| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: Lee Seidner/NY Tennis Magazine

 

This year’s New York Open champion Reilly Opelka ousted 22nd seed and three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 to reach the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday.

The young American took advantage of the 21 unforced errors that Wawrinka hit in the fourth and fifth sets, and Opelka secured the key break in the match’s final game to close it out.

“He got really comfortable and started hitting some really good returns,” said Opelka, who saved the only two break points he faced in the final set. “I had to adjust a lot. My mind was always thinking, especially after I lost the third set. I knew I had to make some adjustments quick to start, because he was in every return game.”

Opelka moves on to play 15th seed Milos Raonic of Canada, who advanced on Wednesday with a 7-6(1), 7-5, 7-6(4) win over Robin Haase.

“Obviously, he’s been a really good player on grass and he’s done well, especially at Wimbledon,” said Opelka. “Again, he’s the favorite; he’s had more experience here. [It] just allows me to play free and, you know, trust my game.”

Raonic’s compatriot, Felix Auger-Aliassime continued his great run of play as he booked his spot in the third round with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 over Frenchman Corentin Moutet. Auger-Aliassime will take on another Frenchman in Ugo Humbert next.

Defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic cruised past American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to secure his spot in the third round where he will play Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

On the women’s side, the 27th seed Sofia Kenin was upset by Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska, who advanced with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over the young American.

Seventh-seed Simona Halep hung on to knock off her compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to keep her Wimbledon run alive.

“I just had to fight till the end and for every ball, which I’m really happy that I did,” said Halep. “I felt confident on court. I felt also strong mentally.”

Halep plays Victoria Azarenka next in a star-studded third-round clash. Azarenka played dominant tennis to take out Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-0.

Third-seed Karolina Pliskova, eighth-seed Elina Svitolina, 14th seed Caroline Wozniacki and 20th Anett Kontaveit all pushed through in their respective matches on Wednesday to advance.