World No. 20 Reilly Opelka believes that the United States have a great young core and that Sebastian Korda and Jenson Brooksby could end up having big careers. Korda, 21, captured his maiden ATP title in Parma this year and currently he is enjoying a career-high ranking of No.
40 in the world. Brooksby, 20, captured three Challenger titles this year, ended runner-up in Newport and made the Washington semifinal. "The young guys are better than us, if I’m being honest. Korda is a hell of a player…Brooksby is brutal…He’s going to be a big second-week guy.
[Brandon] Nakashima is as pure of a ball-striker as there is. The young guys are going to be the guys to beat, from the American standpoint…Korda’s dad was a great player – no offense to Seb but it’s hard not to be great.
He grew up with a great tennis mind and he’s a nice kid. He’s got a nice build, a nice modern-day tennis frame," Opelka said, per Inside Tennis.
Opelka compares Brooksby to Novak Djokovic
In the US Open round-of-16, Brooksby won the first set against Djokovic before falling short in four sets.
"[But] I’d invest in Brooksby. He’s special, and could be No. 1. His mind works so differently. He’s got this game plan, he sees things so well and is so tricky. Behind the baseline he reminds me of Djokovic. He’s got great depth, is a great ball striker, a great mover, good size and intangibles.
He’s got this X-factor, his mindset, that could make him a future Grand Slam champion," Opelka added. Opelka underlined that all American players are good friends. "We’re all friends, no bad blood. We’re not the next Agassi, Sampras or Courier.
Do you know how many times I’ve been asked that? Can I finally say, ’I don’t know and I don’t f–king care”. All I know is that I like Frances, Tommy and Fritz. We have fun and travel the world," Opelka said.