Venus Williams detectives have been left laughing after social media rumors linking the veteran to tennis star Reilly Opelka were backed up in the media, suggesting the former world number one took her match on a museum trip.
Seven-time Grand Slam winner Williams was seen hitting with Canadian Opelka in April at the Ibis Golf and Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, where her tennis coach, Eric Hechtman, showed them working together.
That accelerated gossip among observers on Twitter, who also spotted that Williams left three hearts as a comment under a photo the world number 35 posted from the Italian Open in Rome earlier this month.
Venus and Opelka first practicing together and now travelling around rome together? pic.twitter.com/Z2PEZVcuZu
— . (@gfin240) May 6, 2021
Hechtman appeared to indicate that the pair had traveled to Rome together in another post, and Opelka confirmed that he had been indulging his restless appetite for culture with Williams off the court.
“I was practising and I went to some art museums and art galleries,” he told the ATP.
So Venus is dating Reilly Opelka? pic.twitter.com/qxaRh9gyFP
— Big Daddy Smooth (@JohnWad30081753) May 21, 2021
Well they seem to be spending a lot of time together. Going to museums and things.
— Nina (Mercurial Rafan) (@Nina201710) May 15, 2021
“I actually went with Venus Williams to the Borghese Museum and I got my arts and crafts in prior to checking into [the] Rome [bubble].”
A self-confessed light sleeper, inquisitive Opelka attended New York Fashion Week events around the 2019 New York Open, which was his first ATP title win.
— Bringin’ Sassy Back (@SassyJaxIsBack) May 15, 2021
Why on earth would they believe they’re dating? The TL was just joking!!! 😂😭😭
— Charisse_K (@charissesmalls) May 20, 2021
“In Madrid when I lost, I checked out of the bubble hotel the same night and I went to the Prado Museum, which was probably the greatest museum I’ve ever been to,” he also explained. “This one was unreal.”
While Williams is a towering 6ft1, Opelka is one of the few players who can stand comfortably above her with his height of almost 7ft.
They went to see the sights AKA they basically got married by the Pope
— Andrea (@161stAndChilla) May 20, 2021
I blame Tennis Twitter!
— Corbin (@Dr_CorbinCWong) May 20, 2021
At 23 years old, the former Wimbledon junior champion is also 17 years younger than the current world number 102, who lost in the round of 32 in a challenger event in Italy on Monday.
“Good for Venus,” said one fan. “Opelka is so tall, but so is Venus.”
Which one of y’all really wrote that article about Venus and Reilly though lmaoooo
— Aslan Karatsev's Calves | Elizabethan Era (@dawsisms) May 20, 2021
Good for Venus! Gosh, Opelka is so tall but so is Venus.
— Moana (@Moana125) May 21, 2021
Others were more cynical about the reports, blaming the eagle-eyed tittle-tattle of “tennis Twitter”. “Why on earth would they be dating?” asked one. “The timeline was just joking.”
Another replied: “They went to see the sights – also known as getting married by the Pope.”
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