Archive for the 'Ryan Harrison' Category

19
Feb
12

Milos Raonic overpowers Harrison in 78 minutes to reach the San Jose final.

Milos Raonic hits a forehand to Ryan Harrison during semifinal match at the SAP Open tennis tournament in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday. Raonic advanced to the final.

Defending champion Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., ripped 20 aces to reach his second straight SAP Open final Saturday, beating Harrison 7-6 (4), 6-2. The match took only 78 minutes, with Harrison unable to solve the six-foot-five Canadian’s punishing, powerful serve in the comfortable conditions of an indoor arena. “I think I got a few free points today,” Raonic said. Just a few.

After Raonic’s rapid rise stalled last year with a slip at Wimbledon, he’s making his way back from hip surgery through a similar path. Raonic has dropped only two service games in two years at San Jose and his baseline game is only growing stronger. Raonic will play the winner of Saturday night’s semifinal between Uzbekistan’s Denin Istomin and Frenchman Julien Benneteau. “It was all really new to me last year. I felt it all flew by really quickly,” said Raonic, now 21 years old. “Whereas now, going through all these things again and playing well and everything, I feel like I know how to deal with it all. There’s not stress around it.” All the frustration is left for his opponents. Raonic relied on his serve to force a first-set tiebreaker, smacked two winners past the 19-year-old Harrison for a break in the second set that gave him a 3-1 lead and leaned on his serve the rest of the way. The future of American men’s tennis remains on hold. Harrison, tabbed as one of the country’s promising young players, is still searching for his first ATP Tour final. He has lost three times in the semifinals, including twice last year to Mardy Fish in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Fresh off a Davis Cup debut that helped the U.S. sweep Switzerland in the first round last weekend, Harrison surged to the semifinals in impressive fashion. He was the first teenager to reach the semifinals at San Jose since eventual champion Andy Murray in 2006 and 2007, and he did it all despite an out-of-whack body clock from the 6,000-mile journey through nine time zones — not to mention switching from clay to indoor courts and coming down from altitude. Not that it mattered. Raonic ripped serves past Harrison from the start, with neither player able to break the other in the first set. In the tiebreaker, Raonic rested on his serve even more. After Harrison’s first forehand landed long for an instant minibreak, Raonic zipped two aces — one up the middle, another out wide. Then he struck a backhand passing shot down the line on the American’s serve, clipping the net and sneaking in for a 4-0 lead that propelled him in the first set. “If he served like that against anybody, it’s going to be a nightmare to break,” said Harrison, who has played against Raonic since the American was 14 years old. “It doesn’t matter who he plays. Whenever he’s serving like that, it’s going to be a tough match for any of the top guys — Roger, Rafa, Novak — all the guys that are the best in the game.” In the only break point of the match for Harrison, he flicked a forehand return wide at 1-1 in the second. Raonic then broke Harrison’s serve in the next game with a pair of bold baseline winners. The rematch from a more famous California tournament turned out to be a complete runaway indoors. Harrison beat Raonic 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 in the third round at Indian Wells last year but couldn’t touch the hard-serving Canadian in such climate-controlled conditions.

Suddenly, Raonic is back on the rise. Raonic rose to as high as No. 25 in the rankings last year — the highest ever for a Canadian — before his season derailed on Wimbledon’s grass. He still earned ATP Newcomer of the Year honours after his first title at San Jose. Raonic, who mimicked 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras’ serve as a kid, now has another chance to match his childhood idol: He’s one win away from becoming a back-to-back champion in San Jose — something Sampras did with victories in 1996 and 1997. “I think there are a lot of similarities. It’s pretty fluid for both,” said Raonic, now ranked 32nd. “I still think there’s a lot more work I need to do to serve as well as him.”

 

18
Feb
12

A bad tempered Roddick bows out in San Jose.

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Andy Roddick slammed one racket, broke another, argued with the chair umpire and shouted back at his own box. At one point, he smacked a ball high into the black curtains behind the far baseline grandstand. That was maybe the only time he hit his target. Hobbled by a fresh right ankle sprain and the troublesome hamstring that forced his retirement from last month’s Australian Open, Roddick lost to Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the SAP Open at HP Pavilion on Friday night. Roddick dropped every point in his first service game and never regained his rhythm in a maddening match that took only 76 minutes. “It would be abnormal if you weren’t frustrated,” said Roddick, who still plans to play at next week’s ATP Tour stop in Memphis. “The question is, ‘How do you figure your way through it?’ ” Roddick is still searching for the answer.

Earlier Friday, 19-year-old American Ryan Harrison moved closer to his first ATP singles title with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Bulgaria’s Dimitar Kutrovsky. Harrison will face defending tournament champion Milos Raonic in the semifinals today after the hard-serving Canadian defeated Kevin Anderson 7-5, 7-6 (3). Istomin plays France’s Julien Benneteau, a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 winner over Steve Darcis of Belarus.

