Reilly Opelka saw his terrific Wimbledon run come to an abrupt end Friday in London, as he crashed out of the tournament in a straight-sets loss to No. 15 seed Milos Raonic, 7-6 (1), 6-2, 6-1.
The 21-year-old Opelka, a former Wimbledon Boys champion making his men’s main draw debut, was coming off the best victory of his career on Wednesday, outlasting No. 22 seed and three-time Slam winner Stan Wawrinka in five sets.
But the ex-Indian Trails Middle School student wasn’t quite able to keep it going against Raonic, a former Top 5 player and Wimbledon finalist. The first set was tight, with both players having break points and failing to convert, but in the tiebreaker Raonic won all four points on Opelka’s serve to take it easily.
In the second set Opelka’s movement slowed and he appeared to be hampered by some kind of injury, though he never called for a trainer to the court. He and Raonic both held until 2-3 in the fourth, when Opelka double-faulted three times to lose serve for the first time.
After that the Canadian Raonic pounced, and started returning serve much better. Opelka fired 13 aces in the first set, but none after that. The other big stat Friday was Raonic winning 93 percent of his first-serve points, compared to 58 percent for Opelka.
Still, it was a terrific week of tennis for Opelka. Even with the loss Opelka’s ranking will jump up to around No. 53 in the world, one off his career-high rank.
And for making the third round of Wimbledon, he won a prize check of $139,934.