American No.1 Reilly Opelka lost to Russian Daniil Medvedev in straight sets at the Canadian Open 2021 final. Nevertheless, he showered colossal praise on the opponent after the match.
The unseeded 6’11’’ tallest man overcame formidable opponents such as Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov, Lloyd Harris, Roberto Bautista Agut, and Stefanos Tsitsipas to make his maiden Masters 1000 Final on Canadian hard courts. However, he surrendered to top seed Medvedev in the championship match because of Russian’s high standard of tennis.
“Medvedev Is The Top Three Best Returners In The World”: Reilly Opelka
After an 85-minute battle, World No.23 realised that it is arduous to defeat the No.2 tennis player in the world. And Opelka also emphasised that Daniil Medvedev is standing after the World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the returning skills.
“It’s hard to disrupt him, hard to hurt him, hard to really hurt him. Medvedev is the top three best returners in the world, you could say. I’d say especially for a big guy, maybe he’s No. 2 behind Novak for a server like myself because he’s long,” Opelka said after the match in Toronto.
In addition, the 23-year-old American also highlighted that Medvedev is fast and a good athlete.
“He can afford to stand far back because he’s lanky. He has a really long reach. He’s got a good wingspan… Yeah, and he’s fast. He’s a good athlete… As fast as he is, able to get out of the corners quickly, he’s able to play deep back in the corner to me. Yeah, it’s tough. There are not many answers when he’s on like he was today,” Opelka added.
Moreover, Opelka also feels more confident about winning more matches in the upcoming days. “The discrepancy and level between those guys and me it’s extremely small. It’s already small for anyone in general, but even for me, it’s always going to come down to a couple of points,” Reilly concluded.