There were mixed fortunes for South Africa’s two singles representatives at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Tuesday. Lloyd Harris won his match, while Kevin Anderson bowed out at the first hurdle.
Harris fought back from a set down to win his 1st round singles match at the Australian Open, earlier this morning (SA time). He came back to beat the unseeded Danish player, Mikael Torpegaard, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in 2hrs 25min to set up a meeting with Australian wildcard Alexei Popyrin. The latter sprang an upset with a five-set defeat of the 13th seeded Belgium, David Goffin.
This marks the first time Harris has reached the second round at the Australian Open. The Melbourne event is the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of 2021.
However, for Anderson, it was an early exit. The South African expat, who is based in the US, was beaten in straight sets by the No9 seed Matteo Berrettini in 2hr 36min. The Italian won 7-6 (11-9), 7-5, 6-3. Anderson won the battle of the aces 18-14, but failed to convert any of the three break points he held, while Berrettini broke the South African’s service twice and that’s all that was required for him to have the advantage.
Harris hit 21 aces compared to six of his 188th-ranked opponent who entered the main draw as a ‘lucky loser’ in qualifying The 23-year-old South Africa hit 41 winners, and Torpegard managed only 21. Harris also lost his serve only once and broke through five times when he returned.
There was added drama in the Harris match when a ball kid collapsed at the side of Court 16 at Melbourne Park. The ball kid was sent home to take complete rest. Once the girl collapsed, nearby staff and players rushed to help him before assisting from the court to receive medical attention.
Lloyd Harris fought back from a set down to win his 1st round singles match at the #AustralianOpen, earlier this morning (SA time). Harris came back to beat the unseeded Danish player, Mikael Torpegaard, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. pic.twitter.com/9jRWz4G8MJ
— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) February 9, 2021