Tag Archives: Ryan Harrison

Future American Tennis Star?

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Ryan Harrison (left) and Ryan Sweeting (right) are two of the players expected to help revive American tennis.

By Toni Headley

Toni Headley is a tennis expert who worked at ESPN for 10 years and has been a freelance writer there for the past 2 years.  She also previously worked at CBS Sports and has covered every major tennis tournament in the world multiple times.

As we leave Indian Wells, California for the Sony Ericsson Open, I ask myself if this will be the last time we see Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Andy Roddick, and James Blake playing here in Miami? With the slow decline of the Williams sisters, Roddick, and Blake due to injury and age, could we be witnessing the end of American tennis as we know it? All four players will be playing here in Miami, which starts in a little over a week. Continue reading

Isner: The “it” American tennis player

Photo courtesy of SI.com. John Isner (pictured above) is best known for an epic first round match at Wimbledon in 2010. Could he be the new American "it" player?

By Josh Kramer

It is not too difficult to get the attention of the American public regarding men’s tennis these days.  If an American goes deep into a major tournament, or dare I say wins one, they are the next American hope.  Expectations have never been lower as the American public waits for that next great American tennis prodigy.  Sadly, the future of American tennis does not look bright.

After being spoiled by the McEnroe/Connors era, and then the Sampras, Agassi, Chang, Courier era, no American has stepped up to the plate.  Different players have become the “it” guy of the moment.  The guy that many hoped could be the next great American Grand Slam Champion.  But none of the “it” guys have lasted the test of time. Continue reading

Sports would be like watching a DVD

Photo courtesy of topnews.in. Andy Roddick (pictured above) was not a happy camper following his surprising 3rd round exit from Wimbledon yesterday.

By Josh Kramer

Yesterday was not a great day for American tennis by any means.  First Ryan Harrison, the “Great American Hope,” was dismantled by 7th seeded David Ferrer, in a second round match that was resumed on Friday.  Then Alex Bogomolov Jr. was wiped off the court by the very talented Tomas Berdych.  Berdych could easily shock one of the “Fantastic Four,” and find his way into the semi-finals, though he would most likely have to defeat Rafa to do this.  And to cap off an All American day at the All England Club, Andy Roddick, who typically thrives on the grass courts of Wimbledon, was dismantled by Feliciano Lopez, a guy he had previously never lost to.

At least Mardy Fish saved face and now is the lone American left in the Men’s draw.  But it was not a good day for American tennis.  Things have gone from good, to bad, to ugly.  We are at the fourth round at Wimbledon, and there is one American left in the draw.  Where is Pete Sampras when you need him (Sampras won 7 Wimbledon titles)? Continue reading

American hope for the future?

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Ryan Harrison (pictured above) appears to be the future of American Men's tennis.

By Josh Kramer

19-year-old American Ryan Harrison was the talk of the tennis world today.  People just seem to really love this fiery young American.  And let’s be honest, American tennis needs a male player to carry the torch for the next decade.

As I have said before, we were spoiled all through the 90s by Sampras and Agassi.  Even in the 70s/80s, we had Connors and then McEnroe. Those days are long gone sadly.  Roddick has done all in his power to carry the torch of American’s men’s tennis.  But he appears to be heading towards the twilight of his career as well.  And with the Williams’ sisters reign appearing to be over, American tennis is really lacking. Continue reading

“The Green Light Gone?”

Venus Williams (left in picture above) is carrying the "Green Light (Hope)" of American Tennis on her shoulders in Flushing Meadows.

 In one of the most popular and renowned pieces of literature in history, there is talk of a green light.  A look into the orgastic future.  F. Scott Fitzgerald, the novel’s author, filled a seemingly simple plot in his classic with depth and heavy meaning.  It has become an American literature classic and a book that encompasses themes that we as Americans talk about daily.  I mean, how frequently do you here about the so-called “American Dream.”  And I am a firm believer in this idea and fully stand behind it.  Except when talking about American tennis recently, more specifically, American Men’s Tennis. 

The US Open is the grandest and most high scale tournament we have to offer in the United States.  Each year from Labor Day up until the middle of September, all eyes of the tennis world are focused on Flushing Meadows.  Arthur Ashe Stadium is the place to be.  It is all a part of the moment.  This year sadly, I feel the US Open has been vastly overshadowed.  This in large part has been due to the early exit of America’s top player, Andy Roddick. All of the sporting world’s attention has shifted focus towards College Football, the NFL, and the scintillating stretch run that is September baseball.  And I honestly cannot blame the American public for seeming to lose interest. 

