South African rising star Lloyd Harris powered his way into the Adelaide International (an ATP 250 event) semifinals with a straight sets victory over world number 30 Pablo Carreño Busta of Spain on Thursday in Australia.
The 22-year-old upset Busta 6-3, 6-3 in their quarterfinal match to set up a semi-final clash against American qualifier Tommy Paul, who beat Spain’s Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-3, 6-4.
Lloyd Harris’ powerful serve seals the deal
The Capetonian lost just seven points on serve as his power and speed of 199km/h was no match for the number four seed.
Harris began his Adelaide International campaign ranked 99th in the ATP singles rankings, but moved eight spots to 91 in this week’s rankings released on Monday.
“I am extremely pleased. I feel like I have played some incredible tennis up until this point taking out a couple of quality opponents. I feel like I am playing the game i always wanted to play and I looking to keep improving on that”, said elated Harris following his match.
Asked about his next opponent Tommy Paul, Harris said: “He is obviously a great player and he has been playing really well this week, but i will just stay focussed and stick to my game.
Australia has typically been a happy hunting ground for the South African this month, who staged a master-class performance at the recent ATP Cup, losing a tight match 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 3-6 to Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic, beating Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 6-4, before going down to French veteran Gilles Simon 6-2, 2-6, 2-6.
“Starting the year out with three quality matches at the ATP Cup helped me a lot. I feel like i gained a lot of confidence from these matches and it has already paid off this week”, added Harris.
By African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Michael Sherman