'Never seen that': Tennis world stunned by 'absurd' US Open moment

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US Open ball kids, pictured here drying the court after Lloyd Harris' outburst.
Ball kids were forced to clean the court after Lloyd Harris' outburst. Image: ESPN

Lloyd Harris sparked controversy at the US Open on Wednesday after letting his frustrations spill out during his quarter-final clash with Alexander Zverev.

Zverev extended his winning streak to 16 matches by easing past his South African opponent 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-4 and into the semi-finals.

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The German looms increasingly large as a potential roadblock to Novak Djokovic's bid for a calendar-year grand slam following his comfortable triumph on Wednesday at Flushing Meadows.

The victory leaves Zverev just one win away from returning to a second-consecutive US Open final and another shot at a first career major title after losing to Dominic Thiem last year.

As for Harris, the South African was clearly frustrated at missing his chance to advance to a first career grand slam semi-final, lashing out after losing the first-set tie-breaker.

Harris pegged two bottles onto the court before the start of the second set, forcing both players and ball kids to mop up the mess.

Harris and Zverev were both forced to grab towels and help wipe the court so the match could continue.

Journalist Ahmed Zidan described it as an “absurd moment”, while tennis reporter Nick McCarvel tweeted: “Lloyd Harris throws two bottles (?!) on court after losing that first set. Never seen anything like it. 

"Then both he and Alexander Zverev help ball people and Louise Azemar Engzell wipe the court dry.”

Alexander Zverev marches into US Open semi-finals

Harris stepped out onto the Arthur Ashe stadium court oozing energy, looking as if he had performed on tennis' biggest stage many times before.

The Cape Town player had good reason to be confident, having knocked out three seeds - Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov (25), Denis Shapovalov (7) and Reilly Opelka (22) - on his way to his first career slam quarter-final.

But Zverev, who came into the contest on a career-best 15-match winning streak, having dropped one set en route to his quarter-final, was just too strong.

After trading breaks, Harris had his best chance in the opening set tie-break, when he served on set point at 6-5 but could not convert.

Alexander Zverev, pictured here helping dry the court during his US Open quarter-final clash with Lloyd Harris.
Alexander Zverev helps dry the court during his US Open quarter-final clash with Lloyd Harris. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Scenting blood, Zverev broke Harris at the first opportunity in the second set and that was all he would need to take a 2-0 lead.

Harris had rallied from two sets to one down against Olympic silver medallist Khachanov in the opening round but there would be no way back against the Tokyo Games gold medal winner, who went up a double break in the third before finishing off his opponent with a thundering ace.

"He was serving incredible, in the first set especially," Zverev said. 

"Somehow was able to win that tie-breaker and that loosened me up.

"I'm really happy to get through in three."

with agencies

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