Opelka tops Isner, Murray loses tough 5-setter; top seeds sail through

Reilly Opelka earned his first victory in a main-draw match at any of the grand slams by defeating the No. 9-seeded Isner in four tiebreakers 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5).  Opelka is 6 ft 11 inches tall, slightly taller than Isner.

“There’s just a lot of things that are out of your control. That’s something I can relate to. I feel like when I’m playing well, that’s how my opponents think. And I was expecting that today; that I probably wouldn’t get to touch too many balls, too many serves, but I was hoping the same for him,” said Opelka, a 21-year-old who is based in Florida. “I know it’s awkward for both of us.”

Andy Murray, who announced this week that he intends retire soon, lost a tight 5-setter to Bautista Agut.  In a match that lasted more than four hours, Agut won 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-2.

“Amazing,” said Murray, clearly choked up as he addressed the crowd. “That was incredible. Thank you, oh so much to everyone who came out tonight. I’ve loved playing here over the years.

Defending champion Roger Federer, who has won the tournament six times, came through 6-3 6-4 6-4 against Denis Istomin and will play Britain’s Dan Evans next.

“I’m very happy with the match,” said Federer. “I brought good energy and I played some good shots. I was solid overall because Denis made it tough.  It’s disbelief to be quite honest that I’m the double defending champion at my age. I hope I can do it again this year. I have to go in with a mindset that it’s maybe possible – but it’s probably going to be somebody else. I’m going to try everything that I possibly can. I’m going to leave it all on the court and then we’ll see what happens. I’ll give it my best shot.”

Rafael Nadal beat James Duckworth 6-4 6-3 7-5 easily to reach the second round.

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Andy’s Reads of the Week – Murray calls it quits and is this the end for Hopman Cup?

Get a cup of coffee and settle down!  Here are your morning reads of the week.

Andy Murray’s retirement announcement shocked fans and fellow players.  Wimbledon tweeted the best: “To Andy, whatever happens next, you’ve done more than you know.” (The National)

Andy Murray was a great ally to women. (Huffington Post UK)

Could 2019 be the last Hopman Cup? (PerthNow)

Players are complaining about the new Dunlop balls at the Australian Open. (Sydney Morning Herald)

With the exception of the French Open, the other grand slams are going to a tie breaker in the fifth set. But there is no consistency between them. (ESPN)

Will ATP CEO Chris Kermode stay on?  Players are divided. (The Telegraph)

Why are there no openly gay male tennis players? (Sydney Morning Herald)

India has produced many doubles grand slam champions.   The country is searching for it’s quality singles player. 112th ranked Prajnesh Gunneswaran qualifed for the main draw of men’s singles at the Australian Open. (Eurosport).

Sania Mirza ponders return to tennis after becoming a mom. (Tennis World)

 

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