It’s time for kids to take out the ‘big three,’ says US Open star Lloyd Harris
CAPE TOWN – As the Covid-19 pandemic nearly crippled the world in many ways, South African tennis star Lloyd Harris said the free time allowed him to work on his physical strength, which he said , is the key to its success this year. .
The 24-year-old from Cape Town capped off a remarkable summer of Nordic tennis by making it to the US Open quarterfinals last week.
He lost in straight sets to Germany’s Alexander Zverev 7-6 (8/6) 6-3 6-4 at Arthur Ashe Stadium, but had a number of outstanding wins during the US season.
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Harris’ highlight was arguably the 6-4 1-6 6-4 victory over Spain legend Rafael Nadal at the Washington Open earlier this year, while he also toppled Austrian star Dominic Thiem 6 -3 6-4 in Dubai.
He rounded it off with a dazzling performance in the third round of the US Open, where he beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4 6-4 6-4.
âDavis Cup has always been a part of my schedule – I don’t think I’ve missed a draw in the past four years. Very important to represent your country and to go out and play. We’ve had great results over the past two years, âHarris said from New York at a press conference with South African media on Tuesday.
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“With my game, with all of these Covid restrictions and blocks, I actually had a lot of time to work a little more on my body – the physical aspect, the fitness aspect – and I think that got me a lot. helped in my game.
âPhysically, it also allows you to be a lot stronger mentally. It has helped me to continuously play at a higher level, without having to worry so much about the conditioning aspect.
âAnd also, when you watch a race to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, it’s a pretty physical task – especially also playing doubles. It was day in and day out, playing matches in five sets, four sets. , three sets We played tennis a lot, but I always felt great and always ready to do more.
He hopes the team will one day make it to the world squad, but he is also aiming for more ambitious goals in his own career. The triumph of Russian Daniil Medvedev at the US Open over Novak Djokovic last Sunday – which prevented the Serbian from winning a Grand Slam tournament – has given Harris even more conviction that the “new generation” can lead the tennis world. in the future.
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âDubai (beating Thiem) really kicked things off because since then I’ve been playing with a lot more confidence, a lot more conviction on the tour,â he said.
âWhen you go into a tournament like this and you come to the final, you kind of have to believe that you belong to the greats. It was really solid from there, and I handled a few troubles on the side, while still playing some good tennis.
âIt’s been a while since. It’s so difficult for the younger generation to get into these Grand Slam tournaments.
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âNovak was really unstoppable until the very last game. I just think he ran into an extremely difficult opponent that day. Daniil has been playing some really good tennis all summer long, and that kind of reflects on this new generation – Zverev winning the gold medal, Medvedev winning a Masters (event) in the summer.
âSo this young generation is really moving on, and if you look at the top 50 now, there are more young guys out there than in the last 20 years.
âThese older guys that I grew up with, it’s amazing how we’re all a year apart: we’re all almost between 96 and 98, which is pretty amazing.