Reilly Opelka is not known to mince his words and the American pro has now targetted the mixed doubles event at Grand Slams saying tennis should get rid of it.
“There shouldn’t even be mixed doubles. They should get rid of it completely,” Opelka said during a conversation with Inside Tennis.
“It doesn’t sell a ticket. No one cares about it, no one watches or wants it to be there. Just get rid of it and throw all that money into the women’s and men’s qualifying.
“Take care of your people that actually have potential to sell tickets. It just shocks me.”
Opelka is currently the highest ranked American male player at No 20. He also believes that tennis media actually does the sport disservice.
“The media is awful in our sport. It holds our sport back, it really does,” he said.
He pulled up the example of ESPN reporter Chris Fowler, who accused Carlos Alcaraz of gamesmanship after the teenager retired from his quarterfinal match at the US Open.
Fowler accused Alcaraz of ‘tapping out’ early because he was losing. The Spaniard later revealed that he had quit because of a fibrillar tear.
“This guy is on ESPN, he does college football, he shouldn’t work another tennis match,” Opelka said.
“It hurts the sport because ESPN has a lot of guys who are following football or don’t know Carlos Alcaraz…and don’t know anything about tennis and they’re like, ‘This young kid just completely just walked off the court, what an idiot, what a jackass.’
“These guys are terrible – there are some bad journalists. You have some guys that just criticize. They look to be super negative. Guys that know nothing about tennis.
“I think we have the worst media of any sport, quite frankly.”
Seeded 16th at this week’s Indian Wells Masters, Opelka defeated Taro Daniel 7-5, 6-3 in the opening round.