UPSET! World No.50 Lloyd Harris Denies Rafael Nadal Quarterfinals Entry at Citi Open 2021

Published 08/05/2021, 10:17 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 17: Rafael Nadal of Spain looks frustrated against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during day 10 of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 17, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)


Top seed Rafael Nadal had survived his persistent foot trouble to battle past Jack Sock in his Citi Open 2021 opening match. However, in the pre-quarters, he had to do it all over again to take out the South African tennis player Lloyd Harris. At last, after three excrutiating sets, he lost the match 4-6, 6-1, 4-6.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Notably, the Spaniard had confirmed his foot injury after the end of his previous match. Even so, he hoped to keep going and improving as he spent more time on the court.

Although the competitive spirit of Nadal is legendary, the challenge in front of him was real. Moreover, Harris did all the right things to make the Spaniard’s journey in Washington troublesome.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

“It Was Painful Tonight”: Rafael Nadal Confirms Foot Injury Troubling Him at Citi Open 2021

about 2 months ago

Rafael Nadal vs Llyod Harris, Set 1: Citi Open 2021

Spanish World No.3 Rafael Nadal made a slow start to the match, holding his first serve after deuce. Also, while the signs of inward struggle were not clear, he did seem to be a bit unnatural. Seemingly, it was good news for the South African.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Lloyd Harris of South Africa celebrates against Rafael Nadal of Spain (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The 14th seed Llyod Harris, thus, used his fresh legs optimally to trouble the Spaniard. What helped his case more was he had received a walkover in the second set of the previous round. Plus, Nadal had played three trying sets, taking three hours and five minutes, to win his first.

At 3-3, the efforts of Harris paid off as he won a hard-earned break in the opening set. Afterwards, he remained disciplined enough to back up his lead with a comfortable 40-15 hold.

Surprisingly, Nadal had a breakpoint to bring back the set on serve, but he scraped it, losing the set 4-6. However, it then became clear that the Spaniard had just got into this match.

Watch this story: Tennis Rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s Top Funny Moments

Nadal vs Llyod, Set 2: Citi Open 2021

As expected, Nadal came all over the South African in the second set. Naturally, even the crowd got rejuvenated watching the Spaniard in his fighting mode.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a backhand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

After being 2-1 up in the second set, the Citi Open debutant got back-to-back breaks to regain his control again. Unquestionably, Harris could not do much once all the Nadal engines were fired up.

As a result, the Spaniard levelled the match, taking the second set 6-1 in thirty three minutes. Although uncommon, the question was whether Nadal could keep going on in the third set.

Nadal vs Llyod, Set 3: Citi Open 2021

Both the candidates were in full intensity to convert the battle into a winning night. Hence, even though Nadal got a break point in the first game of the decider set, he could not see it through.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a forehand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Consequently, halfway down the set, the scores were settled at 4-4. However, as the match got closer, the value and the work behind every point increased.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Harris, then, made the crucial hold at 4-4 and asked Nadal to serve to stay in the match. Shockingly, the Spaniard could not manage the hold and ended his journey in Washington. The final score: 4-6, 6-1, 4-6.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Next up, Harris will face Japanese Kei Nishikori in the quaterfinals of Citi Open 2021. Do you think he will win his maiden title in Washington?

DIVE DEEPER

“Idol”: Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula in Awe of Rafael Nadal’s Fighting Spirit at Citi Open 2021

about 2 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Purav Joshi

1132 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT