Taylor Fritz & Reilly Opelka Make It a Double

aerial image of green tennis court taken by Mudaassir Ali via Pexels
Photo Courtesy of Mudassir Ali

A medium-length conversation over a Long Drink

Admittedly, while we very much enjoy watching tennis live, we have had to have someone explain to us why the numbers go up and down near the box score during matches. Not something to brag about particularly—but that’s all finally behind us after this conversation with two of the USA’s top professional tennis players, Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka. Said conversation was held, for our benefit and their’s, over an icy cold Long Drink. Because after explaining the number to us a few times, turned out we all needed one. Luckily we got around to asking them a few more things.

professional tennis player Taylor Fritz smiling with tennis racket
Taylor Fritz
professional tennis player Reilly Opelka walking on tennis court holding up racket
Reilly Opelka

You’re bringing over a case of Long Drink for the holidays, what flavor are you bringing home to mom and why?

Taylor Fritz: The Traditional because it’s my favorite and if I want someone to try a Long Drink for the first time and fall in love with it, the classic is amazing.

Reilly Opelka: I am bringing home the Traditional flavor! I feel like that’s the classy type you bring home to Mom. It was also the first flavor I ever tried.

Something that happened at work in 2021 that someone will definitely be bringing up at holiday dinners?

Taylor Fritz: Not sure, probably something stupid I did on the court that I’ve already pushed out of my mind.

Reilly Opelka:  The common one that always comes up is how many times I lose my wallet, and for every time I lose it there is always a good story that came with me finding it. Some have never been found.

professional tennis player Reilly Opelka hitting tennis ball on the court

Explain the game of tennis as poorly as possible

Taylor Fritz: Hit balls in court better than your opponent.

Reilly Opelka: It’s like boxing, just less violent. That might not be that poor of an explanation now that I think of it.

If you could play a game of doubles with any athlete other than another tennis player, who would it be?

Taylor Fritz: Ronaldo for sure, he’s my favorite athlete.

Reilly Opelka: Easy. Kevin Durant!

The moment in sports history that you will remember for the rest of your life?

Taylor Fritz: I think I would say del Porto winning the US Open for me, it really sticks in my head.

Reilly Opelka: Tiger winning The Masters again in 2019.

professional tennis player Reilly Opelka practing on the court
professional tennis player Taylor Fritz on the court

How did you end up as an ambassador for the Long Drink? And have you been to Finland?

Taylor Fritz: I had friends that were involved in the company and when I tried my first Long Drink I knew it was special, and I have not gotten the chance to go yet.

Reilly Opelka: I was over at my friend Myles’ house one day we were watching football and he just handed me a can of the Traditional flavor. I loved it so much I ended up taking home a few cases from him that day.

What’s something that feels true about Finnish culture, but probably isn’t?

Taylor Fritz: Drinking a lot?! Maybe that is true though.

Reilly Opelka: The one thing that comes to mind is that everyone from Finland loves a good sauna.

Sauna or steam?

Taylor Fritz: Sauna… helps sweat it out after a night of too many Long Drinks

Reilly Opelka: I am a steam guy myself.

Black and white image of a man holding The Long Drink in a towel by sauna door
The Long drink being submerged in icy water

A moment in your career that has changed you for the better?

Taylor Fritz: Definitely getting injured and having to be away. It helped me appreciate what I have by having to think about losing it.

Reilly Opelka: There was one specific week this year, in Rome. I was having a slow start to the year, and I remember there was one practice in particular where things started to turn around. I told my coach I would not leave the court that day until my forehand was figured. We stayed out on the court for hours and hours. And that was the most productive practice of my life.

professional tennis player Taylor Fritz enjoying win on court

You’ve just won a huge match, what do you want waiting for you at the dinner table when you get home?

Taylor Fritz: If I have to play again the next day then steak and mashed potatoes… If the tournament is over In-N-Out Burger and a Long Drink.

Reilly Opelka: Gnocchi! It’s my all-time favorite, hits the spot every time.

Anyone in history, who is your dream opponent?

Taylor Fritz: Federer (presumably Roger)

Reilly Opelka: John McEnroe