In Sunday’s final, Harrison, an 18-year-old IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy student, defeated Jack Sock 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 to win the 8-man invitational. Harrison defeated Michael Shabaz (University of Virginia senior and 2010 NCAA Doubles Champion) 7-6 (3), 6-7 (6), 6-4 and Rhyne Williams (University of Tennessee sophomore and ITA All-American) 4-6, 6-2, 9-7.
After also winning last year’s Australian Open Wild Card Tournament and qualifying for the 2010 US Open, the 2011 Australian Open will mark Harrison’s third appearance in a Grand Slam Main Draw. Harrison is currently ranked No. 173 on the ATP World Tour.
Already known as one of the world’s top up-and-coming young players, Harrison made waves this summer when he defeated No. 15 seed Ivan Ljubicic in the first round of the US Open and taking Sergiy Stakhovsky, then ranked No. 36 in the world, five sets in the second round.
“Absolutely,” said Harrison after being asked if the loss in New York made him want to win Sunday’s match even more. “I know people still remember that match. I want to start creating some better Grand Slam memories and there couldn’t be an easier way to do that than to get into the main draw of the Australian Open.”