ATP Tour

Lloyd Harris ousted at grass event in Stuttgart, Kevin Anderson on song at Nottingham Challenger

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Lloyd Harris is South Africa's top-ranked tennis player. (Getty Images)
Lloyd Harris is South Africa's top-ranked tennis player. (Getty Images)

South African tennis ace Lloyd Harris bowed out of the ATP grass court event in Stuttgart on Thursday after a straight-sets loss to Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Auger-Aliassime won 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) but not after a gallant fightback from Harris.

The Canadian, No 21 on the ATP Tour rankings, had two match points while serving at 5-4, 40-15 in the second set before Harris fought back to break serve.

While up 6-5, Harris then squandered two set points on Auger-Aliassime's serve before eventually going down in the tie-break.

Harris, currently ranked 54th in the world, had started his grass court campaign with a 6-4, 7-5 win over French veteran Gilles Simon on Tuesday.

"It's not often you serve for the match with two match points and you lose it. But I remember (Roger) Federer's final [at] Wimbledon two years ago and I thought to myself, 'Well if it happens to him it can also happen to me, and I can try to find a way to win,'" Auger-Aliassime told the ATP Tour's official website. "We're humans and it's normal that sometimes the nerves get to us closing out a match. It was difficult for me at 5-4 to try to settle down again and find a way to get a good level and win the second set. But I think I did well."

Harris was using the event as part of his preparation for Wimbledon, which starts on 28 June. He will also play in Halle, Germany next week, followed by another grass event in Mallorca, Spain.  

Meanwhile, Harris' compatriot Kevin Anderson advanced to the quarter-finals at the Viking Open in Nottingham, England.

Anderson, the world No 100, beat Czech Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-4 to set up a duel in the last eight with Romanian Marius Copil.

Anderson is the fourth seed at the ATP Challenger event. The Challenger circuit is the second tier of men's professional tennis, just below the ATP Tour.

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