Lloyd Harris powers through to Adelaide international final

The in-form Harris won 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 against the American world no. 90 to book his spot in the final of the ATP 250 level event.

Lloyd Harris of South Africa in action during his match against Tommy Paul of the USA during day six of the 2020 Adelaide International at Memorial Drive on 17 January 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Rising South African tennis star Lloyd Harris battled past American Tommy Paul to reach his first-ever ATP Final at the Adelaide International in Australia. He’ll play the winner of the match between world no.18 Russian Andrey Rublev and Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime (ranked no.22) for a shot at the title on Saturday.

The in-form Harris won 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3 against the American world no. 90 to book his spot in the final of the ATP 250 level event.

"I'm so excited to be in the final here in Adelaide. Just ecstatic with the match I played," Harris said. "Looking forward to the final tomorrow."

En route to the final, Harris took out Spain's world No. 30 Pablo Carreno Busta [6-3, 6-3], Chile's world No. 36 Christian Garin [7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4] and Serbia's world No. 40 Laslo Djere [7-6(5), 6-3). Friday’s semi-final win will see Harris making his top-80 debut next week.

Standing between Harris and a maiden ATP title is either second-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev or third-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

It feels like Harris has come out of nowhere, but his talent has been on the cusp of blossoming for a few years. In 2019, he made great strides by qualifying for the main draws of all four Grand Slam events. He also won his first Grand Slam match at the French Open when he defeated Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 in a five-set classic at Roland Garros.

The 22-year-old put a good showing against Roger Federer at Wimbledon, winning the first set against the Swiss star, before losing in 4 sets in the opening round. In September, Harris reached his first-ever ATP 250 semi-final at the Chengdu Open in China.