Oreilly Opelka - A future Sampras or yet another American serve bot?

Will Oreilly Opelka succeed where Roddick failed?

  • Yes, he will be multiple slam champion

    Votes: 9 8.3%
  • No, just another servebot. One slam at most

    Votes: 100 91.7%

  • Total voters
    109

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
I see more potential in him than Roddick and Isner a based on his movement and BH. Could he dominate the game when the big three retires or will he go down the path of Isner?

What do you guys think? Could he be the future of men's tennis?
 
Potentially better than Isner... for what that is worth...
Does he have any big weak point?

He is 3-1 against Isner.
He definitely moves better than Isner, and seems to be able to stay in a point longer. He really is decent all around except maybe ROS, so if you couple that with his serve, he will have a slightly better career than Isner (maybe a shot or two at a slam?).

He is better now than Isner ever was, so with an injury free career, he will be remembered as THE Isner.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
He definitely moves better than Isner, and seems to be able to stay in a point longer. He really is decent all around except maybe ROS, so if you couple that with his serve, he will have a slightly better career than Isner (maybe a shot or two at a slam?).

He is better now than Isner ever was, so with an injury free career, he will be remembered as THE Isner.
But I'm curious if you think he can win slams when the trio retires? Why wouldn't he?
 
But I'm curious if you think he can win slams when the trio retires? Why wouldn't he?
Depends, the way De Minaur beat him is how many opponents will. Make him move and hit on the run while holding your serve (seems pretty easy as of now), and if you break him he is done.

With that being said, yes I think he could win a slam if he progresses on ROS, builds his endurance, gets some good draws, and wins his tiebreakers. I mean, it is not like his competition will be stiff, then again, he just got outclassed by De Minaur on a HC.
 

heftylefty

Hall of Fame
Unfortunately for Opelka tennis require even greater athleticism now than 25 years ago. This is the problem with American Tennis on the men's side; the US tennis players are not very good athletes relative to the rest of the world. Look how well "big men" move now in basketball; you have 7-footers playing small forward, running the point and defending well outside the key. American big men playing professional tennis don't have that type of movement. Sure they can serve up bombs, but we see what happens with those serve are returned...and when they have to receive.

The most athletic tennis player over 6'9 is Dr. Ivo and he's 40.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Unfortunately for Opelka tennis require even greater athleticism now than 25 years ago. This is the problem with American Tennis on the men's side; the US tennis players are not very good athletes relative to the rest of the world. Look how well "big men" move now in basketball; you 7-footers playing small forward, running the point and defending well outside the key. American big men playing professional don't have that type of movement. Sure they can serve up bombs, but we see what happens with those serve are returned...and when they have to receive.

The most athletic tennis player over 6'9 is Dr. Ivo and he's 40.
Why do american pro players tend to be big servers? Is it philosophy of coaching? Sampras? The Spanish tennis players are much more well rounded. I would say every single one are highly competent returners and baseliners.
 

heftylefty

Hall of Fame
Why do american pro players tend to be big servers? Is it philosophy of coaching? Sampras? The Spanish tennis players are much more well rounded. I would say every single one are highly competent returners and baseliners.
A couple of factors; one is that Americans play on hard court vs clay. Hard court reward junior players with big service games, up to a point. Another factor is that American tennis is very shortsighted. Every hot junior player is celebrated as the Second Coming and is treated as such. Their games don't develop further and once they get on the main tour, reality smacks them in the face. Pete Sampras did not dominate the Juniors.

The USTA did and still does a horrible job in player development. They poach players that are running the table at the junior level. Patrick McEnroe was stealing money while head Player Development because apparently he didn't have to actually develop players. Just prop up a "promising" junior and active the hype machine.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
I remember first seeing Isner play at the US Open against Fed. First thing that pops to my mind was: so here we have a new Roddick, only with EVEN WORSE movement. And yes, worse than Dr Ivo. Quite a feat by the American Tennis Federation.
 

serbiavic

Rookie
A couple of factors; one is that Americans play on hard court vs clay. Hard court reward junior players with big service games, up to a point. Another factor is that American tennis is very shortsighted. Every hot junior player is celebrated as the Second Coming and is treated as such. Their games don't develop further and once they get on the main tour, reality smacks them in the face. Pete Sampras did not dominate the Juniors.

The USTA did and still does a horrible job in player development. They poach players that are running the table at the junior level. Patrick McEnroe was stealing money while head Player Development because apparently he didn't have to actually develop players. Just prop up a "promising" junior and active the hype machine.
How do people develop tennis players? Could you outline the stages of that development?
 

Midaso240

Hall of Fame
So who would stand in his way, assuming the big three are not there? Tsisipas?
Thiem to me is atm the strongest threat for slams outside the big 3 given he has made the last 2 RG finals and has showed some good form on slow HCs as well. Yes,Tsitsipas,De Minaur,Medvedev etc. basically anyone who can hold their serve and get him moving
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Where's this option:

"Someone who will never get NEAR a slam final."

?
This is the era it's going to happen. The big servers are doing better this year than many seasons before and no big star is looming. Either people are returning worse and/or rackets are getting better. Whatever it is the data is clear, big servers are having a blast. I predict 3-5 slams with his movement.
 
