Lloyd Harris earned his maiden ATP Masters 1000 victory on Wednesday with a 6-4, 7-6(7) win against American qualifier Emilio Nava at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
The South African saved a set point at 6/7 in the second-set tie-break en route to a one-hour, 32-minute victory. Harris improved to 9-5 this season with his milestone win against the two-time junior Grand Slam runner-up.
“It was a very difficult match,” said Harris. “He is a very tough player. He is a very slow player, so the balls are really slow and the pace of the match is really slow. He does have an unbelievable serve, so when I had chances to break, I was putting all my effort and all my focus onto those break points… Overall, I am happy with the way I was mentally during the match. There were a couple of shaky moments here and there, and I hung in mentally and came out with the win.”
Last week, the World No. 52 made a remarkable run to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final (l. to Karatsev). From qualifying, Harris claimed seven wins in seven days to reach his maiden ATP 500 final. The 24-year-old earned the two biggest wins of his career en route to the championship match against World No. 4 Dominic Thiem and then-World No. 12 Denis Shapovalov.
Harris will face 2019 quarter-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round. The Spaniard owns a 10-8 record in Miami, which includes a win against six-time tournament champion Novak Djokovic in the fourth round in 2019.
In his first Miami appearance since his debut in 2015, James Duckworth battled past Mischa Zverev 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to return to the second round. The Australian recovered from a break down in the decider and earned his sixth break of the match in a dramatic final game to clinch his victory. Duckworth will face eighth seed David Goffin in his next match.
Ricardas Berankis converted all four break points he created to defeat lucky loser Federico Gaio of Italy 7-6(4), 6-2. The Lithuanian will meet 31st seed Jan-Lennard Struff for a spot in the third round.