This week saw the upcoming South African tennis star, Lloyd Harris defeating the 25th ranked Australian, Alec de Minaur in the first round of the Japan Open. Harris currently ranked as number 99 in the world managed a 6-3, 6-7(6/8), 7-6(10/8) victory. The Japan Open is now in its 46th year. The tournament is being played on outdoor hard courts and forms part of the Association of Tennis Professional 500 series which are the fourth highest tier of men’s competitions.
Harris Moving Up in the Ranks
The South African moved up into the ranks to a position within the top 100 after his brilliant performance at the Chengdu Open last week in China. For the first time, the 22-year-old player managed to reach the semi-finals in an ATP Tour. The excitement of this victory carried him to winning the 25th ranked Australian in this nail-biting victory. De Minaur was one of the form players in the tournament and has thus far won three titles already this year. Up next, the South African will stand against another Australian, John Millman. Millman is currently ranked 80th in the world. This will be during round 16 of the tournament in Tokyo.
Harris Having High Hopes
Harris was ranked at 82 during July, but he fell back since then. He is, however, making great strides in returning to his former career-high position and has managed to qualify for four Grand Slam events this year. During the French Open, he won Lukas Rosol, the Czech qualifier in 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-1 and 6-2. This five-set classic win at Roland Garros was his first Grand Slam game which he has won. With these successes behind his name for this year, Harris will like to go deep into the Japan Open with no seeded players still to face on his side. With the number one in the world and top-seeded player, Novak, being on the top part of the draw, Harris might get further.
Number Two for South Africa
The South African was born in Cape Town. During his career, Harris has won 3 ATP Challenger titles, and 2 Challenger doubles titles. He has also claimed 13 ITF singles titles along with 4 ITF doubles titles. Currently, he is the number two player in South Africa, only following after 18th ATP ranked, Kevin Anderson. Harris has also been representing South Africa at the Davis Cup. During his early career, he represented South Africa at the Youth Olympic Games and was knocked out during the second round. His career-high as a young player was when he managed a combined ranking of 38 in the International Tennis Federation’s world ranking. Harris qualified for his first Grand Slam in August this year and then qualified for the US Open through his qualifying rounds. With his latest performance, the young South African have the eyes of the world of tennis in South Africa firmly set on his return.