Top seed and top draw Rafael Nadal is out of the event in Washington D.C. A day after surviving a 3-hour marathon against Jack Sock in his opener, Nadal fell just short in his third round match Thursday night losing to Lloyd Harris 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
“Today was really special. I think I have had some big wins, and this year I have beat some Grand Slam champions,” said Harris following his greatest career win. “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.
“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 added. “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, who spoke of a foot issue on Wednesday, appeared to be better physically but couldn’t get past the 24-year-old from South Africa.
“The most positive thing is my foot was better today than yesterday, so that’s the best news possible. I played against a player that played well,” Nadal said.
“For the moment, I think I played better than yesterday,” he added. “In the third when I had opportunities, the true is his serve was huge and I played this last game really bad.”
“In the key moments I think in the last game, I was a little bit more nervous. My serve was not working the proper way,” he said. “Well done for him. Is a great victory for him. I wish him all the very best.”
With the foot issues not solved, Nadal said for now his next stop will be in Canada.
The young crew also shined on Thursday. In a battle of 20-year-olds, the unconventional Jensen Brooksby shocked Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-4.
“I have definitely gotten mentally tougher this year, and it’s only kept improving. I just really love, truly love playing on these stages,” the World No. 130 Brooksby said. “No opponent will faze me. I can compete with anyone. This was definitely a very good match today for me. “I stayed really focused throughout. I didn’t really have any lapses in my strategy or mentally. I’m happy with that match.”
Auger-Aliassime has now lost 3 of his last 4 matches heading into his home Canadian Masters.
And in another youth battle, Jannik Sinner got the better of Sebastian Korda 7-6(3), 7-6(3). Sinner had lost his last 4 entering D.C. where the Italian seems to have found his mark.
Korda, who had some back issues during the match, actually led 5-2 with a double break it the second.
“Obviously it was a tough match, because we never practiced together. We never played match, so it was kind of new for both of us,” Sinner said. “Very similar game style.”
Kei Nishokori advanced to a meeting with Harris. And 3 other Americans won — Steve Johnson, Denis Kudla and Mackenzie McDonald.
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