‘This is what I am working for’, Lloyd Harris makes history by reaching Dubai final
Lloyd Harris became the first qualifier to reach the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships after edging Denis Shapovalov in a thrilling semi-final.
The first set went to a tiebreak after no break points. Shapovalov recovered from 3-5 down to take it 7-5.
The 21-year-old Canadian then surged to a 4-2 lead in the second set, after breaking for 3-2. Harris made an impressive fightback and won four straight games to steal the set – breaking for 4-4 and again for 6-4.
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Like the opening set, a serve-dominated decider went to a tiebreak after neither player created a break point. The 24-year-old South African converted his second match point to win a tight tiebreak 8-6 when Shapovalov sent a backhand wide.
“I don’t have many words right now. I am super happy with that win,” Harris said in an on-court interview.
“Being a set and 2-4 down is mentally and physically a little bit troublesome for me, but I found my best tennis from there. I am just extremely happy with the result right now.
“This is what I am working for. This is what I have been putting in the hard yards for.
“I have been waiting for some results like this. To have so many of them in one week is a fantastic feeling. I have got one more match to go.”
The world No. 81 has won seven matches in as many days to reach his second final, and first at ATP 500 level.
Harris will face Aslan Karatsev – who defeated Andrey Rublev in three sets – in the championship match on Saturday. Both players are looking to win their first ATP title.
Shapovalov has now lost 10 of his 11 tour semi-finals.
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