ATP Tour

SA tennis star Lloyd Harris eager to take world ranking to new heights

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Lloyd Harris of South Africa returns against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain the 2020 Adelaide International on 16 January 2020.
Lloyd Harris of South Africa returns against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain the 2020 Adelaide International on 16 January 2020.
Mark Brake/Getty Images
  • Rising SA tennis star Lloyd Harris is "fitter, stronger and more assured," according to his mother Cecelia.
  • The 23-year-old will play in the upcoming US Open Grand Slam in New York.
  • The current world No 98's main goal is to improve his career-best ranking of 72nd.

"Fitter, stronger and more assured," according to his mother, Cecelia, a major influence in the formative years of 23-year-old Lloyd Harris's tennis career, the currently highest-ranked South African player is aiming to elevate his career to new heights after the forthcoming US Open Grand Slam event and Western and Southern Masters 1000 event in New York.

Having undergone an intensive training routine under coach Eitan Adams in the past four months in Cape Town as the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out official tournament tennis worldwide, Cecelia Harris believes her 6ft 5in son is in a better physical shape than ever before.

"It's been a tough rigorous programme," said Cecelia, "but after the experience Lloyd gained on the ATP circuit last year, the hard physical work was ideal at this stage to advance a step further.

Currently the world’s top-ranked South African player at 98th - with the injury-plagued, but now fully recovered, one-time fifth world-ranked Kevin Anderson having slipped to 123rd - Harris' immediate objective is to improve on his own career-best ranking of 72nd which he achieved in January.

Already possessing a lethal serve that ranks in the top bracket, Harris demonstrated in spurts last year that he could hold his own with some of the leading players in the world, but a failure at times to maintain a level of consistency throughout a match cost him dearly.

The Trojan training routine Harris has undergone in his home surroundings in Cape Town was designed to eliminate this failing with a greater degree of fitness and thereby more confidence as well.

And, consequently at the age of 23, the gangling South African is poised at the crossroads of his career - either to remain a good ATP player in the top 100, or climbing steadily to a place among the world's leading 20 exponents - maybe even better.

The 34 year-old Anderson, meanwhile, who has already been through the entire tennis mill, including reaching US Open and Wimbledon Grand Slam finals, will also be playing in the USA in the coming weeks with a specific objective - again becoming a force to be reckoned with in world tennis.
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