Opelka names mentors including Venus Williams

With a few photographs of Venus Williams recently appearing online alongside artist Tim Van Laere, Reilly Opelka shared one of them and remarked that both the legends were his mentors.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion was at The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in the city of Maastricht, Netherlands, where she was seen posing and enjoying her time with Laere. The photographs were shared on social media by the artist himself, as he tagged Williams and Opelka in the post. Before opening his gallery in Belgium's Antwerp, Laere studied economics in the US.

25-year-old Opelka has always been an admirer of art, with most of his collections coming from the Tim Van Laere Gallery. The gallery represents the likes of Friedrich Kunath (Opelka's favorite), Ben Sledsens, Rinus Van de Velde, and Bram Demunter.

"My mentors. Art x tennis club," Opelka wrote on his Instagram stories.

In a recent interview, Laere stated that apart from art, he enjoyed watching tennis since he found similarities in both fields.

“Apart from my endless love for art, I am also a tennis enthusiast," Laere said. "For me, it's much more than a showdown between players. In addition to their physical and technical qualities, they must show mental strength to win. When a tennis player is on the court, he must make all the decisions alone. It's the same for artists."

During the 2021 US Open, Opelka was handed a fine of $10,000 as the logo on his Tim Van Laere Gallery bag exceeded the size limit allowed by the tournament.

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WTA Venus Williams Reilly Opelka

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