Harris upsets top-seeded Thiem at Dubai Championships

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — South African qualifier Lloyd Harris stunned U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4 in the Austrian’s opening match at the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.

Harris hit nine aces and didn’t allow fourth-ranked Thiem a single break point as he booked a third-round match against Filip Krajinovic.

The 81st-ranked Harris needed just 72 minutes to dispatch the top-seeded Thiem.

“Obviously, I’m super happy with that win, by far the highest-ranked player I’ve beaten. I look up to Domi a lot, so for me its a special feeling and I’m really happy,” Harris said in an on-court interview.

“I was serving really well. I played some of the important points very well, so I’m very proud of that.”

In contrast to Thiem, second-seeded Andrey Rublev swept past qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-4 to move into the third round without facing a break point. In the next round, Rublev plays Taylor Fritz, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

It was the Russian’s first win on court since he took the Rotterdam title on March 7. Rublev reached the semifinals of last week’s Qatar Open without playing after back-to-back walkovers before losing to Roberto Bautista Agut.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, seeded third, won the opening five games on the way to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Jan-Lennard Struff. He next faces Hubert Hurkacz.

Bautista Agut played just 28 minutes as his Australian opponent Matthew Ebden retired with the Spanish player leading 4-1 in the opening set. Bautista Agut is seeded fourth and will face Jannik Sinner in the round of 16.

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