SA’s Lloyd Harris stuns Olympic silver medalist Khachanov in U.S. Open first round

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 31: Lloyd Harris of South Africa celebrates match point against Karen Khachanov of Russia during his Men's Singles first round match on Day Two of the 2021 US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

South African Lloyd Harris marched into the second round of the U.S. Open after shocking Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov in five sets on Wednesday.

Harris recovered from two sets to one down to prevail 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6 against his higher-ranked opponent in just over three hours.

Lloyd Harris of South Africa celebrates match point against Karen Khachanov of Russia during the 2021 US Open in New York City. /Getty Images

Harris managed to hit more aces than the big-serving Russian (20-13), fired more winners (46-32) and made twice as fewer double faults (2-4).

The first set went to Harris after secured a crucial break of serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held on to convert his second set point to win 6-4.

Khachanov fought back in the second set as Harris dropped serve twice and only won one game allowing the Russian to sweep it 6-1. Khachanov then broke Harris’ serve twice in the third set as he claimed it 6-4 for a two sets to one lead.

However, Harris responded in the fourth set forcing Khachanov to drop serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and he proceed to hold his own serve to take the set 6-3 and force the game into a deciding set.

Harris began the decider impressively breaking Khachanov in the first game without dropping a single point. He then secured another crucial break of serve in the fifth game converting the fourth break point of the game to take a commanding 4-1 lead.

The 24-year-old wrapped up victory converting his first match point claim the decider 6-2 and secure a famous win against the 25th seed.

Harris is odds on to advance to the third round at the year’s final Grand Slam as he faces American Ernesto Escobedo, who is ranked 132 places below him, in the second round.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)