South Africa’s Lloyd Harris has qualified for the main draw of the men’s singles at the Australian Open.
The 21-year-old from Cape Town earned his way into the tournament after prevailing in his final qualifying match against veteran Dustin Brown 6-1 7-6 (12/10) on Friday.
Harris eased past Zdenek Kolar from Czech Republic 6-2, 6-1 in the first round of the qualifying draw and edged out Germany’s world No 161 Dominik Koepfer 7-5, 6-3 in the second round.
“I felt really good throughout the match. The first set went by in a blink of an eye but in the second set the match had a lot of swings and big moments. Dustin Brown is one of the trickiest opponents, so I had to stay calm and focused throughout,” said the in-form Harris.
Harris said he’s in a great condition and for him, the Australian Open has just kick-started.
“My body is feeling great, I am confident that I will be at my 100% for my first-round match.
“It has been amazing for me to bring such a high level of tennis to some of the biggest tournaments that I have played so far. So, I’m really happy to have qualified once again and now I’m just looking to take the next hurdle in the main draw”.
Harris did not drop a set this week in all three rounds to qualify for the 50th edition of the Australian Open.
The hard-hitting Harris joins compatriot Kevin Anderson, the fifth seed at the tournament, in the 128-man field.
Harris will face Russian world No 16 Daniil Medvedev in the first round of the opening Grand Slam of the year. Their clash is scheduled for Tuesday.
“The win against Dustin Brown has set me up for the biggest match of my career going up against a top 20 opponent in Daniil Medvedev,” said Harris.
The tournament will be Harris’ second Grand Slam appearance after he lost in the opening round of 2018 US Open.
Meanwhile, Anderson will open his campaign against France’s Adrian Mannarino.
The 2019 Australian Open will be held from Monday, January 14 to Sunday, January 27 at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.