Wawrinka Powers Into Wimbledon Second Round
Swiss now faces big-serving Opelka
Stan Wawrinka powered his way into the second round at The Championships on Monday, completing the first singles match of the day, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 over Belgian qualifier Rubens Bemelmans in 87 minutes.
"I think I had a great preparation," said Wawrinka. "I'm happy the way I've been practising so far here. [I'm] really happy the way I've been feeling physically. Today was a great match, a great start. Three sets, so it's good to start like that."
The 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon quarter-finalist, who is now 20-14 at the All England Club, will next challenge American Reilly Opelka. The Swiss comes into the Grand Slam championship on the back of a Roland Garros quarter-final run (l. to Federer).
Opelka struck 11 aces in a 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over Stebe in one hour and 48 minutes.
Milos Raonic, the 2016 runner-up, improved to 25-8 at The Championships with a 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-2 victory against Prajnesh Gunneswaran. Competing at Wimbledon for the ninth straight year, the 15th-seeded Canadian extends his unbeaten record in Wimbledon first-round encounters to nine matches.
Raonic landed 14 aces and claimed 82 per cent of first-serve points (47/57) throughout the one-hour, 48-minute encounter to set a second-round clash against Robin Haase. The 32-year-old dropped five games en route to the second round, cruising past Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.