Federer opens Wimbledon campaign against SA's Lloyd Harris

Roger Federer (AP)
Roger Federer (AP)

Cape Town - Lloyd Harris’ first appearance at Wimbledon will be on Centre Court when he faces Roger Federer after the tournament draw was conducted in London on Friday.

Wimbledon draws

Wimbledon action gets underway on Monday, July 1 at the All England Club with Federer, the veteran South African-born Swiss superstar, entering the fray seeded in second place. Federer is the record eight-time winner of the tournament.

Apart from Harris, there are three other players flying the South African flag at this year’s event with fit-again Kevin Anderson (singles), Raven Klaasen (doubles) and Kgothatso Montjane (wheelchair)

For the 22-year-old Harris, this is a fourth Grand Slam appearance having reached the second round of the recent French Open along with defeats in the opening round of the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open.

Prior to the draw, Harris said: “I am feeling excited ahead of my first Wimbledon main draw and appearance and feel like I have had good preparations on grass despite having lost two of my previous matches leading up to the tournament. I still have a few days and a lot of practice set up. I will prepare myself to come out and to play my best in the first round.”

Anderson, the fourth seed and last year’s runner-up, returns from a lengthy injury lay off and was drawn to face Frenchman, Pierre Hugues Herbert, in his first round match.

Anderson, 33, also finished as a runner-up at the US Open two years ago and is still in search of an elusive major title.

In the doubles event, third seeded pair Raven Klaasen and his New Zealand partner Michael Venus, will open their campaign against unseeded British doubles pair Jonny O’Mara and Luke Bambridge on Wednesday, July 3.

The duo were also runner’s up in the tournament last year.  They are also fresh from winning the Halle Open, also played on grass, in Germany earlier this month.

Just like Anderson, Klaasen is also searching for his first Grand Slam success having reached the 2014 Australian Open final.

“It is exciting to back in London playing in grass with Wimbledon my favourite time and event of the year,” said Klaasen.

“I am look forward to putting on another good performance. Things are looking good for Michael and I on grass since we’ve also picked up a title now and can take that form to the next coming weeks. So far, the preparations have been good. We have been working on a few things, so hopefully we’ll be ready to rumble when the tournament starts.”

Wheelchair tennis action will run from July 11-14 where Montjane is also in search of a good showing in her second appearance in London.

The 33-year-old from Polokwane holds unique records as the first black South African to play at Wimbledon when she took part in the tournament last year, and the first African player to feature at all four Grand Slams.

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