Daniil Medvedev came out on top as he defeated Reilly Opelka in the finals of the National Bank Open. Opelka was in splendid form coming to this match but the Russian was just way too good for him on the day. It was Medvedev’s exceptional defence and returns that allowed him to win 6-4,6-3 against a very good opponent.
It was still an exceptional event for Opelka who defeated the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Roberto Bautista Agut and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last week.Speaking after the final defeat the American star admitted that he could not have done anything else as it was down to Medvedev’s superiority.
“He (Daniil Medvedev) was flawless,” Reilly Opelka said. “I had one chance to break early. I don’t think that would have changed much because he was in so many of my service games.”
Opelka went on to admit the tough condition but also agreed that the Russian adapted to it way better than him. He also credited Medvedev for his backhand and the passing shots.
“It was a little windy and a little bit swirlier out there on the ball, so it was really tough to be powerful and be consistently powerful,” the 23-year-old said. “But even then, even when I hit some big shots, he countered well and it was very tough to disrupt him at all.”
“He’s very good with his opening-stance backhand, very good on the run, his passing shots are great,” the American added. “All expected, but he really executed well.”
The talented American also went on to admit that Daniil Medvedev is one of the best returners in the game at the moment. He felt that was the difference between the Russian and Tsitsipas whom he defeated in the semifinals.
“Yeah, I mean, the conditions were definitely a lot different today,” Opelka said. “It was definitely a lot windier, so it was hard to be effective on the serve, but Daniil is a much better returner than Stefanos.”
“Medvedev is top three best returners in the world, you could say,” he added. “I’d say especially for a big guy, maybe he’s No. 2 behind Novak for a server like myself, because he’s tall. He can afford to stand far back, because he’s lanky, you know. He has like a really long reach. He’s got a good wingspan.”
Lastly Opelka also revealed how brutal the schedules are as he gears up for the ATP 1000s CIncinnati Open. However the young American has made it very clear that he will be giving the US Open more priority.
“Yeah, the tour is brutal. I’m flying tonight, get into Cincy tomorrow,” Opelka said. “It’s an unforgiving sport we’re in here now. It’s hard to follow up weeks. The Big 3 have done it exceptionally well, but it’s not easy to do.”
“I don’t really have much expectations for Cincinnati, to be honest, but I definitely want to emphasize the US Open and give it my best,” he concluded.