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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday August 12, 2021

Reilly Opelka has a razor sharp sense of humor and he’s not shy about having a controversial take. That’s one of myriad things there is to like about the 23-year-old outside-the-box thinker, who dabbles in fashion and high-art when he’s not thundering serves and forehands past the world’s best tennis players.

Tennis Express

But hold on a minute – Opelka has a message for all the haters and misunderstanders out there: He’s not a SERVEBOT.


Don’t be fooled by the fact that Opelka signed the camera “Servebot” after his impressive 6-3, 7-6(1) victory over Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday in Toronto. Ever heard of irony, my friends?

Opelka has.

The American says that he and fellow bomb server John Isner think it is funny that tennis fans (some, at least) like the label them as boring one-trick ponies just because they can serve like the devil.

“I mean, quite frankly, Isner and I joke about the term "servebot," Opelka said. “It's pretty stupid, like, slang. Of course I leave it to the tennis media to come up with that word or term or whatever. We just joke around with that term now.”

Trust Opelka when he tells you that there’s more to reaching back-to-back Masters 1000 semifinals than serving frozen ropes from high in the sky.

“I mean, anyone who knows anything about tennis knows that the ball comes back no matter how good your serve is,” he said. “Maybe one or two matches a year where Isner and I pitch a perfect game, we don't have to hit too many balls. Isner's more than serve, as am I. You don't get to be 20 in the world with just one shot. It's just silly. It's ridiculous.

“Yeah, we just kind of throw that term around, because it's just a weird term, but yeah, I don't know. We found the positive in it.”


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