Lloyd Harris after beating Rafael Nadal in Washington: "It's a very special moment in my career, probably the best win I have ever had"

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Lloyd Harris registered the biggest win of his career on Thursday when he beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to move into the quarterfinals of the 2021 Citi Open.

This was Harris' third win over a Grand Slam champion this year. The South African had beaten three-time Major champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the Qatar Open and accounted for 2020 US Open winner Dominic Thiem in the Dubai Open.

Speaking to the ATP Tour after his win over Nadal, Harris said conquering the 20-time Major champion in front of a capacity crowd was "very special".

"Today was really special. I think I have had some big wins, and this year I have beat some Grand Slam champions," Harris said. "But to beat a 20-time Grand Slam champion, and especially in front of a full crowd and with such an amazing atmosphere, it was definitely something very special."

During his on-court interview, Harris had said the win against Rafael Nadal was "probably the best" of his career.

β€œIt’s a very special moment in my career, probably the best win I have ever had, and to have it in front of fans just makes it so much better,” Harris said.

The match against Rafael Nadal was pretty physical, but I'm happy with how everything turned out: Lloyd Harris

Lloyd Harris
Lloyd Harris

Lloyd Harris played a very smart match against Rafael Nadal. He stayed aggressive from the baseline and used his forehand to do most of the damage. His serve also held up in the crunch moments.

During his press conference, Harris pointed out how staying composed and playing his natural game allowed him to stage such an upset. The South African claimed his 130-minute-long clash against Nadal was "pretty physical" but at the same time expressed his delight at finding a way to win the match.

"I did a lot of good things. I think the best thing was to stay in the moment, keep my composure, and I think I just stayed with my game and stayed playing a consistently good level throughout the match," Harris said.
"It was a good, quality match, I think. Not easy for me out there. It was pretty physical, but all in all, I'm just super happy with how everything turned out."

Harris normally enjoys pulling the trigger early in rallies, but the South Africa pointed out that against Nadal, he had to stay a lot more patient.

β€œI knew I just had to be a little bit more patient, a little bit more solid, and work the points a little bit longer,” Harris said of his approach to set three. β€œThat’s what I tried to do in the third and it really paid off.”

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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