Lloyd Harris ha firmato a Washington la vittoria più prestigiosa della carriera. Ha vinto il suo primo scontro diretto con Rafa Nadal, come nessuno era più riuscito a fare dopo Denis Shapovalov a Montreal nel 2017.
Il sudafricano ha chiuso 6-4 1-6 6-4 e completato così la seconda vittoria in sette sfide in carriera contro un top 10. "E' un giorno speciale per me - ha detto Harris -. Quest'anno ho vinto partite importanti, anche contro campioni Slam. Ma superare un campione come Rafa, in uno stadio pieno, con un'atmosfera incredibile, è davvero straordinario".
24-year-old @LloydHarris63 defeats No. 1 seed and World No. 3 Rafael Nadal 6-4 1-6 6-4 for biggest win of his career in @CitiOpen 3R.
Harris becomes 1st player to win his 1st meeting with Nadal since 18-year-old @Denis_Shapo upset the Spaniard in 2017 @OBNMontreal 3R. #CitiOpen
Il sudafricano ha attaccato in maniera decisa da fondo contro il diritto di Nadal, e ha continuato con grande forza di volontà anche dopo aver perso il secondo set. "Ho fatto bene molte cose - ha detto Harris -, soprattutto rimanere concentrato e fre
"I did a lot of good things. I think the best thing was to stay in the moment, keep my composure, and I think I just stayed with my game and stayed playing a consistently good level throughout the match," Harris said. "It was a good, quality match, I think. Not easy for me out there. It was pretty physical, but all in all, I'm just super happy with how everything turned out."
This was another demonstration of the 24-year-old’s potential. The South African this year became the first qualifier to advance past the Dubai quarter-finals in the tournament’s 29-year history. At that event, Harris won seven matches in seven days to advance from qualifying to the championship match.
Harris defeated Nishikori during that run and he will try to do it again on Friday. The Japanese star beat in-form Briton Cameron Norrie 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to make the quarter-finals.
"It's going to be a very tough battle and I think a very different game style than I faced today," Harris said. "It's going to be a new challenge and I look forward to it."