Harris out in first round at Australian Open - TeamSA
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Harris out in first round at Aussie Open

Lloyd Harris

Lloyd Harris’ run of good recent form came to an abrupt halt when he was beaten in the first round of the men’s singles at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Later on Tuesday, Kevin Anderson had hoped for better fortunes than Harris and was a heavy favourite to progress to the second round. His opponent, Ilya Ivashka, of Belarus, was ranked No149 in the world and on the only previous occasion the pair have met, at the ATP Masters 1000 in Canada in 2018, Anderson won in straight sets.

However, the big-serving Anderson didn’t have things all his own way and was taken to five sets. He won the first 6-4, before dropping the next two 6-2, 6-4 and squaring matters with a 6-4 fourth set margin. Anderson immediately broke Ivashka’s serve in the opening game of the final set. But the South African was himself broken back and the fifth set went to a tie-breaker, which Anderson won 10-8.

In a match that was rescheduled from Monday’s programme due to rain, the 22-year-old Harris was no match for Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, the tournament’s 14th seed, who won in straight sets.

Harris last week reached his first ATP Tour final, in Adelaide, which saw his world ranking rise to a career high 72. But his display was error-strewn throughout the match, with stats showing that he recorded 47 unforced errors in the 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 defeat. His opponent, in turn, made only 18 unforced errors in the 105 minute contest. The 1.70m Argentine, broke Harris’ serve six times and lost his own serve only once.

This was the first time in their careers that Schwartzman and Harris had played against one another.