Cape Town – Lloyd Harris led South Africa to victory over Bulgaria in their Europe/Africa II Davis Cup tie at Kevin Grove Club on Saturday.
Harris defeated Dimitar Kuzmanov 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) to give South Africa an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie.
The local hero, ranked 113th compared to his opponent’s 324th position, dominated the opening set but came unstuck early in the second, going down a double break.
But Harris showed grit and determination to fight his way back into the set, eventually forcing a tie-breaker which he comfortably won 7-3.
On what was a slow hard-court, both players struggled to hold serve with each claiming only two aces.
Harris lost his serve three times in the match but crucially capitalised on five of nine break points.
Earlier on Saturday, Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse beat Gabriel Donev and Alexander Donski 6-3, 6-2 in the doubles to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
The tie was level at 1-all after Friday’s first day, with Harris beating Alexandar Lazarov 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3 and Roelofse losing 7-5, 7-5 to Kuzmanov.
Saturday’s final singles match – scheduled to be between Roelofse and Lazarov – will now be a dead-rubber.
Because the match is a dead-rubber, the teams may opt to give fringe players a taste of Davis Cup action.
Victory in the tie means South Africa will move into the Euro/Africa Group I playoffs in 2020.
Wha a comeback and powerful display ???????? from Lloyd Harris as he fires his way past Dimitar Kuzmanov to win 6-3 7-6 and move South Africa into Euro/ Africa Group I play-offs in 2020!
— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) September 14, 2019