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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday January 9, 2021

Christian Harrison

Ranked 789 in the world, American Christian Harrison notched a career win over World No. 22 Cristian Garin on Saturday at Delray Beach.

Photo Source: Getty

The surgeries started in 2009, and they continued, threatening the promising career of American Christian Harrison before it could ever get any traction. There was a left femur surgery in 2009, the right hip in 2013, the left hip the following year, and then the right shoulder—which Harrison says was the worst one—also in 2014. That same year there was the right wrist, the right adductor and the left adductor (why not?) as well.

And, just when Harrison had worked his way into the Top 200 there was the left femur in 2018.

Tennis Express

Harrison hopes the operations are behind him now, and after his stunning 7-6(3) 6-2 upset of World No.22 Cristian Garin – a player ranked 767 spots above him – he’s into his first ATP quarter-final at the age of 26.

Talk about a long time coming.

"As far as tennis terms, I missed a lot of time, but it gave me a lot of perspective on life as I was getting older,” Harrison told reporters in a virtual press conference on Saturday. He says he’s thankful that he was able to keep working during the pandemic, there was a tennis court where he could train right near his home.

“I'm lucky and I think I was lucky to always keep practicing during Covid,” he said. “I was in a situation where I had neighborhood courts that I lived on, that were walking distance away from my place. I just love the sport, I love what I'm doing, I just can't wait to just keep playing and hopefully have a good healthy next couple of years."

It’s a remarkable victory for Harrison, the younger brother and doubles partner of Ryan and the son of Pat, the longtime coach who has spent many years at the fabled IMG Academy.

He’s not one to feel sorry for himself or lament his own fate, but Harrison credits his dad for being the strongest shoulder to lean on during his personal lean times.

"My dad for sure just because in terms of understanding life and also tennis, he was both, he always had the right things to say, that I would need in those tough times,” Harrison told Tennis Now. “There are definitely times where everybody is going to feel down and feel sorry and you feel these emotions and it obviously makes you appreciate the highs in life to, so that's what I realized, because I realized that if I lose a tennis match I'll be okay. Now I just feel lucky that I've been able to persevere the way I have, and I credit a lot of my close family and friends so that now I feel like there's a lot of things that I am still capable of achieving.”

Harrison will face Italy’s Gianluca Mager in the quarterfinals. The Italian toppled Sam Querrey 7-6(8) 6-1 on Saturday.

Harrison is confident in his ability, and likes his chances, even though he’ll be the underdog as long as his run continues this week. He says these last few victories will give him great confidence moving forward.

"The main confidence that it gives is just that what I've been doing training-wise has been working so it's going to give me confidence to keep doing what I'm doing.

And if his run ends in the quarter-finals he'll have this moment as a springboard, and always the wisdome that goes hand in hand with his struggles.

"Honestly I think in a way, I'm just relaxed, just because I was lucky just to find a lot of enjoyment, just life and the things I was doing for this past year during tough times for everyone, so I just have my routine and my friends," he said. "I'll just go back home and stick with it so not much is changing for me." "


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