Number eight seed and newly crowned Zhuhai Open champion Alex de Minaur will return to court in quickfire time to play South American Lloyd Harris in the first round of the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo on Wednesday, October 2. This match begins at 1:20 pm local time (4 am BST). You can find the Alex De Minaur v Lloyd Harris live streaming options, preview and predictions here.
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Alex De Minaur v Lloyd Harris Head to Head
This will be a first-ever meeting on tour between De Minaur and Harris.
De Minaur Could Be Djokovic’s Closest Challenger In Tokyo
Alex De Minaur captured his third title of the season at the Zhuhai Championships in China, beating three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray, St. Petersburg finalist Borna Coric and World No.10 Roberto Bautista Agut along the way.
That success earned him a share of second spot on the 2019 tour-level titles leader-board alongside Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev who have also collected three titles this year.
The trophy he won in China will now sit alongside the ones he won earlier this year, one at his hometown in Sydney and the other in Atlanta, just prior to the US Open.
As a result of his breathtaking performances this season, the young Aussie is now on brink of breaking the World’s Top 20 for the first time, and with four tournaments on his schedule between now and the end of the season, De Minaur will probably need another strong showing in Japanese capital.
He will likely have to beat the World No.1 Novak Djokovic to take the title, but with confidence at an all-time high he is the closest challenger to the Serb’s path on a 76th career title.
Harris Reached A Maiden Tour-Level Semifinal In Chengdu
Lloyd Harris had been playing catch-up at tour-level for the most part of this year, winning a mere four main draw matches before last week.
However, things took a turn for the better as the towering South African enjoyed a memorable week at Chengdu Open where he reached his maiden ATP semifinal as a lucky loser. What made the achievement even more special was not only the quality of tennis he played all week, but also the opposition across the net.
The 22-year-old beat Marton Fucsovics, Dusan Lajovic and Joao Sousa – three players who have had fluctuating periods of success at tour-level. Harris moved up 12 spots in the rankings as a result of his semifinal showing and is now inside the Top 100, sitting at No.99.
De Minaur v Harris Predictions & Tips
Both De Minaur and Harris enjoyed a fine week in China last weekend, with the former clinching a title. Harris is playing decent tennis right now, but it would be a real shock if he was to hang around with the athletic ability of De Minaur. I still expect the South African to make this harder than it looks.
Tip: Over 21.5 games: 4/5 (888Sport)