Cape Town - Who says climbing the ATP’s highly competitive world rankings is not a little like scaling the heights of Mt Everest?
Take, for example, the experience of top South African tennis prospect Lloyd Harris, who after only a week since his elevation to a place among the world's top 200 players is now destined to slide back to 203rd when the new rankings are released next Monday.
This is the outcome of Harris' walkover loss in the first round of the Tashkent Challenger Open, which will affect his net sum of points and a decline of four places in the rankings.
Nevertheless, the gangling, big-serving 6-foot-5 Harris has improved his ranking 70 places this year and a continuation of his improved all-round stroke repertoire could mean this week's slip-up is soon reversed.
More heartening news for South African players on the international circuit is that Kevin Anderson, in the singles, and Raven Klaasen, in the doubles with American partner Rajeev Ram, are both maintaining their prospect of making it to the prestigious ATP Finals in London during this week's Shanghai Masters event.
Klaasen and Ram, it will be recalled, were beaten finalists in the prestige event last year and have squeezed into the eighth and final place designated for the London showdown.
With players like Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka non-starters because of injuries, Anderson's 12th position in the "Race to London" is effectively a 10th place in the bid for one of the eight singles berths - with the additional incentive that qualification for Anderson would make him the first South African to earn a place among the eight singles players since the event was switched to London.