Opelka pulls off another upset at Wimbledon, beats Wawrinka

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WIMBLEDON, England – In a Wimbledon tournament filled with early upsets, Reilly Opelka pulled off another one on Wednesday in the second round.

The 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) American defeated three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 on No. 2 Court.

Opelka is making his debut at Wimbledon, and playing in only his fourth Grand Slam tournament. He had never before reached the third round at any major. Wawrinka, who has won each of the other three major titles but has never been past the quarterfinals at the All England Club, also lost in the second round at Wimbledon last year.

On Monday, both No. 6 Alexander Zverev and No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas were eliminated. No. 5 Dominic Thiem, a French Open finalist the past two years, followed them out of the tournament on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Opelka, who is unseeded, used his serve to get things done against Wawrinka. He finished with 23 aces, with several serves topping 140 mph. One, at 142 mph, tied with Zverev for the fastest of the tournament so far.

Two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka, third-seeded Karolina Pliskova and eighth-seeded Elina Svitolina all advanced in the women’s draw, but only two of them had an easy time getting to the third round.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open title in 2012 and 2013, beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-0, while Pliskova defeated Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig 6-0, 6-4.

Svitolina, on the other hand, was two points from losing to Margarita Gasparyan in the second set but eventually won when her opponent retired with an injury at 5-7, 6-5.

Gasparyan was serving at 5-5, 0-15 in the second set when she was injured. She clutched her right thigh after a serve and eventually dropped to the court, lying along the baseline. A trainer attended to Gasparyan, and Svitolina came over to check on her opponent, bringing her a bottle of water.

“I know when there is cramps you need to drink lots of water. Your muscles are contracting. So it’s important just to drink lots of fluids,” Svitolina said. “So that’s why I gave her some water, because no one really did anything. I mean, we were trying to help, but, yeah, it’s tough to react straightaway.”

When play resumed, Svitolina broke to lead 6-5 and served for the second set, but Gasparyan retired from the match while trailing 40-15 in that game.

Later, American teenager Coco Gauff will try to follow up her upset win over Venus Williams with another victory in the second round.

The 15-year-old Gauff will face Magdalena Rybarikova on No. 2 Court at the All England Club.

Gauff would break inside the top 200 in the WTA rankings with a victory, having already become the youngest player since 1991 to win a match at Wimbledon.

Also, defending champion Novak Djokovic will face Dennis Kudla of the United States for the first time. Djokovic is seeking a fifth title at Wimbledon and 16th Grand Slam trophy in all.