Coming off a third-round showing at the French Open, Palm Coast’s Reilly Opelka had lots of reasons to be optimistic heading into Wimbledon this week.
It’s where he was a Junior Grand Slam Champion, in 2015, and with his huge serve and equally large groundstrokes, the former Indian Trails Middle School student figures to be a contender for the title at the All England Club for years to come.
But Monday things didn’t go well at all for the 23-year-old in the first round of Wimbledon, as the No. 27 seed fell in straight sets to Dominik Koepfer of Germany, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-???.
Seeded for the second time at a Slam, Opelka drew a tricky opponent in Koepfer, who beat him at the U.S. Open in 2019 and battled Roger Federer for four close sets at the French four weeks ago.
Opelka was broken in the third game of the first set, and never could break back. Then in the second set he had three break point opportunities, and was in most of Koepfer’s service games, but couldn’t convert.
Then the 62nd-ranked German outdueled Opelka in the tiebreak, as several net rushes by Opelka were unsuccessful. Opelka was only able to win 53 percent of his points at net, far below his norm, to go along with 40 winners and 33 unforced errors.
It was a disappointing result for Opelka, but now he turns to the U.S. hardcourt circuit, that will culminate in the U.S. Open in New York, starting August 30.
— Michael J. Lewis for FlaglerLive
Truth Spitter says
Can we hold off naming our tennis center after him until he figures out how to win a major or two? or contributes some of his earnings towards the costs? and/or one or more of his sponsors contribute to the costs?
As a pro he has a career losing record. In tennis years he’s getting up there in age. Why he chose to not participate for his country (and Palm Coast!) in the summer olympics is disappointing. He may not get another chance.
What are we so enamoured with here?