Alcaraz advances at US Open as Koepfer retires

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NEW YORK — Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz cruised into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday after his opponent, Dominik Koepfer of Germany, retired because of an injury during their primetime match in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 20-year-old top seed from Spain was leading 6-2, 3-2 when Koepfer retired, having rolled his ankle at a grimace-inducing angle minutes into the match. Alcaraz will play Lloyd Harris of South Africa in the second round.

Any hope Koepfer had of putting up a fight against Alcaraz evaporated after he stopped short along the baseline in the first game. He took a medical timeout to have his ankle taped and returned to the court with the score at deuce.

But he was clearly not at full strength, and Alcaraz easily converted a break point with a well-placed drop shot.

Koepfer showed grit as he fended off a break point in the third game of the first set but was overheard telling his team that his ankle was in terrible shape. He buried his head in his towel after Alcaraz converted on a break point chance in the seventh game.

Down a break in the second set, Koepfer fended off a pair of break point chances in the fifth game before solemnly walking to the net to resign.

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