South African tennis star Lloyd Harris earned the biggest win of his career when he beat the world No4 Dominic Thiem in the Qatar Open. Here are 5 things about him that you might not know:
1) He Is Stringing Together Big Wins
The 24-year-old earned the first Top 5 win of his career against Thiem in Dubai. Previously, he had been 0-4 against the Top 10. In each of those matches, including a Wimbledon clash against Roger Federer in 2019, he won a set, but was unable to advance.
Last week, Harris claimed his maiden Top 20 victory against Stan Wawrinka in Doha. T
2) Harris Is Coached by another Harris
Harris has long been coached by Anthony Harris, who is unrelated. They have worked together since Lloyd was a teenager. When they first met, Lloyd had only played tennis twice a week, but Anthony kept telling him he had Top 100 potential. Harris is in Dubai with retired Belgian star Xavier Malisse. Malisse previously spent several weeks with Harris in 2019.
3) Harris Is Following In Anderson’s Footsteps
Harris is the No1 South African in the FedEx ATP Rankings at World No81, nine spots ahead of Kevin Anderson, his 2020 ATP Cup teammate. But throughout his career, Harris has followed in Anderson’s footsteps. ‘At the time I was growing up, from a reasonable age when I was watching tennis, there was no one playing [from South Africa],’ Harris said. ‘Kevin was the first one to come along again and it has been unbelievable to see his rise up the ranks.’
4) Harris Played Other Sports For Years
Harris grew up in a tennis home in which both of his parents and his sister, Monique, played tennis. They lived right next to a tennis court. Harris would watch as his family played, and he wanted in. ‘I picked up the racquet really, really young and all I wanted to do was just play with them as well,’ Harris said. ‘My mum asked the coaches, “Is he not too young? Can he start?” I was not even three years old. There I was hitting balls already. The thing is, I enjoyed every second of it. I never had played too much.’ Harris played other sports, too, which kept him from dedicating himself solely to tennis until he was 15 or 16. The South African also played rugby, cricket, athletics and swimming.
5) He’s A Tottenham Hotspur Fan and Enjoys Cars
During Harris’ run to last year’s Adelaide final — his first on the ATP Tour — he spoke about his love for Tottenham Hotspur. ‘Only became really into football like three, four years ago. Just some of my favourite players that when I started watching, I took a big liking in some of their players. Heung-min Son, Harry Kane probably my favourites,’ Harris said at the time. ‘Then I just started supporting them. Got the shirt, got everything that goes with it. And to be honest, I have been following them like every single match. Now I’m a diehard fan, for sure.’ Harris is also a fan of action. He enjoys cars, his favourite movie is The Fast and the Furious and his favourite superhero is Iron Man. The 24-year-old, whose nickname is ‘King’, also likes music, the show Breaking Bad and spending time with family and friends.