Lloyd Harris celebrates victory over Rafael Nadal in Washington DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
South African tennis star Lloyd Harris is confident heading into the final Grand Slam of the year when the US Open gets underway at Flushing Meadows in New York next week.
The 24-year-old climbed to a career-high 46th in the ATP rankings last week, reaping the rewards of a breakthrough year which saw him reach the final of the Dubai Championships.
Harris also stunned 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in Washington earlier this month.
While compatriot Kevin Anderson has struggled with injuries, Harris’ form has seen him cementing his place as South Africa’s top-ranked singles player.
“It’s a big honour and privilege to be No 1 in SA and represent my country each week on tour,” Harris said in a teleconference on Monday night.
“I think it’s been a really good season and achieving a career high is a big deal for me, so I’m trying to climb the rankings and improve even more.”
After reaching the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time at this year’s Australian Open, Harris is eager to do better at the upcoming US Open.
The Capetonian took this week off to ensure he was ready to grind it out in five-set matches at Flushing Meadows.
“I’ve never felt this good going into a Grand Slam,” Harris said.
“I’m playing with a lot of confidence, and I’ve beaten some top players recently, so I’m going in there with a lot of optimism.
“I’m just looking to keep playing good tennis.”
The 141st edition of the US Open will be held between 30 August and 12 September.