Move over John Isner, America has a new big man in tennis. Reilly Opelka captured his first career title Sunday beating Canadian surprise Brayden Schnur 6-1, 6-7(7), 7-6(7) in the New York Open final.
Opelka saved six match points Saturday in a final set breaker semifinal win over Isner, and Sunday also needed a deciding tiebreak. This time he won it on his sixth championship point.
“This is definitely what I’m most proud of,” said Opelka who fired 43 aces. “I was tough mentally, especially losing a lot of first sets this week, and my first serve really helped me out. I was able to play clutch in those big moments.“
The 6-foot-11 Opelka came from a set down three times en route to the title. His ranking will climb from No. 89 to a new career high close to No. 55.
The 154th-ranked Schnur entered the event as a qualifier and had never won a main draw tour match before this week.
“It’s a dream come true for me. This week showed that I belong in these big tournaments and playing against the top guys,” said Schnur who eliminated both Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson. “It’s unfortunate the way it ended because I left it all out there and did everything I could, but that’s how sports go sometimes.”
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