Aarhus - After South Africa suffered defeat in the opening rubber, Lloyd Harris staged a gallant fightback to defeat Denmark's No 2 Benjamin Hannestad 7-6 (7/4), 6-0, 7-5 in their Group II Euro/Africa Round 3 showdown at the Ceres Park & Arena, Aarhus, Denmark, on Friday.
Harris, the SA No 1, came out all guns blazing at the start to streak ahead 2-0 but Hannestad hung in tenaciously to reclaim a break later on.
As the set wore on, they matched each other blow for blow before a tiebreak was needed to separate the two.
Hannestad started out strong enough initially but Harris stepped up a gear and blew him away 7-4 to clinch the first set.
It was one-way traffic in the next set as Harris peppered Hannestad with a steady stream of winners on either side of the court and that allowed him to move along to a commanding 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 lead.
Hannestad was able to shake off the setback and fought hard to save the match in the third set, until he buckled under pressure in the 12th game when he dropped serve to hand Harris the win.
Apart from Harris' booming serve which produced four aces, Hannestad had difficulty with return of serve.
As a result, Harris bagged a 69 percent first serve points haul and that provided the platform for the victory which lifted the spirits in the SA camp considerably at the end of the day.
By and large, he gave himself a chance to play the way he wanted to by reeling off winners in the big points.
The only doubles rubber will be played on Saturday, starting at 13:00 (SA time).
Order of Play/Results
Friday, September 15
1-Frederik Nielson (DEN) bt 2-Nik Scholtz (RSA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
1-Lloyd Harris (RSA) bt 2-Benjamin Hannestad (DEN) 7-6 (7/4), 6-0, 7-5
Saturday, September 16 (13:00)
Thomas Kromann/Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Raven Klaasen/Ruan Roelofse (RSA)
Sunday, September 17 (12:00)
1-Frederik Nielson (DEN) v 1-Lloyd Harris (RSA)
2-Benjamin Hannestad (DEN) v 2-Nik Scholtz (RSA)