Rising South African tennis star Lloyd Harris claimed the biggest scalp of his career on Tuesday when he upset top-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem at the Dubai Championships.
Harris won 6-3, 6-4 in 72 minutes of impeccable tennis against the 2020 US Open champion.
"I'm super, super happy with that win. [He is] by far the highest-ranked player I have beaten," Harris said courtside after the match.
"I look up to Domi a lot so, for me, it is a special feeling. I am really happy. Just the fact that I am playing good tennis, match in, match out now is giving me a lot of confidence."
Thiem, the world No 4, struggled with the fast hard court conditions and never came close to breaking Harris' serve. In fact, Harris held serve without being forced to deuce and broke Thiem's serve twice in the match.
"I was serving really well. I don't think I faced any break points. I took control of those games and [in] one or two games on his serve, I gave myself a good look. I played some of the important points very well. I am very proud of that," Harris said.
Just last week, the the 24-year-old South African claimed his first top 20 win when he took out three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka at the Qatar Open.
Harris, who had to win two matches in qualifying to reach the Dubai main draw, beat Australian Christopher O'Connell 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-1 in the first round on Monday.
He will next face Serbian 14th seed Filip Krajinovic for a spot in the quarter-finals.
*6-3 6-4— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 16, 2021
Dubai ATP results on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):
Lloyd Harris (RSA) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x1) 6-3, 6-4
Filip Krajinovic (SRB x14) bt Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) 7-5, 6-4
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt Lorenzo Giustino (ITA) 6-4, 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) bt David Goffin (BEL x5) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)
Denis Shapovalov (CAN x3) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-1, 6-3
Hubert Hurkacz (POL x13) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-3, 6-4
Karen Khachanov (RUS x8) bt Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4)
Lorenzo Sonego (ITA x17) bt Bernabe Zapata Miralles (ESP) 6-2, 6-2
Aslan Karatsev (RUS) bt Dan Evans (GBR x12) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Jannik Sinner (ITA x16) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 2-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x4) bt Matthew Ebden (AUS) 4-1 - retired
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x6) 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-2
Dusan Lajovic (SRB x11) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 7-5, 6-2
Taylor Fritz (USA x15) bt Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Andrey Rublev (RUS x2) bt Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 6-4, 6-4