Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsVideosScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday April 10, 2022

Reilly Opelka has always looked up to John Isner, but on Sunday in Houston, for the fifth consecutive time, the American towered over his 6’10” compatriot, winning 6-3, 7-6(7), to claim his fourth career title – and first on clay – at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston.

Tennis Express

The tallest recorded final in ATP history pitted the 6’11” Opelka against the 6’10” Isner, a total of 165” in total.

Opelka cracked ten aces and notched the only break of the match in the opening set to continue his mastery over his mentor. Opelka has now won his last five matches against Isner, and 11 of the last 14 tiebreaks they have played.

He may be taller than Isner, but that hasn't stopped Opelka from looking up to the 36-year-old.

“He was my idol growing up as a kid,” said Opelka on court after the final. “Before I even met him I liked him but since we’ve become such good friends and spent so much time on tour I like him even more now, once I’ve gotten to know him off court – he’s been an unbelievable role model, not just for myself. Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul will also say the same, he’s been an unbelievable competitor for a long time.”

Isner, who was bidding for his 17th career title, has always enjoyed his role as mentor in Opelka’s career. The pair expressed mutual admiration on the court after the final.

“We’ve played a handful of times and you keep on beating me – I hate you for that – but it was really cool to play you in a final. I think that’s very unique,” Isner said. “We’re both great competitors I think, but we’re even better friends off the court.”


Latest News