Roger Federer as a source of inspiration. Working with his son Reilly for almost 20 years, George Opelka has seen good and bad sides of tennis life, trying to teach Reilly how to become a better man and learn from the world around him.
Moving to Florida, the Opelka family gave everything to secure financial support and allow Reilly to become a top-40 player, making impressive progress through the list in the last couple of seasons and hoping for more of the same in 2020.
Speaking about tennis life off the court, George highlighted the fact that you have to be as professional as Roger Federer if you want to find the place in the top-100, working with his son on many aspects of the court and teaching him how to take care about his body.
When he finish duties on the court, Opelka goes and explores the local cultures with his team, trying to learn as much as possible about different countries and taking notes from the fact there are many poor people around him.
"Reilly is more professional about everything, every day," George Opelka said. "If you're ranked 100th in the world, you better be as professional as Roger Federer. Reilly spends more time taking care of his body than he does on the tennis court; that's so important when you're a pro.
Being exposed to different cultures and seeing how less fortunate some people are is something he and I have talked about a bit. He and his team, they'll go out and see things away from the tennis court; he's been to art galleries.
He told me he's been to an incredible cliff where more people commit suicide there than any place in the world. Some things are just sobering, like some areas where the poverty level is such that you're either extremely poor or a millionaire. It all has affected him."