Ryan Harrison is a renowned American professional tennis player, both excelling in Singles and Doubles Tennis, having won one Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) in singles in 2017 at the Memphis Open. He entered the top 10 junior rankings even before turning 16 and was regarded as a prodigy, for being one of the younger players to triumph at an ATP match. Though he dwindled at some point, he pulled off a resurgence and used it to reach greater heights in his career. In this article, let’s know more about Ryan Harrison and his journey in the world of tennis.
Ryan Harrison was introduced to the sport at the early of 2, with his father, Pat Harrison serving as his coach. Pat had a short stint as a professional tennis player, who joined Futures and Challenge competitions.
In his junior years, Harrison registered 60-24 win-loss records, placing him as high as 7th in the world rankings, a feat he achieved in 2008. Before that, he trained in New Braunfels, Texas, at the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch, an academy that has taught and honed the skills of many top national and international players.
His first two junior Grand Slam were in the 2007 US Open and the 2008 Australian Open. Following that, he displayed dismal performance, being eliminated in the 2008 French Open, 2008 Wimbledon, and 2008 US Open, which also marked his last junior Grand Slam, due to age eligibility.
Nevertheless, Harrison still succeeded that year, making himself known as the third-youngest player since 1990 to win an ATP match after beating Pablo Cuevas (Rank no. 130) in the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in 2008. He was also only the tenth player in ATP Tour’s long history to have triumphed in a match before reaching 16 years old, lining him among the best and youngest Americans to do so after Michael Chang won at the 1989 French Open.
In aspirations to improve his rankings, he joined many tournaments like the 2008 US Open and 2008 Cincinnati Masters, though lost in both competitions in the first round. He ended the year at no. 724 in singles, which was still a significant improvement when he began the year at no. 1000.
2009 to 2010
In 2009, Harrison only started to compete in late April and defeated Filip Krajinović in June, after beating Filip Krajinovićm giving him his first Futures title. He went on to compete in US Open and Cincinnati qualifiers, but all were naught as he failed to proceed past the first round in the tournament. Harrison came back and made two straight Finals appearances in the Futures, and a semifinals stint in a Challengers tournament in Sacramento, raising his ranking to no. 364 that year.
In 2010, Harrison started to compete in bigger tourneys, such as in the 2010 SAP Open, 2010 Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, 2010 Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, 2010 BNP Paribas Open, BMW Tennis Championship, 2010 Sony Ericsson Open. However, Harrison lost in the majority of them in the first round. He also joined some Challengers tournaments but didn’t procure preferable results. By May 2010, Harrison was ranked no. 263 in the world rankings, and entered the 2010 French Open, Queen’s Championship, 2010 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
2011 to 2015
In 2011, Harrison defeated Alex Kuznetsov in the finals and won the 2011 Honolulu Challenger, while also getting a doubles title. Though he lost against no. 5 Robin Söderling at the 2011 French Open, he was able to get a set from the French Open finalist. His succeeding tournaments were the Queen’s and a Wimbledon qualifier, both became a losing effort.
He went back to the winning track at the 2011 Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships when he won the doubles title alongside partner Matthew Ebden. Harrison then first reached his first ATP semifinals but lost to Mardy Fish, who eventually emerged victorious in the event. Despite the loss, the performance allowed him to enter the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time, landing at no. 94. Through other tournaments in the year, Harrison ended 2011 at no. 79.
In 2012, Harrison joined the Australian Open, though he lost in the first round. He then joined the Davis cup and reached the semifinals, but succumbed to Spain. The following year, he had a good start winning at the Apia International Sydney after beating John Isner. Other tournaments he joined in 2013 include the Australian Open, French Open, and the BB&T Atlanta Open, in which he lost after opening victory in the year.
In 2014, Harrison’s had a dreary year, losing in the first rounds in Brisbane, Sydney, and the Australian Open. He joined several Challenger events, the Memphis and Delray Beach but all turned out the same with him failing to advance into the major round. Afterward, he failed to qualify in the French and Madrid Open, and the Queen’s Club. While qualified at Wimbledon, Harrison sees another first-round exit. The same first-round losses happened in Rhode Island, Newport, and Atlanta. That year, Harrison saw his ranking go down to no. 190. His performance somewhat improved in 2015, allowing him to rise in the rankings at the end of the year, but still out of the top 100 at no. 109.
In 2016, Harrison’s had his resurgence, getting in the round of 16 of two ATP events, the Citi Open and the Rogers Cup. He also returned to the top 100, after fending off no. 5 Milos Raonic at the US Open and reaching the grand slam’s third round. As part of the San Diego Aviators, he became the 2016 World Team Tennis MVP, and the team also won as WTT champions. Harrison led in singles winning percentage, while second in doubles alongside partner Raven Klaasen.
In 2017, he beat Taylor Fritz in straight sets at the RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas, giving Harrison his fourth Challenger title. He then joined the Memphis Open, where entered both the singles and doubles finals. Whilst he lost the latter, he won the singles against Nikoloz Basilashvili, earning him his first-ever ATP title. In the same year, he also proved his skills in the doubles competition, winning the French Open with partner Michael Venus.