Mur­ray’s dou­ble dream ‘Part­ner­ing Ser­ena is the chance of a life­time’

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Char­lie Ec­cle­share

Reilly Opelka (US) beat Stan Wawrinka (Switzer­land) 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6

The top half of the men’s draw is in­creas­ingly re­sem­bling a celebrity-free zone, af­ter Stan Wawrinka be­came the lat­est big name to be bun­dled out yes­ter­day.

Fol­low­ing Ste­fanos Tsit­si­pas and Alexan­der Zverev’s shock Wim­ble­don ex­its on Mon­day, Wawrinka was left fraz­zled by the brute force of 6ft 11in Amer­i­can Reilly Opelka, who served 23 aces in a 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 sec­ond-round vic­tory.

Wawrinka’s exit leaves for­mer Wim­ble­don fi­nal­ists Kevin An­der­son and Mi­los Raonic, as well as the Cana­dian ris­ing star Felix Auger Alias­sime, as the men most likely to stop No­vak Djokovic’s charge – or quite pos­si­bly pro­ces­sion – to the fi­nal. All three of Raonic, An­der­son and Auger Alias­sime won through to the third round yes­ter­day.

As for Wawrinka, he will surely not be the last to suf­fer at the hands of Opelka – the joint-tallest man in ten­nis his­tory and a for­mer ju­nior Wim­ble­don cham­pion. Still only 21, Opelka is ranked No 63 and is so tall that he had to duck to en­ter the in­ter­view room yes­ter­day, hav­ing been un­able to fit on his ho­tel bed in East­bourne last week.

On the court, he showed im­pres­sive poise to re­cover from two sets to one down and enough adroit­ness from the base­line to break the Wawrinka serve three times.

“At the end he went for it. He went big­ger than me and he de­served to win,” Wawrinka said.

Opelka, by con­trast, was de­lighted by the way he bat­tled past an op­po­nent who, in the clos­ing stages, was read­ing his fe­ro­cious serve. “He had break points al­most every game,” Opelka said. “I played the big points re­ally well on my serve, and that’s what good play­ers do, they make you find ways to win that you’re not com­fort­able with.”

Opelka’s vo­cif­er­ous sup­port team would call out “Dinger” (Opelka’s word for ace) every time their man banged a serve be­yond Wawrinka. They should get plenty more op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­act the rou­tine in Opelka’s next match, which sees him take on Raonic.

An equally mas­sive server – and ropy re­turner – the pair could set a record for the most aces, and fewest ral­lies, in a Wim­ble­don match.

Raonic clocked up 31 aces in his com­fort­able 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 win over Robin Haase. A nig­gling calf in­jury re­quired treat­ment, but he played the in­jury down af­ter­wards.

Auger Alias­sime, 18, over­came los­ing the sec­ond set to romp home 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 against the French qual­i­fier Corentin Moutet. With an­other French young­ster Ugo Hum­bert next, Auger Alias­sime looks well placed to set up a fourthroun­d match against Djokovic.

An­der­son over­came Janko Tip­sare­vic in four sets, and there were wins for ex­cit­ing Rus­sian pair Karen Khachanov – against Feli­ciano Lopez – and Daniil Medvedev.

In the line of fire: Stan Wawrinka col­lides with a line judge, who takes his apol­ogy with good grace

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