Sport / Tennis

Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
5 Sep 2021
4:05 pm

Harris ‘confident’ ahead of fourth-round US Open clash

Wesley Botton

The 24-year-old South African will face American giant Reilly Opelka for a place in the quarter-finals.

Having delivered another stunning upset on Saturday, Lloyd Harris believes he can keep his dream run alive in the second week of the US Open.

Harris, the world No 46, reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career with a stunning victory at the weekend.

The rising South African star eliminated No 7 seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada, securing a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win in their third-round match.

“This was a really high level performance for me, and I think I handled it well from start to finish,” Harris said after the match.

“I came out and stuck to my tactics, served really well and played with a lot of confidence, and it felt incredible to finish there in the end.”

ALSO READ: Lloyd Harris breaks through with third-round win at US Open

Harris continued to climb the ladder in a breakthrough season, after reaching the third round of the Australian Open and progressing to the final of the Dubai Championships earlier this year.

Eager to reach the quarter-finals of the men’s singles draw at Flushing Meadows, the 24-year-old South African was set to face American giant Reilly Opelka in round four.

Opelka, who stands at 2.1-metres, was also gearing up for his maiden appearance in the last 16 of a Grand Slam.

“I’m looking forward to the next match,” Harris said.

“A fourth round for me is new territory, but that’s not where I want to end… and I’ve been playing really well, so I’ll be going in there with a lot of confidence and I’m just really excited and happy right now to be in the fourth round.”

Harris was the last South African standing at the final Grand Slam of the season, with more experienced compatriots Kevin Anderson and Raven Klaasen crashing out in the opening week.

Anderson, a finalist at the 2017 US Open, was knocked out in the second round of the singles competition, falling to No 11 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina as the big-serving former world No 5 continued his struggle to regain his best form after recovering from multiple injury interruptions over the last few years

Klaasen, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, was also eliminated in the second round of the doubles competition alongside Japanese partner Ben McLachlan.