South African No. 1 Lloyd Harris has enjoyed the 2021 season to the fullest. Despite not being able to win a trophy, he has been consistent in tournaments across surfaces and is ascending in the ATP rankings at a good pace. Starting the year as World No. 90, Harris is the current World No. 31 after a good run at the 2021 US Open reaching the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam.
Harris recently registered his 3rd Top-10 win when he defeated the then World No. 3 Rafael Nadal in the Round of 16 of the ATP-500 Washington Open, his biggest career win in terms of ranking. He took great confidence from the victory and he made some good runs in the two Masters’ events in Canada and Cincinnati before moving to New York for the US Open.
“It’s been a while since cracks have appeared on the Big 3. It has been difficult for the younger generation to access these Grand Slams. Novak was unstoppable until this very last game. I just think he ran into an extremely difficult opponent. Daniil has played great tennis throughout the summer and is a reflection of this new generation.
“I’ve known these guys for a long time, we’ve been competitive in the juniors before and it’s good to see us all progressing. Now I think it’s time to kick this Big 3 ’and let the younger generation take over,” said Harris in a recent media interaction where he presented his views on the trio of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Nadal who each have 20 Grand Slam titles to their name.
“I’m not at all scared or intimidated by coming onto the court against them” Lloyd Harris fancies his chances against the Big-3
Harris is yet to go up against Djokovic but has faced Federer and Nadal on the court. While he lost to Federer in their only meeting, he was successful in defeating Nadal during their only encounter last month.
“I’m not at all scared or intimidated by entering the court against them. We are obviously fierce competitors on the court, but I’m not at all scared or intimidated by coming onto the court against them. And also now, with my recent victories, I have more confidence, even if you face Rafa, Roger or Novak, you have to have the conviction to beat them and I know that I can.
“You know it will be an extremely difficult game and you have to be up to the challenge for sure. But that’s what we love, we love going in front of the fans, to new stadiums and having those creepy moments facing one of these legends,” added a confident Harris who still continues his quest for a maiden ATP title after having won 3 ATP Challengers and 13 ITF titles.