Harris’ big turnaround to ‘tip-top shape’

21 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Harris’ big turnaround  to ‘tip-top shape’ Lloyd Harris

eBusiness Weekly

Lloyd Harris is reaping the rewards of toiling through trials for two years.

The South African, who underwent major right wrist surgery in June 2022, last week climbed inside the Top 100 of the PIF ATP Rankings for the first time in 21 months.

Harris triumphed at the Lexus Surbiton Trophy, where he won his maiden grass-court crown and became just the fourth player to win a trio of ATP Challenger Tour titles this season.

But before his resurgence, the 27-year-old was enduring a turbulent period.

“The last two, three months have been a big turnaround for me,” Harris told the ATP Challenger Tour media team last week. “It’s been a tough start to the year.

“A tough last year dealing with a lot of injuries, came back from a big surgery.

“It’s been a difficult road.

“But all in all, in the last few months I’ve felt like I’ve stepped up and improved and changed my mentality completely.”

Harris was enjoying the tennis of his life in 2021, the year he beat Rafael Nadal in Washington D.C., reached the US Open quarter-finals and later hit a career-high No. 31.

Things quickly changed the following season, when Harris tore his triangular fibrocartilage complex, a major contributor in wrist stability.

The pain was extensive, leaving Harris with a no-brainer decision: surgery.

“It was just too difficult for me to enjoy my time on court. I couldn’t have fun out there anymore, couldn’t give it my 100 per cent,” said Harris, who did not play again in 2022 after Roland Garros.

“I spent a lot of time talking to the team, to doctors and a lot of thinking just by myself … In the end, ultimately I couldn’t keep playing with that much pain.”

Seeded second at this week’s Lexus Ilkley Trophy, Harris has found some of his best level the past two months, highlighted by his biggest career title at the ATP Challenger Tour 125 event in Surbiton.

Following his final victory against Swiss Leandro Riedi, Harris’ big grin and loud roar of ‘Come on!’ revealed what being crowned champion meant to the Cape Town native.

“I think when you are dealing with physical issues and pains and aches in your body and not feeling healthy when you’re playing, mentally it gets to you,” Harris said.

“But right now I’m feeling mentally and physically in tip-top shape, so I’m super pleased with that.”

Just 12 months ago, Harris was teetering around the Top 300 of the PIF ATP Rankings, competing on both the ATP Tour and the ATP Challenger Tour.

This season, shortly before his current streak of winning 17 of his past 19 Challenger-level matches,
Harris was again navigating through a difficult stretch. He suffered six consecutive first-round losses at the ATP Challenger Tour level spanning from January to March.

But Harris did not let himself become overwhelmed with the lack of results.

“I think what kept me going was just the fact that the wheel will turn. Eventually things do come right.

“Sometimes it feels like it’s endless, two, three months struggling. Pain, no pain, struggling with tennis.

But eventually I do feel like you find the rhythm. If you put the hard work in, do all the correct stuff, if you really are dedicated to it, there’s always that turning point. It’s just that dedication to keep going.” — atptour

Share This:

Sponsored Links