Lloyd Harris is one victory away from reaching his second Grand Slam main draw. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG - Rising tennis talent Lloyd Harris is one victory away from reaching his second Grand Slam main draw after beating Germany’s Dominik Koepfer 7-5, 6-3 early yesterday morning.

The 22-year-old South African dropped his first service game but immediately made up for it, gaining control of the match to win his second-round qualifier for next week's Australian Open.

He will now go up against German veteran Dustin Brown, who is ranked 224th in the world, in the third and deciding round of the qualifying tournament today.

Harris is riding the wave of a breakthrough 2018 in which he reached a career-high 110th in the world after winning two Challenger Series titles.

He reached his first Grand Slam at the 2018 US Open but suffered a first-round 2-6, 2-6, 3-6 defeat to former world No 6 Gilles Simon of France.

South African ace Kevin Anderson is seeded fifth for this year’s Aussie Open with world No 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia being named as the top seed yesterday.

Kevin Anderson is seeded fifth at this year’s Australian Open, which starts on Monday. Photo: Ali Haider/EPA
Kevin Anderson is seeded fifth at this year’s Australian Open, which starts on Monday. Photo: Ali Haider/EPA

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were named second and third seeds respectively.

Defending champion Federer and Djokovic will both be chasing a record seventh title.

Anderson will be looking to build on his superb start to the 2019 season after winning the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune, India, last weekend.

South Africa’s top doubles player Raven Klaasen continued his good form with Kiwi partner Michael Venus at the Auckland Open yesterday.

The duo rolled past Argentinian Guido Pella and Portugal’s João Sousa 7-5, 6-3 to set up a semi-final clash against American twins Mike and Bob Bryan today.

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Klaasen and Venus experienced a good first year as a doubles partnership in 2018, winning the Open 13 Provence title in Marseille, while they also finished runners-up at four other tournaments.

They featured in the Wimbledon doubles final where they lost to Mike Bryan and Jock Sock.

Playing in their 21st season as a doubles combination, the Bryan brothers will be a major mountain for the SA-Kiwi pair to overcome.

The Bryans have won 114 doubles titles together and have held the No 1 doubles ranking jointly for 438 weeks.

@ockertde


The Star

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