‘To beat a 20-time Grand Slam champion is very special,’ says ‘brave’ Lloyd Harris after Rafael Nadal win
It was a moment to savour for Lloyd Harris in Washington as he claimed the biggest win of his career with a stunning upset victory over Rafael Nadal at the Citi Open.
Harris, who had beaten the likes of Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem on the ATP Tour earlier this year, secured the scalp of 20-time major winner Nadal with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 win in the third round.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 6, 2021
After a three-hour tussle against Jack Sock in the second round, Nadal’s on-court hours increased to over five hours as he battled for two hours and 11 minutes against the South African.
Harris got the lone break in the opening set in game seven, but Nadal bounced back impressively as breaks in games four and six helped him to take it to a decider.
The Spaniard pushed hard early in the third set as the 14th seed saved two break points in the opening game and one in the fifth before the South African converted his only opportunity in the 10th game to seal the match.
“Today was really special. I think I have had some big wins, and this year I have beat some Grand Slam champions,” Harris said. “But to beat a 20-time Grand Slam champion, and especially in front of a full crowd and with such an amazing atmosphere, it was definitely something very special.”
Harris will face Kei Nishikori, who beat seventh seed Cameron Norrie 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, in the quarter-finals on Friday, and the South African had plenty of positives from his win over world No 3.
“I did a lot of good things. I think the best thing was to stay in the moment, keep my composure, and I think I just stayed with my game and stayed playing a consistently good level throughout the match,” Harris said. “It was a good, quality match, I think. Not easy for me out there. It was pretty physical, but all in all, I’m just super happy with how everything turned out.”
Nadal, meanwhile, was impressed by the 24-year-old.
“All the credit to him that he played aggressive,” he said. “He played well. He was brave. So, well done.”
In the bottom half of the draw, fifth seed Jannik Sinner won the battle of the young guns as the Italian defeated Sebastian Korda from the United States 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3) while American wildcard Jensen Brooksby stunned second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-4.
Toronto Masters: How to watch the Canadian Open women’s singles
What a day in Toronto!
Montreal Masters: How to watch Cameron Norrie in action
Cameron Norrie is the first of three Brits in action in the singles in Montreal today.
Mike Tyson marvels at transformative power of tennis
Mike Tyson’s daughter Milan is a budding tennis star.
Coco Gauff moves on but Emma Raducanu suffers first-round exit in Toronto
The British number one was beaten 7-6 (0) 6-2 by Camila Giorgi but fellow teen sensation Coco Gauff moved on.
Nick Kyrgios has mixed feelings ahead of Daniil Medvedev showdown
Nick Kyrgios faces a test of his rich vein of form.
Cameron Norrie carries British hopes in Montreal as Andy Murray falls
Norrie is chasing his third ATP Tour title of the year after going down in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev in the final in Los Cabos.
Serena Williams retirement: Greg Rusedski not discounting ‘box office’ Serena to retire on a high at US Open
Serena Williams to bow out on a high by winning the US Open?
Serena Williams retirement: Tennis might never see such a remarkable icon ever again
The remarkable career of Serena Williams is drawing to a close.
Serena Williams’ greatest milestones as she prepares to bid farewell: Open Era Grand Slam record, prize money
Serena Williams has had quite a career.
Serena Williams confirms she will retire after US Open, but doesn’t want ‘ceremonial, final on-court moment’
Time to shed a tear or two, the great Serena Wiliams is to retire after the US Open.