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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Opelka on Learning from Captain McEnroe

Reilly Opelka on special qualities John McEnroe brings to Laver Cup.
American No. 1 Reilly Opelka says former world No. 1 John McEnroe brings candor to his captaincy.

In his Laver Cup debut today, Opelka fell to Casper Ruud 6-3, 7-6 in the opening match of this weekend’s Laver Cup Boston.

More: Rehabbing Roger Federer Plots Return

Afterward, Opelka shared key qualities captain McEnroe brings to the Team World: he’s super competitive, optimistic and keeps it real by “not kissing everyone’s ass.”

“He’s a legend. He’s fun to be around, he’s competitive as hell,” Opelka said of McEnroe. “That’s something I think we all share in the locker room.

“Like I said, he’s very realistic and he’s optimistic. He’s a straight shooter, tells you like it is. When we’re setting the lineup, we’re doing things right. He’s not kissing everyone’s ass, telling us how great we are. He’s shooting it straight, telling us like it is.”

Returning as Team World captain for the fourth year, McEnroe is assisted by younger brother Patrick McEnroe, who succeeded him as United States Davis Cup captain following John’s one-year tenure back in 2000. 

The McEnroe brothers are bidding to lead Team World to its first Laver Cup victory. Opelka said it’s been a learning experience practicing and spending time with the pair.

“That’s how I like it. That’s how we all like it. You know, he’s a legend for a reason,” Opelka said of McEnroe. “It’s great to spend time around a guy, a mind like his and his brother right here, two of the best minds there are.”

Photo credit: Laver Cup

Reilly Opelka on special qualities John McEnroe brings to Laver Cup.
American No. 1 Reilly Opelka says former world No. 1 John McEnroe brings candor to his captaincy.

In his Laver Cup debut today, Opelka fell to Casper Ruud 6-3, 7-6 in the opening match of this weekend’s Laver Cup Boston.

More: Rehabbing Roger Plots Return

Afterward, Opelka shared key qualities captain McEnroe brings to the Team World: he’s super competitive, optimistic and keeps it real by “not kissing everyone’s ass.”

“He’s a legend. He’s fun to be around, he’s competitive as hell,” Opelka said of McEnroe. “That’s something I think we all share in the locker room.

“Like I said, he’s very realistic and he’s optimistic. He’s a straight shooter, tells you like it is. When we’re setting the lineup, we’re doing things right. He’s not kissing everyone’s ass, telling us how great we are. He’s shooting it straight, telling us like it is.”

Returning as Team World captain for the fourth year, McEnroe is assisted by younger brother Patrick McEnroe, who succeeded him as United States Davis Cup captain following John’s one-year tenure back in 2000. 

The McEnroe brothers are bidding to lead Team World to its first Laver Cup victory. Opelka said it’s been a learning experience practicing and spending time with the pair.

“That’s how I like it. That’s how we all like it. You know, he’s a legend for a reason,” Opelka said of McEnroe. “It’s great to spend time around a guy, a mind like his and his brother right here, two of the best minds there are.”

Photo credit: Laver Cup

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