Tote bags finally get the limelight they deserve. Danish player Holger Rune brought an IKEA tote bag for his match against Novak Djokovic. Yesterday, Reilly Opelka brought a pink tote bag for his match against Lloyd Harris.
The US Open officials deemed the logo on the Opelka’s bag as too big and fined him $10,000. The pink bag had the name, ‘Tim Van Laere Gallery’ on one side. The gallery is based in Antwerp, Belgium and the bag was provided by Opelka’s sponsor, Wilson.
Opelka, known for his brutal honesty, called the fine a joke.
The head referee was telling me you should have come in and had this thing measured. We had that logo specifically made. We measured. It is too big. We made the effort to make it smaller. There was a mistake in production, I think, because in Europe with the conversion, with what was allowed. But I made the effort.
I thought (the fine) was a bit harsh, a bit excessive. My job is not to measure logos. My job is to win matches. I have bigger things to worry about.
You want to take away our prize money the whole time? I guess they’re making up for lost ticket sales last year. I’d love to see it get donated elsewhere. We’ve had a few tragedies here in the States the last couple weeks. If they are going to take 10K from me, it better not go to a major corporation. That’s my thought.
Undaunted, Opelka brought the same bag for his next match in an attempt to troll the organizers for the stupid fine.
The US Open has turned a blind eye towards long bathroom breaks and coaching from the stands. But the tournament has taken such a hard stance against the size of the logo. It makes them look out of touch.
Andy Roddick suggested that Opelka’s agent should find a bag sponsor that pays him more than the $10K fine. Companies can benefit from the publicity that the unapproved bag got.