Reilly Opelka shows ultimate respect to Novak Djokovic

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Reilly Opelka shows ultimate respect to Novak Djokovic

American tennis star Reilly Opelka has named Novak Djokovic as the player that is "toughest to beat on every surface." Djokovic, 34, is a 20-time Grand Slam champion and holds the record for the most weeks spent at No.

1. Djokovic has been incredibly consistent over the last decade and a half and Opelka showed the Serb the ultimate respect. "The toughest guy to beat on every surface, on every event, at any time of the year, is Novak Djokovic," Opelka said on the Holding Court podcast.

Opelka has never played Djokovic

Opelka, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No.

17 in the world, surprisingly has never met Djokovic on the Tour. Opelka has clashed many top players but never Djokovic. Unfortunately for Opelka, he won't have a chance to meet Djokovic in Indian Wells or Miami either.

Djokovic signed up to play the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami but was denied entry into the United States because of his vaccination status. "While I was automatically listed in the @BNPPARIBASOPEN and @MiamiOpen draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel.

The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won't be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments," Djokovic wrote on Twitter. Miami Masters tournament director James Blake was hoping Djokovic would play but admitted they knew having the Serb at the tournament was a "long shot."

“We understood from the beginning that Novak’s participation at the Miami Open was determinant on his early entry into the United States, which we knew would be a long shot,” Blake said. “We have an incredibly deep and talented player field and look forward to hosting a great event”.

Djokovic has played only one event so far this season as he is expected to return to action at the Monte Carlo Masters, which starts on April 10.