LAS VEGAS, October 24, 2018 (by Steve Pratt)
Transitioning from the red clay courts in Lisbon, Portugal, to the hardcourts in Las Vegas wasn’t easy, but top-seeded Lloyd Harris passed his first test on Tuesday during the first round of the Las Vegas Tennis Open with a 6-4, 6-4 win over James Ward of Great Britain at the Fertitta Tennis Complex on the campus of UNLV.
Just last week, the 21-year-old Harris was playing Davis Cup for South Africa as his country fell to Portugal 3-0 in a World Group 1 playoff without the services of two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson, who was unavailable for the tie.
“The conditions couldn’t be more different, and you have to deal with the time change and you are going from playing on a team to individual,” said Harris, who needed three sets to beat Ward last month in Taiwan. “He’s a tough player and I knew I would need to battle out there.”
Harris, who sits at a career-high No. 112 in the ATP World Tour rankings, will next play Thanasi Kokkinakis in a second-round revenge match on Wednesday at 11 a.m. on Court 1. Back in August, Kokkinakis beat Harris in the final of the Aptos, Calif., Challenger.
Harris recently won his second ATP Challenger tournament in Stockton, Calif., three weeks. He won his first Challenger title in Kentucky in August, and also qualified for his first Grand Slam at the US Open later in the month.
“Breaking into the world top 100 is next for me, and it just comes with consistent results like I’ve been having, so hopefully it can happen,” Harris said.
Kozlov, Robredo fall
In two featured matches on Tuesday, defending champion Stefan Kozlov was eliminated by Kamil Majchrzak of Poland, 6-0, 6-2. Also, former world top-5 player Tommy Robredo fell to former Michigan All-American Evan King, 6-3, 6-4.
Also posting solid first-round wins on Tuesday were American qualifier Tommy Paul, No. 4-seeded Jason Jung and former University of Virginia star Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, who beat local wild card Evan Song, 6-4, 6-4.
On Semifinal Saturday, Oct. 27, the USTA Foundation will hold a Net Generation Tennis Clinic in partnership with the impact barter startuphave|need (haveneed.org). The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and area National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters will receive new tennis racquets as part of the clinic.
LAS VEGAS TENNIS OPEN – LAS VEGAS, UNITED STATES
$50,000 RESULTS – OCTOBER 23, 2018
Men’s Singles – First Round
 L. Harris (RSA) d J. Ward (GBR) 64 64
 C. Ruud (NOR) d M. Krueger (USA) 63 36 63
 J. Jung (TPE) d [LL] A. Sarkissian (USA) 76(5) 64
 M. Arevalo (ESA) d J. Aragone (USA) 62 46 76(3)
[Q] T. Paul (USA) d K. King (USA) 61 76(2)
[LL] E. King (USA) d T. Robredo (ESP) 63 64
K. Majchrzak (POL) d S. Kozlov (USA) 60 62
J. Smith (AUS) d [LL] J. Sels (NED) 67(4) 75 64
C. Ilkel (TUR) d [WC] M. Torpegaard (DEN) 64 36 76(6)
[Q] R. Ortega-Olmedo (ESP) d [Alt] J. Choinski (GER) 63 64
[Q] T. Kwiatkowski (USA) d [WC] E. Song (USA) 64 64
[Q] M. Bourgue (FRA) d N. Serdarusic (CRO) 76(4) 64
Men’s Doubles – First Round
 R. Galloway (USA) / N. Pasha (USA) d A. Shamasdin (CAN) / A. Siljestrom (SWE) 76(4) 76(4)
J. Jung (TPE) / M. Krueger (USA) d H. Hach Verdugo (MEX) / L. Martinez (VEN) 64 64