Tennis star fined by ATP over innocuous act in trophy presentation
American tennis star Reilly Opelka has revealed the baffling fine he received from the ATP for wearing his hat in the trophy presentation at the Dallas Open.
Opelka captured his third career ATP title on Sunday, defeating compatriot Jenson Brooksby 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3) in the final.
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However it were his actions in the post-match trophy presentation that fell foul of the ATP.
Opelka took to social media on Wednesday to reveal he had been fined by the governing body of men's tennis for wearing his hat during the presentation.
The American posted a photo to Twitter showing a letter that stated he'd “violated the ATP Code of Conduct”.
"Mr Opelka chose to keep his hat on during the prize presentation ceremony," the letter reads.
Too good 👏 @atptour pic.twitter.com/YZGFrUCkCp
— Reilly Opelka (@ReillyOpelka) February 16, 2022
Fans were highly critical of the archaic rule.
"The ATP could have non stupid rules," one wrote.
Another commented: "At what point will someone in 2022 go through the rule book and scratch out all the rules that are obviously stupid.
"It’s very simple, update the damn thing."
When asked by a fan if ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzihad would ask him to delete his post, Opelka responded: “He’s too busy not taking salary cuts while players are.”
Big no no RO.
— Mardy Fish (@MardyFish) February 16, 2022
What a stupid rule.
But I understand that taking hat off is a sign of showing respect. And they probably want the players to do so to respect the guests at the ceremony and the applauding fans.
It should not get a code for non-compliance though.
— PK (@iPkoppula) February 16, 2022
At what point will someone in 2022 go through the rule book and scratch out all the rules that are obviously stupid. It’s very simple, update the damn thing.
— Marcus George (@ModelMarcus) February 16, 2022
The atp could have non stupid rules…
— HouseofLeaves19 (@HLeaves19) February 16, 2022
So that's the reason every player put off the headband or cap just after the matchpoint is over? Ridiculous...
— Alessandro (@alevilla1978) February 16, 2022
Idiotic rule. Even if the rule is in place ATM, @atptour has the discretion to not penalize players for such minor infractions. Such an archaic rule rooted in a colonial mindset!
— LavanyaSingerDinesh🌺 (@VocalistLavanya) February 17, 2022
Reilly Opelka wins third career ATP title
Opelka, the World No.23, blasted 16 aces past Brooksby in taking the title in Dallas.
Opelka's prior ATP titles came at the 2019 New York Open and 2020 Delray Beach Open.
He lost his only other final last August at the Canadian Open.
Brooksby, a 21-year-old Californian ranked a career-high 54th, lost his only prior career ATP final last July on Newport grass.
Opelka faced only one break point in the entire tournament, winning all 46 of his service games.
Brooksby saved three set points in the first tie-breaker but then sent a crosscourt backhand wide to surrender the opening set after 52 minutes.
In the second set, Brooksby overcame three double faults and four break points to hold in the 11th game for a 6-5 lead, denying breaks on three service winners and a forehand winner.
In the final tie-breaker, Opelka jumped ahead 3-0 and 6-3 before converting his first match point with a backhand volley winner.
The 24-year-old stands at 6-foot-11 Opelka and is the equal-tallest player in ATP Tour history
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