennis player Reilly Opelka says it will be tough to determine how the current shutdown will impact the tennis players and which players will benefit from the break. Opelka was speaking on a video conference call, alongside Tommy Paul, Miomir Kecmanovic and Hubert Hurkacz to promote their appearance at the upcoming UTR Pro Match Series event.
“I don’t see a near-end to this. I don’t think it will be easy to categorize who it helps. If it’s going to hurt anyone, it’s probably Novak or Rafa, depending on when we come back. For those guys, it will affect them a lot more”.
The American was also critical of the player relief programme, proposed by the tennis bodies, saying that it should not be mandatory for the Top 100 players to contribute. “I definitely don’t think it should be mandatory for the Top 100 players to have to do it, but also think it shows a lot of the problems we currently have in our sport.
"There’s not many sports where players are paying for other players. I think during this time off, the ATP can do a lot to restructure. "Hopefully moving forward, there aren’t situations where players are struggling as much as they are.
Players shouldn’t be gifted 10 grand for nothing. "I think there should be a selection process, application process and every case should be looked at different”. Off the court, Opelka said both he and Paul, who are staying together at Delray Beach, had put on weight during the shutdown.
“I weighed in at a personal record-breaking 240 pounds. The diet changed a few times. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Wawa, but I was having some 12 a.m., 12:30 a.m. runs for an Oreo milkshake. "Once I saw the 240, I started to cut back on the milkshakes and Lucky Charms.
I ran a 10k the other day, which for me is crazy and unheard of. I’ve been training some more, so I’m back down to my training weight, around 228. Paul, currently ranked No. 57 in the world, says he added 20 pounds to his frame over the past few weeks but says he is fitter now and looking forward to the UTR Pro Match Series event.
“I went up almost 20. I was thick for real. Definitely pumped to play one of the other two guys and see a different serve (at UTR).