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Opelka beats Fognini in first round of U.S. Open

US Open Tennis

Reilly Opelka, of the US, reacts after a point against Fabio Fognini, of Italy,during the first round of the US Open tennis tournament Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)


NEW YORK -- Reilly Opelka’s first main-draw match at the U.S. Open went about as well as possible, as the 6-foot-11 American hit 26 aces in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 victory over 11th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy.

The only real slip-up by Opelka came when he served for the match ahead 6-5 in the third set. Still, after getting broken there and eventually dropping that set, Opelka recovered quickly to grab the fourth.

Opelka, currently ranked a career-high 42nd, acknowledged that his serve wasn’t at its very best, but said the victory “shows that I’ve got more than that to back it up.”

He turns 22 on Wednesday, when he plays in the second round.

His best Grand Slam showing was a third-round run at Wimbledon last month.