Roddick, who had a first-round bye and injured his ankle in a three-set victory over Denis Kudla on Wednesday night, is still recovering from a slight tear in his hamstring that forced his retirement in the second round of the Australian Open. In what was supposed to be the start of his return to full strength, Roddick leaves the Bay Area more hobbled than when he arrived. “It was pretty ordinary all the way around,” said Roddick, a three-time champion in San Jose. “There’s certainly a significant gap from where I am and where I need to be.”

28
Jul
11

Juan Martin Del Potro booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles with a straight-sets win over James Blake.

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The popular American battled hard and took the second set to a tie-break, but ultimately succumbed to a 6-4 7-6 (7/3) defeat. “It was a really tough match for me,” said Del Potro. I think I am still far away from the top 10 players. I know it’s a long road to get there.” Next up for Del Potro is Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis, who claimed a 6-2 6-4 win over America’s Daniel Kosakowski.

It was a bad day for third seed Marcos Baghdatis who lost 6-3 6-4 to Lu Yen-hsun of Chinese Taipei. “I didn’t really expect this,” admitted Lu. “He’s a great player with a lost of titles. he has beaten a lot of guys. “I had a little advantage over him. I had one match behind me and he was playing his first match since Wimbledon.”

There was also a straight-sets win for Ryan Harrison, who beat fellow American Michael Russell 6-3 6-4.

22
Jul
11

Mardy Fish registered a straight-sets win over Nicolas Mahut at the Atlanta Tennis Championships.

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The world number nine strolled through to the quarter-finals as he won 6-3 6-3 in just under an hour-and-a-half. Fish will now face eighth seed Somdev Devvarman in the next round after the Indian brushed aside Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-3. Lleyton Hewitt crashed out, though, as the former US Open champion lost 7-5 2-6 6-2 to American qualifier Rajeev Ram. Veteran Hewitt, who won at Flushing Meadows 10 years ago, had hoped to halt his slide down the world rankings after showing signs of his best at Wimbledon. But the Australian laboured against the world number 272 and exited in just under two hours.

Ram’s reward was a quarter-final meeting with compatriot Ryan Harrison after the 19-year-old upset fourth seed Xavier Malisse 6-7 (7-3) 6-4 6-4.

16
Mar
11

Ryan Harrison ends Raoinic’s run in the 3rd round at Indian Wells.

The Canadian rising star’s run at Indian Wells came to an end Tuesday after a hard-fought 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-4 loss to American teenager Ryan Harrison in third-round action. “I came out, gave it my best, he was playing well,” Raonic said. “He was doing a lot of good things. I thought I played well, and he was the better player today. “It wasn’t the greatest of matches, He put pressure on me, and I didn’t adjust to it the best today, and therefore he came out on top. He played really well, and he deserved to win.”

Raonic, who suffered from a back spasm in his second-round win over Mardy Fish on Sunday, battled for two hours 29 minutes and saved three break points before finally falling to Harrison. Raonic, ranked 37th in the world, saved a match point in the tenth game of the final set as he broke his 152nd-ranked opponent. He also salvaged two more potential match-winners for Harrison in the final game before the American boomed his 11th ace of the match for the win. Raonic, the 20 year old from Thornhill, Ont., who is known for his booming serve, had 17 aces.

“I played a pretty good second set. I played not a great start to the third, but I ended up playing a bit better there,” Raonic said. “I gave myself a chance, and that’s always what I’m trying to do out there.

17
Jan
11

Roddick impresses as both Querrey and Harrison lose.

Four-time semifinalist Andy Roddick blitzed Jan Hajek 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round after No.18 Sam Querrey fell in five sets to Luckasz Kubot and 18-year-old Ryan Harrison went down to Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. Roddick swarmed all over the Czech, nailing 31 winners and only committing 23 unforced errors, while his foe managed only 18 winners and committed 37 unforced errors. Roddick, who has become a cagey player at the age of 28, adeptly mixed up his shot selection, serving big when he needed to and winning all 11 of his net approaches. “I thought he liked the ball to come through pretty quick and flat, so I was trying to keep it out of his hitting zones,” Roddick said. “I served well; I put a lot of returns in. He was having trouble creating off of a chip and off of other things. So it was a little bit more cat and mouse than I think you would normally find certainly on a hotter day here.”

