Lloyd Harris joins elite group in ousting Reilly Opelka
Not many men have been able to do to Reilly Opelka what Lloyd Harris could en route to reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open.
South African star Lloyd Harris overcame the American ace 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 in the Louis Armstrong Stadium to reach a maiden Slam quarter-final.
In doing so, the world number 46 beat Opelka in a key stat where the big-server is rarely bested.
Across 129 career matches at ATP tour level, Reilly Opelka has now been out-aced on just nine occasions by seven different players, including Harris.
That’s a rate of just 7% of occasions where Opelka has not served more aces than his opponent.
In addition, Harris is the first to serve over 10 aces more than Opelka in a match, racking up 36 to Opelka’s 24 in the fourth round encounter.
Harris was near-flawless in conquering Opelka towards the end of the match. Perhaps even more astonishingly than out-serving the American, Harris accrued just 16 unforced errors across the four set match.
This included zero unforced errors in both sets three and four, an incredible feat of poise and focus.
“Absolutely, I came out I thought I played a really good first set, right from the start,” Harris said in his on-court interview.
“I was returning well, getting on his serves and throughout the match I served really well and after that first set not going my way I just had to stay confident and kept on building.
“But I mean what an unbelievable feeling this is. This is crazy.”
Lloyd Harris will take on 2020 US Open finalist Alexander Zverev next for a place in the semi-finals.
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