Alcaraz request denied by Lopez at US Open as Norrie steps in

Carlos Alcaraz was snubbed by Feliciano Lopez at the US Open due to the latter's Sky Sports commitments after the defending champion asked his compatriot to practice with him.

US Open defending champion Alcaraz has made a good start in his bid to repeat last year's success at Flushing Meadows. The Spaniard won the opening set in his first-round match against Dominik Keopfer 6-2, before his opponent retired in the second set as Alcaraz led 3-2.

However, before his first game, the 20-year-old asked his newly-retired compatriot Lopez to practice with him, but unfortunately, the 41-year-old was forced to turn him down.

Lopez bound to Sky Sports commitments

This rejection happened due to Lopez's commitments to his new job as a commentator for Sky Sports. The former world No. 12 retired from tennis in June, finishing his career where it started back in 1997 at the Mallorca Championships.

Alcaraz was seeking out a left-handed opponent ahead of his match with Keopfer, but Lopez was unable to help him out at that time.

"I was asked to be a hitting partner of Carlitos, he’s here a few metres away. I said, 'Sorry I’m so busy with Sky Sports I’m not going to be your hitting partner today." Lopez explained to Sky Sports.

Fortunately, sixteenth seed Norrie was around and stepped in to practice with the world No. 1.

"So in your absence, he practised with Cam Norrie instead I believe?" fellow Sky Sports commentator Gigi Salmon asked Lopez.

"Yeah, he was looking for a lefty, he’s playing tomorrow against the German guy Koepfer so this is normal when you play a lefty," Lopez replied.

"Obviously there’s not many out there, I’ve been asked so many times to play against players when they have a lefty in the draw. And I’ve been watching a little bit of the practice session and they were playing with a lot of intensity. They’re getting ready, both of them," he added.

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