Burnie, Tasmania, 23 January 2019 | Asher Packman

Maverick Banes has continued his good form of late by eliminating South African second seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa in straight sets at the Caterpillar Burnie International on Wednesday.

Banes will take on fellow Australian Jeremy Beale – who knocked out No.15 seed Guilherme Clezar of Brazil – in the third round.

With Harris currently sitting at world No.119 and having qualified for the past two Grand Slams including the 2018 US Open and this year’s Australian Open, the result is a significant achievement for the 26-year-old Queenslander.

“He’s had a lot of good results recently, so I was pretty happy to get the win,” Banes said of his 80-minute 6-4 7-5 victory.

“I think I’ve been serving quite well which has held me in good stead. It’s kept scoreboard pressure and given me a bit more freedom in returning,” he said. “That’s probably the biggest thing I’ve been focusing on and the rest is, at the moment, taking care of itself.”

Looking ahead to the match-up with Beale, the world No.302 said he needed to show the Victorian the respect he deserved. “He’s got a huge serve on him and he’s a really talented guy, very athletic, so he’s always dangerous if he’s switched on. I’ll just try and take care of things at my end and apply some pressure.”

With an ATP Challenger 80 quarterfinal on offer, Banes is aware of what’s on the line. “It’s obviously a good opportunity for both of us, but if he’s playing as well as he was today he’s as good as anyone in the draw.”

Wildcards Luke Saville and Chris O’Connell both bowed out on Wednesday with the South Australian pushing top-seeded Bosnian Mirza Basic all the way after taking the first set, while O’Connell fell to Japan’s Go Soeda, the No.12 seed.

Thursday’s action sees fourth seed Marc Polmans – already an impressive winner over James Duckworth this week – face German Sebastian Fanselow and local favourite, Tasmanian wildcard Harry Bourchier, take to the court against Italian Lorenzo Giustino (No.13).

Max Purcell will also need to get past an Italian seed – Stefano Napolitano (No.10) – to reach the quarterfinals.

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