South African qualifier Lloyd Harris recorded his first match win on the ATP World Tour by beating fifth seed Gael Monfils of France 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 in 88 minutes on Tuesday at the $1.8 million Chengdu Open being played at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre in Chengdu, China.
Harris won 82 points, had an impressive 83% winning percentage on second serves and won 6 break points compared to the 3 break points won by Monfils throughout the match.
The World No. 129 (Harris’ highest ever world ranking) from Cape Town will now face Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic.
Last week, Monfils, a former world number 6 captured his sixth ATP Challenger Tour title in Kaohsiung. Monfils started the season winning his 7th ATP World title at Doha.
Harris, 21 years of age, who is coming off his best season on the tour since turning professional in 2015 qualified for his first Grand Slam, the US Open last month where he lost to Gilles Simon of France in the opening round. Leading up to the US Open, Harris captured his maiden challenger trophy in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.
“I have to say that I am very pleased with today’s performance. Honestly coming up against one of the best players in the game and biggest showman in tennis, I knew Gael was going to be a big challenge and I knew what a great player he was,” said Harris after his match.
“I felt like I really stepped my game up today against Gael especially from the late part of the second set, I lifted my game, started playing very fast, hitting tremendously big ground strokes, serving well and obviously converting on those very important break points.”
“I feel like today was a special day for me winning my first main draw match on the ATP World Tour, that was really something of a great moment for me, I enjoyed the atmosphere out on court and so far, the tournament is going excellent and I am looking forward for tomorrow’s match,” added Harris.