Last edited:

King No1e

Legend
Opelka doesn't have the consistent ground game or net game of Sampras. A new, improved Isner is a better description. He's definitely a serve bot (not his fault, at 7ft it's hard NOT to be a serve bot) but a little better all around than Big John.
 
I'm not saying he would win any now. I don't assume the man already peaked! He's 21 and barely played!
And Di Minaur is younger. I am just saying he will have some hurdles to overcome that others don't. If he continues to progress then he is in good shape to have chances in the slams. That is all you can say from what we have seen.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
He isn't winning slams or even "just one". He isn't good enough.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
OP poll. Third option? "No, he's a servebot and servebots don't win slams." When was the last time a servebot won a slam? I know Goran has a huge serve, but he had way more game than any of the current bots. Who else could be classified as a servebot who won a slam?
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
So much hate for a guy who can play tennis because of genetics, so much love for guys who can play tennis because of Babolat and Luxilon.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
OP poll. Third option? "No, he's a servebot and servebots don't win slams." When was the last time a servebot won a slam? I know Goran has a huge serve, but he had way more game than any of the current bots. Who else could be classified as a servebot who won a slam?
How does Goran have "way more of a game?" than Opelkin? He would never made it past the third round of a slam with just a regular serve.

Not won but Mark Philipoussis beat Sampras at the AU and had a Wimbledon final. I would say he would have won a slam with a little bit of luck in his career, just as Roddick could have easily been without any.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Laughable you say you think he has more upside than Roddick, at the same age he had a slam, multiple masters and was No. 1.
He doesn't have Roddicks FH but his lesser strengths are not as exposable as in Roddick's case from what I've seen of the dude. So naturally, Opelkin should do better on his worst day compared to Roddick
 

Cashman

Professional
He doesn't have Roddicks FH but his lesser strengts are not as exposable as in Roddick's case from what I've seen of the dude. So naturally, Opelkin should do better on his worst day compared to Roddick
You have some really weird takes on tennis, my dude.
 

Cashman

Professional
I don't have much of an issue giving big servers credit where credit is due, but OP tends to get a little carried away and thinks that this makes them great all-round players.

The idea that Karlovic is a better volleyer than Ivanisevic, or Opelka is better than Roddick, or that Opelka is a future Sampras are suggestions that deserve to be ridiculed.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
He doesn't have Roddicks FH but his lesser strengths are not as exposable as in Roddick's case from what I've seen of the dude. So naturally, Opelkin should do better on his worst day compared to Roddick
Lol. You have no idea at all.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Who were Roddicks rivals aside from the aussie? Carlos Moya, a claycourter. Guillermo Coria, a clay courter. Ferrero, a clay courter. Sebastian Grosjean, an innocous French man. Nalbandian was in and out of there, as was Safin.

Roddick could not have arrived at a better time to be world nr 2 or 3.
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
Who were roddicks rivals aside from the aussie? Carlos Moya, a claycourter. Guillermo Coria, a clay courter. Ferrero, a clay courter. Sebastian Grosjean, an innocious french man. Nalbandian was in and out of there, as was Safin.

Roddick could not have arrived at a better time to be world nr 2 or 3.
Yet he climbed back up to No. 3 when Davydenko and even Djokovic were around...

You sound like yet another feeble minded Djokovic fan who neglects the current era but besmirches prior ones.

Opelka will likely never crack the top 10 let alone stay there for 8 years straight. Just like Gulbis never did. Or any other overhyped nobody.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Yet he climbed back up to No. 3 when Davydenko and even Djokovic were around...

You sound like yet another feeble minded Djokovic fan who neglects the current era but besmirches prior ones.

Opelka will likely never crack the top 10 let alone stay there for 8 years straight. Just like Gulbis never did. Or any other overhyped nobody.
Davydenko! LMAO. I rest my case. Djokovic was a whinny little baby back then with zero cardio.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
I don't have much of an issue giving big servers credit where credit is due, but OP tends to get a little carried away and thinks that this makes them great all-round players.
I guess you didn't read then why I specifically made the case for him. Wanna a clip of Jonny Mac claiming that Gorans volley is non existent?
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
Fed couldn't beat Hewitt either early on.
Hewitt was a young prodigy though. He was already having success against top 5 players. Hewitt had already won a grand slam. De Minaur has not been able to reach the second week of a major yet. Nadal swatted him like a bug at the Australian Open.
 

Cashman

Professional
I guess you didn't read then why I specifically made the case for him. Wanna a clip of Jonny Mac claiming that Gorans volley is non existent?
The fact Ivanisevic wasn’t a great volleyer by ‘90s standards is well-known, and the fact that Karlovic makes him look like Edberg should tell you all you need to know about Karlovic’s skills.
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
One thing he has going for him is that big guys with this type of game take much longer to reach their full potential. I think Isner was irrelevant until he was like 26? Opelka is already 21, he will be much better at 26.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
He’s definitely going to need to improve. At times it looked like Di Minaur was reading his serve easily, even the huge ones. Shows promise though. He could be better than Isner.

I don’t see a slam in his future at this point.
 
Top