The Cape Town native Lloyd Harris was barely ranked inside the top-300 when 2018 season started, finding the right form in the first part of the season after winning three Futures titles from four finals.
Developing his serve into strong weapons, Lloyd was able to show his full potential in Challengers as well, winning the title in Lexington and reaching another final in Aptos in the following week to find himself in the top-150 before qualifying for the maiden Grand Slam at the US Open.
Harris entered the second round as a qualifier in Chengdu before conquering another Challenger in Stockton that pushed him on the verge of the top-100. The South African will almost certainly crack the elite group in the following weeks and maybe he will do that already after the Australian Open, beating Dustin Brown 6-1, 7-6 in the final qualifying round for the place in the second consecutive Grand Slam tournament where he will face another prominent youngster Daniil Medvedev on Tuesday.
The Russian is the favorite in that match but Lloyd will undoubtedly have his chances if he manages to impose his booming serve and forehand, feeling ready for the ultimate test against the player who scored the most wins on hard court in 2018.
“I felt excellent throughout the match against Brown. The first set went by in a blink of an eye but in the second set, the match had a lot of swings and big moments. Dustin is one of the trickiest opponents, so I had to stay calm and focused throughout,” Harris said.
“My body is feeling great, I am confident that I will be at my 100% for my first-round match. It has been amazing for me to bring such a high level of tennis to some of the biggest tournaments that I have played so far.
So, I’m thrilled to have qualified and now I’m just looking to take the next hurdle in the main draw”.