Ryan Harrison has used his momentum from 2010 to propel the 18-year-old into an already eventful 2011.
Harrison, an IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy alum, won all three qualifying matches this past weekend to qualify for the main draw of the Brisbane International.
His reward? Facing No. 1 seed and worldwide No. 5, Robin Soderling. Harrison also qualified last month for the Australian Open for the second time in his career.
After his impressive 2010, Harrison has also earned a spot in ESPN Magazine’s annual “NEXT” issue that highlights some of the nation’s up-and-coming stars. From the feature:
Let’s face it: This isn’t exactly the golden age of American men’s tennis. So when Harrison, ranked 173rd in the world, upset 15th-seeded Ivan Ljubicic in the opening round of the 2010 US Open, fans rejoiced. (He lost his next match in five sets to No. 36 Sergiy Stakhovsky.) “I love that Ryan has an all-around game,” says Billie Jean King. “He can serve and hit off the ground, and he’s strong at the net. He’s going to have a great future.” With Harrison having earned a spot in this month’s Australian Open, the future might already be here.