Opelka Wins US Clay Title In Houston

Reilly Opelka (photo: ATP Tour video)


Reilly Opelka won his fourth ATP Tour career title with a 6-3, 7-6(7) win over fellow US-American John Isner at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Sunday.

The No. 3 seed struck 10 aces, saved all eight break-point chances and converted one of his own five break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 50 minutes.

“He was my idol growing up as a kid, and before I even met him, I liked him. But since we’ve become such good friend and spent so much time on Tour, I like him even more now,” Opelka said of Isner during the trophy ceremony, quoted by the ATP Tour website. “He’s been an unbelievable role model for not just myself, [but] Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul. We all say the same. He’s been an unbelievable competitor for a long time.”

Opelka, the 2015 Wimbledon junior champion, made his first appearance in the final at River Oaks. Coming into this tournament. The 24-year-old from Michigan was winless in three trips to River Oaks, where he made his ATP Tour debut in 2016.


* Opelka won the title in his sixth career ATP Tour final.

* Opelka defeated Isner for the second straight time this season. The two had previously met in the semifinals in Dallas, where Opelka won 7-6(7), 7-6(22). In that February match, the two played the longest tiebreak in ATP Tour history in the second set. Opelka leads the head-to-head against Isner 5-1.

* Opelka remained undefeated in Texas this season at 8-0, previously winning the title in Dallas back in February.

* All Opelka’s titles have come in the United States (2019 New York, 2020 Delray Beach, 2022 Dallas, 2022 Houston).

* Opelka is now tied with US-Americans Jack Sock and Steve Johnson for the third-most Tour-level titles by an active American player with four. (Isner 16, Sam Querrey 10).

* Opelka is second on the ATP Tour in finals appearances this season with three, just one behind tour-leader Rafael Nadal (4).

* This year’s final between Opelka (6-foot-11) and Isner (6-foot-10) is the tallest final on the ATP Tour in the Open Era.

* The 2022 final was the first all-US-American ATP Tour final on clay since 2018 at River Oaks (Steve Johnson defeated Tennys Sandgren) and the ninth at US Clay in the Open Era.

* Opelka and Isner have played 17 total sets, 14 of which ended in tie-breaks. The opening set today was the first between the two that did not end in a tie-break in their last 13 head-to-head sets.

* Isner made his 30th career ATP Tour final.

* At 36, Isner was the oldest finalist in tournament history in the Open Era.

* In addition to Isner getting the tournament aces record at 79, Opelka hit 50 this week, good for ninth in tournament history.

* Isner has reached at least one ATP Tour final in the United States in nine of the last 10 years.

* The 2023 U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship will take place April 1-9 at River Oaks Country Club.