Playing at the US Open for the first time, the 21-year-old South African Lloyd Harris is on a brink of entering his first main draw at Major events, defeating Sebastian Ofner 6-2 6-1 in 56 minutes to reach the third qualifying round. Lloyd served at 70% and he lost just 11 points on serve, never facing a break point and keeping the pressure on the Austrian who couldn't match those numbers in his games.
Harris was impressive on the return as well, stealing more than 50% of the points in Ofner's games to create seven break chances and convert four to control the scoreboard all the time. The South African found his rhythm right from the start to sail through his service games and he broke Sebastian in games two and eight for a 6-2 in less than 30 minutes.
Harris raced into a 5-0 lead in the second set and the win was in his hands after a hold at love in game seven, sealing the deal in the best possible way to move closer to his first Grand Slam main draw appearance. 12 months ago, the 17-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime had lost in the second qualifying round in New York after winning the junior title there in 2016.
Now, Felix is a win away from becoming the first player born in 2000 in the main draw of a Grand Slam event after a 7-6 6-2 triumph over Christopher Eubanks in an hour and 22 minutes. The first set lasted for almost an hour and the young Canadian bounced back after trailing 5-3, reaching the tie break that he won 7-5 to gain the momentum and dominate in the rest of the match to seal the deal and move forward.
Felix won more points behind both the first and second serve, suffering two breaks in a row but settling into a nice rhythm after that to dominate on the court, breaking Chris four times from eight opportunities to emerge as a winner.
Auger-Aliassime held at love in the opening game and he created a break point in game two that could have given him an early lead. Eubanks saved it and he forged two break points in the following game, denied by a solid forehand and a service winner form Felix who moved 2-1 up.
The American still found the way to break a teenager with a backhand winner in game five but his lead was a short-lived one, sending a forehand long in the next game to bring Felix back to 3-3. Auger-Aliassime was broken again in game seven and Chris served for the set at 5-4, only to suffer a break at love after a backhand error.
A service winner in the 12th point of the tie break delivered the set for the Canadian and this gave him a huge boost before the set number two. There, he broke Eubanks' serve in the third game after another backhand error from the American and a backhand cross court winner sent Felix 4-1 ahead, looking good to clinch the win without spending too much time on the court.
Serving for the match, Auger-Aliassime held at 30 in game eight following a forehand error from Chris and he will now face the 20th seed Gerald Melzer for the place in the main draw. Second qualifying round results: