Three time grand slam champion, Stan Wawrinka, stepped out onto Court No.2 knowing that he had he had a mountain to climb if he was to fulfil his ambition of achieving a career grand slam.
It was a tough match to lose. I started a little bit slow. I was a bit hesitant and not really moving well enough. Stan Wawrinka
However his record at SW19 during his 14 previous appearances, have produced his least successful results at grand slam level and it continued as, despite extending every sinew in his body, he was unable to get past the towering American playing his first Wimbledon.
Reilly Opelka, aged 21, stands 6’ 11” from which height he can deliver a series of bazooka like serves as he did during the three-hour 13-minute, 7-5 3-6 4-6 6-4 8-6 defeat of the Swiss ranked 44 places above him.
He backed up his 23 aces with 59 winners to keep Wawrinka on his toes though he did have his chances in the fourth set.
“It was a tough match to lose” Wawrinka, the 22nd seed, admitted. “I started a little bit slow. I was a bit hesitant and not really moving well enough. Started to play way better and had some chance in the fourth set but at the end he went for it – he went bigger than me and he deserved to win. I should have broken him or at least taken the lead. At the end he was there being more aggressive. He deserved to win.”
His early loss means Wawrinka will have to wait another year if he is to achieve his goal of a career grand slam. He will also be 35 and that goal could well be out of reach.
“I never said I was ready to win Wimbledon. I said that was my goal. I come every year with the challenge to play the best I can. I have made the quarters twice but I know how tough it is to win a Grand Slam. I’m really happy with everything I’ve achieved all my career by winning three Grand Slam in the same era as the big four. Yeah, today I’m disappointed to have lost that match, but it is what it is.”