Roger rates SA’s Har­ris highly


The Citizen (KZN) - - Front Page - Cape Town

Match in Africa against Nadal breaks ten­nis crowd at­ten­dance record.

Roger Fed­erer is im­pressed by what he’s seen from ris­ing South African ten­nis star Lloyd Har­ris. Fed­erer was in the Mother City on Fri­day where he played Rafael Nadal in their Match in Africa ex­hi­bi­tion at Cape Town Sta­dium.

The Swiss ace prac­tised with 22-year-old Har­ris in the sta­dium as he got used to the make-shift court erected in the mid­dle of the field.

“It was very kind that Lloyd came out, he’s a lo­cal hero here in Cape Town. I still love that he comes back and trains here. He’s not left this place yet, as it’s far away from all the other tour­na­’s not easy,” Fed­erer told Sport24 court­side.

Fed­erer and Har­ris squared off in the Wim­ble­don first round last year, where the young South African sur­prised by tak­ing the first set 6-3, be­fore Fed­erer came roar­ing back to take the next three 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

Har­ris re­cently made his first ATP fi­nal at the 250-level event in Ade­laide where he lost to Rus­sia’s An­drey Rublev.

He is cur­rently ranked 85th on the ATP rank­ings but has shown steady progress over the last year.

The Capeto­nian qual­i­fied for the main draws of all four Grand Slam events in 2019 and also made the cut at this year’s Aus­tralian Open.

“Num­ber one, I think he’s a great guy, that’s al­ways key. He’s got great char­ac­ter, a won­der­ful fam­ily as well,” Fed­erer added.

“We had a good hit yes­ter­day. I think a lot of his game to be hon­est, I had a tough one against him at Wim­ble­don last year.

“He started very strong, mak­ing the fi­nal in Ade­laide out of the qual­i­fiers. There’s much to look for­ward to in Lloyd and I think he’s a great player for you guys to have here in South Africa.”

Fed­erer de­feated Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in front of a 51 954-strong crowd which broke the world record at­ten­dance for a ten­nis match.

The pre­vi­ous record was set in Novem­ber 2019 when Fed­erer de­feated Ger­many’s Alexan­der Zverev in Mex­ico City in front of 42 517 fans.

Or­gan­is­ers also an­nounced that the Match in Africa raised $3.5-mil­lion for the Roger Fed­erer Foun­da­tion.

“To have 51 954 peo­ple in at­ten­dance at a ten­nis match, I never thought I’d be a part of some­thing like that.” – Sport24

Pic­ture: AFP

RE­SPECT. Switzer­land’s Roger Fed­erer (right) is hugged by Spain’s Rafael Nadal af­ter Fed­erer won their Match in Africa ex­hi­bi­tion at Cape Town Sta­dium on Fri­day night.

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