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Harris misses out on first ATP tour title

Rublev proved to be too strong for the South Africa world number 91 romping to victory in just 57 minutes.

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

Adelaide - South African rising star Lloyd Harris missed out on a maiden ATP Tour title after his superb run ended in defeat to Andrey Rublev in the final of the Adelaide International in Australia on Saturday.

Harris, a qualifier in this tournament, produced some of the best wins of his career taking 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) en route to the final.

Rublev proved to be too strong for the South Africa world number 91 romping to victory in just 57 minutes. The Russian claimed the first break of the match in the sixth game, focusing his attack on Harris’ forehand to extract multiple errors. From 0/40 down in the following game, Rublev once again targeted Harris’s forehand to hold serve for 5-2 and served out the set two games later.

Consistency proved crucial in the opening game of the second set, as Russian took advantage of Harris errors to break serve for a second time. The 22-year-old rode the momentum, earning two further service breaks before closing out the match with attacking play.

On the bright side of things, the 22-year-old Harris will soar to a career-high world ranking after reaching his maiden ATP final.

On Monday, he will rise 19 spots to 72nd in the singles standings.

Next up for Harris will be 2020's first Grand Slam, the Aussie Open in Melbourne, on Monday. He'll be up against Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, the 14th seed, who has a world ranking of 42.