Reilly Opelka shows class, shares kind words to John Isner after winning Houston

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Reilly Opelka shows class, shares kind words to John Isner after winning Houston

American tennis star Reilly Opelka had some nice words for John Isner after beating his fellow compatriot in the Houston final. Opelka, seeded at No. 3, defeated fourth-seeded Isner 6-3 7-6 (7) in the Houston final to win his first clay title.

Opelka, 24, now has four ATP titles in his collection. “He was my idol growing up as a kid, and before I even met him, I liked him. But since we’ve become such good friend and spent so much time on Tour, I like him even more now," Opelka said of Isner during the trophy ceremony, per the ATP Tour website.

"He’s been an unbelievable role model for not just myself, [but] Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul. We all say the same. He’s been an unbelievable competitor for a long time”.

Isner had a couple of nice words for Opelka too

Even though Isner fell short in the final, he said playing Opelka in an ATP final was very special for him.

It was the sixth meeting between the two and Opelka's fifth win over Isner. Isner and Opelka met for the first time at the Atlanta Open in 2016. Back then, Isner claimed a three-set win over Opelka. Since then, Opelka has won the last five meetings between him and Isner.

“We’ve played a handful of times and you keep on beating me. I hate you for that!" Isner joked. "But it was really cool to play you in a final. I think that’s very unique. Obviously there are a lot of similarities between Reilly and I, but I’m much older than him and he has a lot more years ahead of him on Tour, so for me to get to play you in a final, I think that’s very, very special”. Opelka enjoyed a good week in Houston as he dropped only one set en route to winning the title.