Roddick has been a second week fixture at the Australian Open for the past 10 years, compiling an impressive 35-9 record in Melbourne, but has never been able to make it to the final dance, losing tough semifinals to Rainer Schuettler in 2003 and to Lleyton Hewitt in 2005, but being crushed by Roger Federer in 2007 and 2009. Last year, Roddick reached the quarters and, while he put up a valiant effort after getting injured mid way through his match with Marin Cilic, he went down in five sets. While former No.1 Roddick fell out of the top 10 for a brief period last year, largely due to a bout of mononucleosis he was contending with, he still managed to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals again. He considers most of 2010 a wasted year. “The last time I was healthy I feel like was May last year,” he said. “Up to that point I had great results. Same with ’09 through when I got hurt, I had really good results. The biggest thing for me was getting right, getting healthy, feeling strong. That was the focus. [My coach] Larry [Stefanki] said, ‘Listen, I don’t care if you hit up until a certain point; I want you working; I want you strong. I don’t want us having to adjust our game plans around what you may or may not be able to do physically.”

Roddick has been a mentor to both Querrey and Harrison – among other American players – so hearing that they both went down didn’t sit well with him. While much has been made of those two’s potential as well of that of John Isner, it may be Roddick and fellow veteran Mardy Fish who make it the furthest in the tournament. “Sam will rebound,” Roddick said. “Last time everyone was kind of disappointed in him, he had his best results after the French last year. Hopefully we can look for a rebound like that. He came back, won Queen’s, got to this day what is his best result in a slam, fourth round in Wimbledon, and played well at the US Open.”

03
Sep
10

Ryan Harrison loses a heartbreaker in 5 sets.

Teenager Ryan Harrison squandered a great chance to claim a second shock victory of the week in the US Open after failing to take three match points against Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Harrison, 18, who beat 15th seed Ivan Ljubicic in the opening round, was 6-3 ahead in the fifth-set tie-break but lost the next five points in succession – one of them by crucially serving a double fault – as Stakhovsky held on for a 6-3 5-7 3-6 6-3 7-6 (8/6) victory.

“I just got a little bit tight when I needed to come through,” admitted Harrison, who has been tipped by John McEnroe to eventually become one of the top 10 players in the world.

“It was incredibly fun, the first time I’ve played in the main draw at the US Open was two days ago and to have a crowd like that behind me was incredible.

“I’m obviously not the happiest person in the world right now, but looking back it was a great experience.”

There was better news for the home crowd with John Isner, winner of the longest match in history at Wimbledon earlier this year, reaching the third round with a four-set win over Switzerland’s Marco Chiudinelli.

Isner hammered down 24 aces on his way to a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 win in just under three hours on Louis Armstrong Court.

01
Sep
10

18 tear old Ryan Harrison knocks out Ivan Ljubicic.

Ivan Ljubicic followed fellow seed Tomas Berdych out of the opening round of the US Open.

Croatian Ljubicic was beaten in four sets by 18-year-old American qualifier Ryan Harrison in searing heat.

“The weather was my biggest enemy today,” admitted 31-year-old Ljubicic.

“Throughout my career I struggled with the heat. I’m not really coping really well with that, and I tried all kind of different tactics to deal with it. I never find the right one.

“Today was no different. Then everything else just comes together. I was not returning well, serving well, and Ryan was on top of his game. When everything gets together, it was a pretty comfortable win for him.

“We saw some players struggling big time. There are comments saying it’s the same thing for everybody, but really it’s not. Somebody is struggling more than others, and I think it’s just not fun.

“I think people out there are coming to see good tennis, and on days like this it’s all about everything except tennis. It’s just trying to hang in there and hit some balls more on the court than the other guy or other girl, whoever plays.

“A break doesn’t really help. In Australia they have a pretty good rule. When it’s too hot, you just don’t play. Hard courts definitely make it worse. The concrete, it’s just brutal. You get heat not only from the sky, but also from the bottom.”

A delighted Harrison said: “It’s definitely the biggest one of my career so far. To win on this stage here and to take out a top 20 player in the world is the biggest win of my career.

“I’ve always believed in myself. I have always had confidence in myself, so obviously I’m extremely excited and really pleased with what happened.

“But by the same token, I’m really going to look forward to trying to get back into my routines on the day off and looking forward to trying to get ready for the second round.”

09
Dec
09

Vandeweghe and Harrison earn wildcards to Aussie Open.

CoCo Vandeweghe, the niece of New Jersey Nets GM and coach Kiki Vandeweghe, and Ryan Harrison have earned spots in the main draw of the 2010 Australian Open.

Vandeweghe, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Harrison, of Bradenton, Fla., won U.S. Tennis Association wild-card playoffs in Atlanta.

Vandeweghe, who turned 18 Sunday, beat Christina McHale of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 7-6 (2), 0-6, 6-3.

The 17-year-old Harrison defeated Jesse Levine of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 and will make his Grand Slam singles main draw debut in Australia in January.

The finals were played Monday.

The USTA and Tennis Australia have a reciprocal agreement to trade wild cards for their Grand Slam tournaments.




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