Lloyd Harris’ Australian Open preparation suffers blow after early Adelaide exit
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Johannesburg - South Africa’s Lloyd Harris lost to South Korean Kwon Soon-woo 5-7 7-5 6-4 in the first round at the Adelaide International on Tuesday.
Harris, seeded fifth for the event, lost to the unseeded Kwon in the tournament the SA player was expected to at least make it to the quarter-finals.
It was an intense battle between the two 24-year-olds. Though Harris dished up 20 aces, in a tight contest it would be Kwon who converted more break points.
Kwon won four of eight break points, while Harris was not far behind with three converted. In fact, Harris won 99 points in total during the match while his opponent won just one more - which was enough to ultimately seal the contest.
Kwon, however, is making a steady rise up the ATP world rankings and currently occupies 53rd. Harris, in contrast, broke into the top-100 for the first time in February 2019 and currently holds 32nd spot in the world, one position off his career high.
The loss would have come as less than ideal preparation for Harris ahead of the Australian Open starting next week. Harris is coming off a strong showing at The US Open in September when he produced an impressive run to the quarter-finals before losing to current world number three Alexander Zverev of Germany. The result was the best of his career in a grand slam event so far.
The unseeded Harris beat seventh seed Canadian Denis Shapovalov in straight sets, American 22nd seed Reilly Opelka in four sets and Russian 25th seed Karen Khachanov in five on his way to the quarterfinal.
Last year, Harris made it through to the third round of the Australian Open before bowing out.