Reilly Opelka is calling Novak Djokovic "the undisputed greatest tennis player that has ever lived" as the American has a deep level of respect for the Serb's courage to stand by his own beliefs and principles. Djokovic, who is tied with Rafael Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam record list with 22 Majors, is one of the most accomplished tennis players but his principles and beliefs come at No 1.
After missing two Grand Slams and several Masters events due to his vaccine stance in 2022, Djokovic also missed Indian Wells and Miami this past March. Last year, Djokovic received lots of criticism for his vaccine stance - but the Serb kept firm in his beliefs.
This month, the US authorities officially ended their COVID-19 emergency rules, which means Djokovic will be allowed to return to the US Open later this year.
Opelka calls Djokovic 'the undisputable GOAT'
“People like criticizing Novak.
He has applied those concepts that he has in life like him having the courage to just take a stand, not play both sides of the coin like how his peers do and just face things head on is the reason why he is the undisputed greatest tennis player that has ever lived.
He puts himself on the line and I respect that, part of it because the media has never given him a fair share because like I said, he doesn’t play into what they want so he’s the enemy of the tennis media. Most players are super grateful for him, he’s a pro’s pro, he really is," Opelka said on Tennis Channel's Inside-In podcast, via Tennis365.
Even though missing some of the biggest tournaments in the world wasn't easy for Djokovic, he always kept firm in his beliefs. Later this year, Djokovic will return to the United States for the first time since the 2021 US Open.
Reilly Opelka's father rips ex Serena Williams coach and defends Djokovic
Novak Djokovic gets brutally honest on why he started PTPA
Ons Jabeur details why she joined Novak Djokovic's PTPA
Greg Rusedski predicts how Novak Djokovic is going to do in Grand Slams in 2024
Serena Williams' ex-coach identifies what motivated Novak Djokovic to end up as GOAT
Andy Murray issues major statement on Novak Djokovic's incredible longevity