Alex De Minaur vs Lloyd Harris - ATP 500 - Japan Open - Round of 32 - Preview and Prediction

Australia and South Africa's cricket rivalry is a well know one. It takes a new dimension in tennis this time as Aussie, Alex De Minaur, takes on South African, Lloyd Harris, in a mouthwatering clash in the Round of 32 at the Japan Open today.

A new entrant in the Top 25, De Minaur has been on a roll this year winning three titles - Sydney, Atlanta and the Zhuhai Open.

Coming to this match, the Aussie is blessed with great form having defeated great players such as Andy Murray, Borna Coric, Roberto Bautista Agut. He trounced Adrian Mannarino in the finals to clinch the Zhuhai Open recently.

"And, honestly, tennis is such a tough sport as it is, it's only you on court, so you've got to deal with a lot of different pressures and expectations and when things aren't going well. "So to have someone like that to be on my team and stronger mentally, I think it's been the biggest change for me. That's the way I've been progressing," said De Minaur about the role of a psychologist helping him in mental fitness and giving him an edge in recent times.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt, who is De Minaur's, coach now was the one who identified his talent at such a young age and has contributed immensely to his rise.

On the other hand, Lloyd Harris has made rapid strides ever since he started playing the ATP Challenger Tour this year. But, his best performance came in the first round of Wimbledon 2019 when he took a set off 20-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer. 

After taking the first set 6-3, Harris lost control as Federer won the next three sets 6-1 6-2 6-2 to clinch the match. However, Harris kept the die-hard Centre Court fans on the edge with his stunning shot-making and attacking game as Federer was tested thoroughly.

Ahead of this match, the youngster is in fine form as he reached his first ATP semi-final after crossing two rounds of qualifying in the recent Chengdu Open. His scalps in Chengdu included good players such as Marton Fucsovics, Dusan Lajovic, and Joao Sousa.

Two things to watch out for

  • A 20-year old Alex De Minaur taking on a 22- year old Lloyd Harris is an exciting time as the Next Generation battles it out with the world's best players. It also indicates that the future of the game is in better hands
  • The two young guns are playing against each other for the first time ever and this adds more interest to this clash.


Alex De Minaur has lots of strengths with his fast movement and a consistent serve. He needs to improve his breakpoint conversion if he wants to make a deeper run in this tournament.

Prediction - Alex De Minaur to win in three sets

Cover Image Credits - Associated Press

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