Tennis Prose



“Daddy” de Minaur Continues Mastery of his son Opelka

By Scoop Malinowski

World no. 21 Alex de Minaur beat Reilly Opelka all four times they played in 2019. The Australian’s mental and physical dominance of Opelka was so firmly established that the one-foot taller, six-foot-eleven inch tall American half-jokingly called his rival, “dad.”

Today, after a three year hiatus in their rivalry, the odd couple played their fifth match at Queens Club and for the fifth time de Minaur prevailed by approximately the same score as all their other duels, 64 64.

Opelka and his father de Minaur first played in 2019 in Sydney on hard courts and the Aussie won 64 76. The second meeting was in Atlanta 2019 semifinal and de Minaur also won 76 67 63. The third match was weeks later in Cincinnati and the score was 76 64 for the 23 year old. They two met one more time in Basel that year and de Minaur won again 76 67 76.

de Minaur has won five ATP singles titles in his career, one more than 24 year old Opelka. de Minaur has also an edge over Opelka in career record (131-96; 87-81) and prize money ($6.9m; $4.0m for Opelka).

Opelka leapfrogged de Minaur in the ATP rankings this year – Opelka is at 18 now and the Aussie is now at 21 – but the minor moral victory did not help Opelka to gain any kind of useful mental edge. And so onward and hopefully upward Opelka will carry on and hope that someday he never has to say, “Nobody beats Reilly Opelka 17 times in a row.”

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