South African Lloyd Harris has admitted that being the highest-ranked player from his country means a lot to him.
Harris, 24, is enjoying a breakthrough season on the Tour and last week he climbed up to a career-high ranking of No. 46 in the world.
Kevin Anderson, a former world No. 5, had been South Africa’s top-ranked player for years.
Unfortunately for Anderson, he has had a few injury-plagued seasons and his ranking dipped.
In March, Harris made his first ATP 500 level final in Dubai.
Back then, Harris won two qualifying matches and five main draw matches, before losing to Russian Aslan Karatsev in the final.
“It’s a big honour and privilege to be No. 1 in SA and represent my country each week on tour,” Harris said in a teleconference on Monday night, as revealed on Tennis TourTalk.
“I think it’s been a really good season and achieving a career high is a big deal for me, so I’m trying to climb the rankings and improve even more.”
Harris looking forward to the US Open
“I’ve never felt this good going into a Grand Slam,” Harris said.
“I’m playing with a lot of confidence, and I’ve beaten some top players recently, so I’m going in there with a lot of optimism.
“I’m just looking to keep playing good tennis.”
Harris is set to make his fourth appearance at the US Open and he is hoping to clinch his best result at Flushing Meadows this year.
Harris debuted at the US Open in 2018, when he made it past the qualifying event before losing to Gilles Simon in the first round.
Harris returned to the US Open in 2019, where he again picked up a first round exit.
Last year, Harris clinched his first US Open win after beating Marco Cecchinato in the first round.
In the second round, Harris lost to David Goffin.