Rising South African tennis star, Lloyd Harris has his sights set on more success at the Digicall Futures international tennis tournaments being played in Stellenbosch in the coming weeks.
The 19-year-old, 6’4” right-handed, two-handed backhand player has just completed a hat-trick in Egypt winning three Futures singles titles in a row which has seen his singles world ranking rise to 308. Harris, who in May this year enjoyed a career high ranking of 303 is upbeat about ending the year in positive territory.
“I have not set any ranking goals for the end of the year as it’s been difficult to set ranking goals with my injuries. The goal was to get stronger and play as many matches as possible so that I could start 2017 on the Challenger and ATP tour. I feeling great about my game; everything is solid. However I would like to improve on my speed around the court and some minor things in my overall game over the next week,” said Harris.
Harris won last year’s Digicall Futures 3 after playing in the final of the second tournament as well. “It’s great being back home and I look forward to working hard ahead of the Stellenbosch Futures where I hope to do well at home in my own backyard. Playing in South Africa is always special.”
Harris is seeded second for the tournament starting on Saturday with qualifying rounds. All games are played at the Coetzenburg courts of the Stellenbosch University.
More good news is that South Africa’s top ranked women player, Chanel Simmonds confirmed her entry into the tournament. Simmonds who is presently ranked 416 on the WTA world singles ranking was given a wildcard into the tournament by the tournament organisers and being the highest ranked player entered automatically was seeded one.
Zimbabwean Valeria Bhunu was announced as the second seed with Russian Margarita Lazareva and American Lauren Embree seeded three and four respectively. Simmonds, a member of the South African Fed Cup team, is the only South African seed in the women’s draw.
Along with Harris and Nikala Scholtz were seeded in the men’s draw. Scholtz like Simmonds received a wildcard into the tournament. The men’s top seed is Alessandro Bega of Italy whilst Scholtz is seeded three ahead of fourth seed Christoph Negritu of Germany.
The qualifying for the Digicall Futures 1 will take place this weekend 29-30 October. The main draw will be played from Monday 31 October with the final scheduled for Sunday 6 November. The Digicall Futures 1 is the first of three back-to-back international men’s and women’s tournaments being played in Stellenbosch.
The seeds are:
The wild cards are
Nik Scholtz (RSA)
Bertus Kruger (RSA)
Sipho Montsi (RSA)
Chanel Simonds (RSA)
Amelie Boy (MRI)
The men’s fourth wild card will be allocated after qualifying sign-in on Friday. The two remaining women wild cards will also be allocated after qualifying sign-in on Friday.