NEW YORK — Defending champions Carlos Alcaraz advanced to the second round of the US Open after his opponent on Tuesday, Dominic Koeffer Germany, retired due to injury during their prime-time match at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 20-year-old Spanish top seed was leading 6-2, 3-2 when Koeffer retired, turning her ankle at a grimace-inducing angle minutes into the match. Alcaraz will play Lloyd Harris South Africa in the second round.
“[Harris is] A great player, he has big shots so I really have to focus on the match,” Alcaraz said. “Of course. [it] It’s going to be a tough one.”
Alcaraz drew the crowd to the iconic stadium, but the match was quickly settled as the underdog Koeiffer stopped short along the baseline in the first game, sprained his left ankle and lost much hope of fighting back.
He took a medical timeout to get his ankle taped and returned to the court with the score at deuce but clearly not at full strength. Alcaraz easily converted break point with a well-placed drop shot.
Koepfer showed resilience in fending off a break point in the third game of the first set but his team was heard to say his ankle was in terrible shape, as his camp questioned whether he should continue.
Koepfer buried his head in his towel after Alcaraz forced him into a forehand error to convert a break point chance in the seventh game.
Alcaraz, the Wimbledon champion, was in superb form, sending over 19 winners with few errors throughout the match, and he broke Koeffer at love in the third game of the second set after the German sent a backhand shot out of bounds.
Koepfer fended off a pair of break point opportunities in the fifth game before walking to the net to surrender.
“Obviously I have to give him credit,” Alcaraz said in on-court comments after the match. First step on the court, I felt great… the same energy I felt last year.
Alcaraz will lose his world number one. 1 place if the tournament ends after the opponent Novak Djokovic The devastated French Alexander Muller In his opening match on Monday, Djokovic will replace Alcaraz at the top of the rankings.