South Africa’s Lloyd Harris bowed out of the US Open after losing to Belgium’s seventh seed David Goffin in a second-round match at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.
Harris, who is ranked 95th in the world battled bravely against his opponent but ultimately fell 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 1-6, 4-6.
In the first set, Harris certainly had his chances with five break-point opportunities but was only able to convert once. On the serve, Harris dominated, as he won four of six games at love.
“I had never played him before and didn’t know what to expect with his serve,” said Gofiin, of the South African. “The balls were coming off the court pretty fast and I just wasn’t able to get a good look at his serve.”
A look at the stat sheet showed just how close the first set was: Harris won more points (54-49); Goffin struggled on his serve, able to get in just over half of his first serves, at 53 percent (35 of 66); Goffin had a total of 25 unforced errors with just eight winners.
Despite the stats, however, Goffin was able to eke out the breaker, 8-6, taking the one-hour-and-8-minute set on a forehand winner.
The second set started with four consecutive breaks of serve. Harris broke the set open in the sixth game, with a break of serve for a 4-2 lead, and held on to notch the set, 6-4.
In the third set, Goffin picked up his game and jumped out to a 4-1 lead with some big and timely serves (four aces) and fewer unforced errors (5) than winners (6).
Both players opened the fourth set with breaks of serve as Harris tied it at 1-all after having lost seven of eight games to Goffin. Goffin broke Harris at love in the ninth game to serve for the match, leading 5-4. Goffin opened up a 40-0 lead, but Harris refused to die, getting it back to deuce on two forehand winners and an unforced error by Goffin. Finally, on the fourth match point, Goffin rushed the net and hit a put-away forehand volley to end the match.
Goffin moves on to play No. 26 seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia while 23-year-old Harris was the last remaining African hope after the elimination of compatriots Kevin Anderson and Raven Klaasen as well as Egypt’s Mohammed Safwat in the first round.