JOHANNESBURG – Lloyd Harris finally cracked the ATP World top-100 rankings and now has his sights on cementing himself among the globe’s best 50 singles players.
The rising South African tennis star climbed 11 spots in the latest rankings to reach a career-best 100th place yesterday.
Harris won his third ATP World Challenger tournament title in Tasmania, Australia on Sunday which gave him the necessary boost.
“It definitely helps to get one step closer to where I want to be, ultimately being a top-100 player consistently,” Harris said after the match.
“I would love to break into the top-50, that is my next goal, and that is something I will be working hard towards over the next year.”
The country’s second-best singles player behind Kevin Anderson said he believed preseason adjustments gave him the extra boost coming into the 2019 season.
“I put in a lot of physical work, focusing on fitness and trying to get some better agility,” Harris said.
“I’ve been trying to get those service percentages higher, I’m coming forward more, being a bit more aggressive in my game. So those are some of the key things I’ve been working on.”
Harris reached a career-high 110th ATP world ranking in 2018 after winning two Challenger Series titles.
The 21-year-old qualified for his first Grand Slam at the 2018 US Open where former world number six Gilles Simon of France knocked him out in the first round.
Harris came into the new year with the main objective of reaching the world top-100 with the hopes of earning regular places in ATP World Tour tournaments.
He made a good strong start to the 2019 season qualifying for his second Grand Slam main draw at the Australian Open last month.
Harris found the going tough in his opening match losing to Russian Daniil Medvedev in straight sets with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 defeat.
But Harris was in fine form in Tasmania last week.
“I feel very happy, very relieved, it’s been a really good week for me and I am happy with the tennis I’ve played,” Harris said.
“I was holding serve pretty comfortably and I was just competing for every point out there.”@Ockertde