Opelka wins all-American matchup, advances to Wimbledon boys' final

July 10, 2015 09:53 AM

By Sally Milano, USTA.com

Reilly Opelka is one step away from having his name added to the tennis history books after the 17-year-old from Palm Coast, Fla., defeated fellow American and top seed Taylor Fritz, 6-3, 7-6 (13), Friday in the Wimbledon boys' semifinals.

Opelka moves on to the final, where he will face No. 12 seed Mikael Ymer of Sweden Sunday for the championship.

With the win, Opelka would make it two Slams in a row – and two Wimbledon titles in a row – for the American boys. Last month, Tommy Paul defeated Fritz in the first-ever all-American French Open boys' singles final. And in the 2014 Wimbledon boys' singles final, Noah Rubin defeated Stefan Kozlov in another all-American matchup.

Currently ranked a career-high No. 18 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, the 6-foot-10 Opelka has earned a spot in the final after a difficult draw. He beat Alex De Minaur of Australia, 4-6, 6-3, 13-11, in the first round, No. 3 seed Corentin Denolly of France, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in the second round, Yosuke Watanuki of Japan, 7-6 (4), 6-3, in the third round, No. 10 seed William Blumberg of the U.S., 6-3, 6-3, in the quarterfinals and world No. 1 Fritz in the semifinals.

Opelka has posted solid results all year, including reaching the quarterfinals at the junior French Open last month and the semifinals at Roehampton in early July.

Fritz will have another shot to topple Opelka in the boys' doubles semifinals. Also on Friday, the top-seeded team of Fritz and fellow American Michael Mmoh defeated France's Geoffrey Blancaneaux and Tunisia's Aziz Dougaz, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, to set up a semifinal against Opelka and his partner, Akira Santillan on Japan, who edged Norway's Viktor Durasovic and Finland's Patrik Niklas-Salminen, 4-6, 7-6 (9), 6-2, in their quarterfinal.