Lloyd Harris breezes into Roland Garros second round

South Africa’s Lloyd Harris blew blast Australian Alexei Popyrin to reach the second round of the French Open for the first time in his career.

Lloyd Harris into Roland Garros second round

Harris had the edge in power over the Australian and showed great control over his serve to send down 17 aces on his way to a 6-4 6-4 7-6 victory over the 108-ranked Popyrin. The 23-year-old Capetonian double-faulted just once in a clinical performance against a tricky opponent on a surface he has traditionally experienced little success on.

Popyrin wasn’t given a look in on Harris’ serve earning no break points in the match. Harris converted two of the eight game points offered up to him on the Australian’s serve and it was enough to put him away.

Harris won the first set 6-4 after breaking Popyrin in the seventh game due to an unforced error from the Australian, after taking the lead he held serve to close out the first set.

It would be in the seventh game of the second set that Harris earned a second break of serve and again he closed out the set with minimum fuss.

Harris kept the pressure on Popyrin in the third set but the Australian held firm and forced a tie-break despite giving up an early break point opportunity. In the end, the power game told, and Harris took the tiebreak 9-7. The match concluding just as the clock reached two hours.

A tough test awaits Harris in second round

Harris will face seventh-seeded Italian clay expert Matteo Berrettini in the second round of the final Grand Slam of the year. He comes into the French Open having reached the quarterfinals of the Challenger event at Forli in Italy. His first outing on clay this year, saw him suffer defeat in the Italian Open qualifiers.

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