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Reilly edges past Wawrinka in a marathon

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US player Reilly Opelka returns against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka during their men’s singles second round match on the third day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 3, 2019. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) /

America’s Reilly Opelka outlasted Switzerland’s veteran Stan Wawrinka in five grueling sets of serving battle on tennis court.

Opelka won the first set 7/5 with only one break of serve in a close encounter of effective serving with no double faults.

The 34-year-old Wawrinka, seeded 22, broke the 22-year-old Opelka in the sixth game of the second set and consolidated to lead 5-2.

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Opelka jumped to a 40-15 lead on his serve and won the eighth game with his sixth ace. Serving for the set, Wawrinka double faulted to 0-15; then fell behind 0-30; but he rallied to take the game and set 6/3.

Reilly opened serving in the third set with his seventh ace of the match and clinched with his eighth. Wawrinka responded in equal fashion by opening point with his sixth ace, followed by two service winners to reach 40-0 and sealed the game with an ace.

Reilly lost his serve and his opponent consolidated the break to lead 3-1. This was sufficient for the Swiss to take the set 6/4.

Reilly committed his first double fault in the opening game of the fourth set, but he canceled two break points to hold. That opening game was crucial, as it would have given Wawrinka a head lead with his effective serving that earned the second game with his ninth ace serve. The set proceeded with quick service mages until Wawrinka needed to hold in the 10th game to save the match.

Although he opened with an ace, he dropped the game and set to Reilly.

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In the fifth set, Reilly took the first game on his serve while Wawrinka saved two break points before holding to level 1 game apiece.

The American delivered his 16th ace to cancel a break danger as he took the third game and Stan leveled promptly with his 12th ace. The American giant registered his 21st ace in taking the 11th game, while the Swiss star hammered two aces to level the score 6-6. After Reilly delivered two aces to lead 7-6, the pressure was on Wawrinka to save the match. However, his serve failed him and he lost the set 8/6 for the match.

In the match statistics, Wawrinka won 156 points to Opelka’s 151 and only one game separated the winner’s 28 games to the loser’s 27. The serving prowess resulted in the fact that Wawrinka was able to convert only two out of 12 break opportunities, while Reilly won only three out of 10 break chances.

Reilly is a former Wimbledon junior champion and is the tallest player on tour as he stands 6 foot 11 inches (211cm) that enables him to rain down hard fast serves. It is to his credit that he has good mobility despite his huge frame.


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