Junior Wimbledon Champion Reilly Opelka on his way back from injury - UBITENNIS
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Junior Wimbledon Champion Reilly Opelka on his way back from injury

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The 6’10 Opelka is currently returning to the pro circuit after recovering from a stress fracture in his foot.

Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul are two young Americans who have been tearing up the ATP ranks, with both qualifying for the Acapulco 500 event this week. Both were junior Grand Slam champions last season, but there was a third American who took a junior Grand Slam in 2015, Reilly Opelka. 

 

Opelka won the Wimbledon Boys Singles last year, defeating Fritz on the way to the final, where he beat Mikael Ymer, the younger brother of Elias Ymer. But whilst Fritz,Paul, and recently Noah Rubin, have all been climbing the professional rank things have not been quite so easy for Opelka.

The 6’10 eighteen year-old suffered a foot injury shortly after his Wimbledon triumph, and played with it undiagnosed through the US Open Boys Singles, and a bunch of American Challengers as he tried to kick-start his professional career. The pain remained however, and eventually Opelka visited a specialist, who diagnosed a stress fracture. “It kept getting worse after that, and it really got bad during the [US] Open” Opelka on the injury.

Opelka made his first tournament appearance of 2016 at a Futures event in Florida last week, winning a match before bowing out in the second round.

The ATP website lists Opelka at 6’10 or 208cm, just short of the tallest player in tennis Ivo Karlovic, whom the ATP lists as 6’11 and 211cm. Opelka is close friends with Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz, having trained with and teamed up with both as double partners in Challenger events.

 

 

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Pablo Carreno Busta beats Mikael Ymer in Metz

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Second seed Pablo Carreno Busta beat Mikael Ymer 7-5 6-2 after 1 hour and 52 minutes to reach the quarter finals at the Moselle Open

 

Carreno Busta set up a quarter final match against Danish Next Gen Holger Rune, who battled past Lorenzo Sonego 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4 after 2 hours and 40 minutes. 

Lucas Pouille rallied from one set down to beat Brayden Schnur 3-6 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and 59 minutes. 

Peter Gojowczyk battle past lucky loser Antoine Hoang 6-2 3-6 6-4. Gojowczyk also beat Hoang in three sets in the final round of qualifying. 

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John Millman beats Jaume Munar in three sets in Nur Sultan

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John Millman battled past Jame Munar 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 after 3 hours and 9 minutes to advance to the quarter finals in Nur Sultan. 

 

“These long matches are not good in my age, I tell you !. It was such a physical battle out there. It was such a physical battle out there. I thought the level was extremely good. I thought I improved from yesterday in terms of how I was playing: Munari s a tough competitor. His body probably let him down a little bit towards the end. I have got to tell you, my body wasn’t feeling all that great, either. It was such a physical match and just so happy to extend my stay here”, said Millman.

Laslo Djere overcame Lorenzo Musetti 6-4 6-7 (3-7) after 2 hours and 48 minutes. Djere will face either Dusan Lajovic or Soonwoo Kwon. Ilya Ivashka beat wildcard Timofey Skatov 6-2 6-3. Carlos Taberner knocked out Ricardas Berankis 7-5 6-4. 

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Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova in Ostrava advance to the quarter finals

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Last year’s Roland Garros Iga Swiatek beat Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and 47 minutes to reach the quarter finals at the J&T Open in Ostrava. 

 

Swiatek, who was playing the second indoor WTA main draw of her career after Budapest 2019, faced Putuntseva for the first time in her career. Putintseva reached the semifinal in Portoroz last week and overcame Zhang Shuai after 3 hours and 24 minutes. 

Putintseva went down 0-3 in the first set, but she broke back to draw level to 3-3. Swiatek reeled off the last eight points of the first set to win the first set. 

Swiatek missed three break points to break Putintseva at 4-4 in the second set. The Pole saved two break points with her fourth ace and a series of backhand errors. Swiatek broke serve at love in the ninth game with two consecutive backhands to win the second set 6-4. 

“It was very tough. She was running to every ball. It was really hard. It was really hard to finish her, especially with such a slow surface. She could reach everything and she was fighting to the end. Even on match point I had to finish her three times. I am really happy that I won. It’s really hard for me to play against such players. I like to risk and with risking comes unforced errors, so it’s tough to get the balance between when to push and when to stay and wait for the opponent to miss”, said Swiatek. 

Petra Kvitova edged past Anastasia Potapova 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-3. Kvitova raced out to a 6-1 4-2 lead, but Potapova won three consecutive games with a break-back to love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Kvitova had to save two break points in the 10th game. Kvitova rallied from 0-3 to draw level to 3-3 in the tie-break, but Potapova took the breaker 7-4. 

Potapova got an early break in the third game, but Kvitova broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Kvitova converted her second break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. 

Jelena Ostapenko, who finished runne-up to Clara Tauson in Luxembourg last Sunday, cruised past lucky loser Clara Tauson 6-4 6-0 in 66 minutes. 

US Alison Riske rallied from 1-3 down in the third set before beating Fiona Ferro 6-4 1-6 6-4 after 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

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