Carlos Alcaraz downs Lloyd Harris to reach US Open third round | Tennis News

NEW DELHI: Carlos Alcaraz secured a 6-3, 6-1, 7-6(4) victory over Lloyd Harris on Thursday to advance into the third round of the US Open. The match shed light on both Alcaraz’s brilliance and areas requiring refinement, a critical aspect he must address to effectively safeguard his title defense.
Amidst captivating shot-making by the top-ranked player, the crowd was brought to their feet. Yet, beneath the captivating spectacle lay concerning imperfections, as Alcaraz amassed 29 unforced errors and exhibited lapses in concentration during pivotal junctures.
Even in a state of less than optimal performance, Alcaraz’s innate talent and extensive repertoire of shots enabled him to overcome the challenge presented by the 177th ranked South African opponent.
However, the 20-year-old must undoubtedly elevate his game, particularly with the looming presence of rival Novak Djokovic, who is relentlessly pursuing his 24th Grand Slam victory and eager to avenge his defeat to the Spaniard at Wimbledon.
Under Arthur Ashe Stadium’s bright lights Alcaraz found himself under even greater scrutiny after an unconvincing build-up to the season’s final Grand Slam.
In two tune-up events his results – reaching the Canadian Open quarter-finals and losing to Djokovic in the Cincinnati final – were positive but the performances spotty with seven of eight matches needing three sets to get the job done.
Of the 23 sets played eight required tiebreaks.
There was little to learn from Alcaraz’s opening match on Tuesday against Dominic Koepfer, which was cut short when the German retired with an ankle injury.
Harris is recovering from wrist surgery and has seen his ranking drop but the big-hitting South African is a proven danger man, reaching the quarter-finals in 2021 and having a few top 10 wins on his resume, including one over Rafa Nadal.
The contest got off to a cautious start before Alcaraz began to settle into the match, taking control of the first set with a break to go up 3-2.
From that point on he dialled up the pressure and clinched the set with a second break.
Alcaraz continued to dominate in the second but lost focus in the third, committing 16 of his 29 unforced errors, as Harris threatened to take the contest to a fourth set before losing the tie-break 7-4.
There will be no room for such lapses in third round for Alcaraz with 26th seed Dan Evans waiting in the wings.
(With Reuters Inputs)

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