I, myself, am a major tennis connoisseur. I love to watch tennis on television or in person all the time.  I was an avid player and still like to consider myself a pretty big fan. But my focus has shifted from this tournament to College Football’s opening weekend and my beloved Reds pennant race.  Now I realize that guys like Sam Querrey, Mardy Fish, and John Isner all made decent runs this year.  And who can forget the amazing Ryan Harrison’s first round upset victory?  But today, the men begin the quarterfinals.  And want to know how many Americans are left in the draw?  A big fat 0.  The women are now entering the semifinals.  Want to know how many women are left in the draw?  Try 1. 

This tournament began with 256 total players comprising both the Men and Women’s Draw.  There were 17 American men participating in American’s pride and joy tournament.  We have hit the Final 8, and there are 0 left.  There were 12 American women participating in our gem of a tennis tournament.  We have hit the prestigious Final 4, and there is 1 remaining.  So Americans as a whole made up over 11 percent of the total 256 participants, and we have hit the final 12 players left, with 1 participant remaining?  Does not really sound like our tournament very much anymore now does it? 

Now Venus Williams has a good chance at capturing the women’s title in that she is a Williams sister.  Though she has a bum knee and had taken the past 2 months off, she appears fit and ready to handle business.  Amazingly, she has not played in the Finals in Flushing since 2002, when she lost to her sister Serena.  Hard to believe in that Venus used to own the Wimbledon/US Open part of the season every summer for years.  Can Venus bring home her 8th Grand Slam singles title (she has won 12 doubles)?  I am going with a probably not.  Kim Clijsters is an amazing player at Flushing, capturing her only 2 Grand Slam Titles here, and Wozniacki is looming in the top half of the draw. 

So the Green light may be disappearing in American tennis, but at least I got a pennant race, College Football, and the opening weekend of the  NFL to watch.  It is not so bad being an American sports fan right now. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze 

“Welcome Ryan Harrison”

The American dream of bringing home a title in Flushing looks all but finished as America’s top player, Andy Roddick, went down in a tough loss to Janko Tipsarevic last night. Though there is still a glimmer of hope with Mardy Fish, John Isner, and Sam Querrey all left in the draw.  And have no fear, Ryan Harrison is here. Harrison is an 18-year-old (American) stud out of New Braunfels, Texas.  Could he be the next big thing in American tennis? 

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5520935&categoryid=2491545 (Harrison ESPN interview with McEnroe)

Harrison defeated the 15th seeded and 17th ranked player in the world, Ivan Ljubicic in his first round match.  This was Harrison’s first time winning a match in a Grand Slam and he accomplished the feat with great grace and ease.  He had the look of a savvy veteran.  In winning this match, Harrison became the first American teenager to defeat a top 20 player in a Grand Slam tournament in over 9 years.  The last American to do this was Andy Roddick.  At the age of 19, Roddick burst onto the scene with a big time victory over the 11th seeded Alex Corretja (at the US Open).  Could this kid be the second coming of ARod? 

Ryan Harrison quietly burst onto the scene a couple of years ago when he won an ATP level match against the world #130 at the time, Pablo Cuevas.  This was at the 2008 US Clay Court Championships.  He became the 3rd youngest player to win a match at this level since 1990 (Nadal, Gasquet were younger), and the 10th player in the history of the ATP to have won a match on tour before the age of 16.  This kid has been a long time coming.  He has just been vastly overlooked until now.  

 I personally saw Harrison play in 2004 when I attended John Newcombe’s Tennis Academy in New Braunfels, Texas (Harrison’s old training grounds).  While walking into the camp that first day, there was a kid out hitting with his father and his little brother (Christian, who is an internationally ranked junior player). The kids were absolutely amazing demonstrating a phenomenal consistency level, outstanding conditioning, and a drive like I had not seen on a tennis court.  Well I got a further taste of the Harrison brothers later in the week during drills and match play.  These kids hit the ball with pace, kept it deep, never missed, and refused to give up on a single point during the course of an 8 hour training day.  I have seen many very strong tennis players in my time, but I knew this kid was the real deal.  Could he finally be realizing his potential now? 

Currently Harrison is the 220th ranked player in the world and rising.  Could he win another match or two this year in Flushing?  I do not see why not.  His next opponent is the 36th ranked player on the tour, Sergi Stakhovsky.  Ryan Harrison is a name to remember now when discussing American tennis.  He brings some hope back to American tennis  connoisseur. 

I know I will be pulling for the youngster to go deep in Flushing. 

Say hello to the world, Ryan Harrison. 

Ryan Harrison provided American tennis with some excitement with a major first round victory yesterday. Could he be another big time American tennis player like the man he is pictured with above, the legendary Pete Sampras?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze