Cape Town — Rising South African tennis star Lloyd Harris scored an impressive win over Australia's Alex de Minaur in the first round of the Japan Open on Wednesday.
Harris, the world No 99, prevailed 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (10/8) after saving two match points in the final set tie-break.
Harris moved back into the world's top 100 this week after an impressive showing at the Chengdu Open in China last weekend where the 22-year-old reached the semi-finals of an ATP Tour event for the first time.
Harris' win over De Minaur, the world No 25, is a notable one with the Australian having been on a high after winning the tournament in Zhuhai last weekend.
Harris will next face another Australian, qualifier John Millman, in the round of 16 in Tokyo.
And the South African will fancy his chances of going deep in the event, with no seeded players left on his side of the draw. Top-seed and world No 1 Novak Djokovic is in the top half of the draw.
Harris has made great strides this year by qualifying for the main draws of all four Grand Slam events.
He also won his first Grand Slam match at the French Open when he defeated Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 in a five-set classic at Roland Garros.
He achieved a career-high ranking of 82nd in July.