Listening to the coaches has benefited South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, who scored 36 runs to win the US Open on Monday and advance to his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
His first coach took him away from other sports to focus on tennis, his physical trainer forced him to reach peak fitness during the Cove 19 epidemic, and former player Xavier Melissa joined the team. Improve your skills.
As a result, the 24-year-old American from Cape Town last reached the US Open after defeating 22nd seed Riley Opelka 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-1, 6-3. Has joined eight.
Belgium’s Melissa has made it to the slam only once in his career, reaching the 2002 Wimbledon semi-finals, but has been instrumental in the 46th-ranked Harris’ run.
“Xavier has been a huge influence since joining the team. He has so much experience, as much as I can learn from him,” Harris said.
“He has been in these situations many times. He was obviously an exceptional player. Now he can help me become a better player in my transition.
“It’s definitely had a big impact. Right now we’re just moving at speed.”
This speed started when the virus stopped, the exercise is preparing his body for future opportunities.
“It wasn’t an easy time, Quarantine Lockdown,” Harris said. “Me and my physio, my fitness trainer, we talked about it. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever had.
“It’s something I’ve lost in the last two years, struggling with some injuries, I don’t always have time to get involved in this physical work.
“I’ve come this season and I’m probably better prepared than before because I was in lockdown at the time.”
It has helped him find his best game event after the event.
“It’s been a great season for me,” Harris said.
“It’s handling match after match better, bringing the same standard, the same level of tennis.
“I always knew I had the ability, I had the level. I never had a problem beating the boys above.
That’s what I’ve done so well this season. It’s kind of a show right now. It’s a reflection of the fact that I’m consistently winning big. I am happy with my progress. “
It all started when his coach, the unrelated Anthony Harris, told him to forget his other sports and focus on tennis in his youth.
“I loved team sports,” he said. Sport is a big thing in South Africa. “I had to compete more internationally in tennis where other sports were more local.
“Once I put my head down and decided I was going to play tennis, it was about 15-16, my coach said, ‘Listen, you have to play full time.
“I was kind of surprised. I didn’t really know what was involved,” Harris said. “A lot has changed since then.”
Harris has inspired compatriots Kevin Anderson, the 2017 US Open and the 2018 Wimbledon runner-up for his Grand Slam dreams.
“It gives you a lot of confidence, as a South African, to see what your country has done,” Harris said.
“It has certainly been an inspiration to many children in South Africa.