Ryan Harrison loses a heartbreaker at US Open
As Ryan Harrison and Sergiy Stakhovsky battled through the 5th set in a wild match that featured an injury time out, a rain delay and three cameramen getting pelted with three separate errant shots, an announcement repeatedly echoed through the grounds telling spectators that the Grandstand was at full capacity.
So, the throngs of fans now fully aware of Harrison flocked to the huge television outside of the stadium and chanted for Ryan, disregarding the fact that he was well out of earshot.
Even though he lost a dramatic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 match to Stakhovsky on Thursday, the 18-year-old Harrison won the hearts of countless fans at his first US Open. He attacked the net, boomed serves at 130-plus and pulled off a shot that rivals Federer’s between-the-legs, driving the Twitter world crazy with people posting amazed comments.
Early in the match, Stakhovsky lobbed Harrison. Harrison sprinted to the far back of the court, spun and hit a whirling forehand passing shot that rocketed past an approaching Stakhovsky. The Ukrainian looked at Harrison and gave a slight smile of appreciation.
The match added to the two other five-setters played by fellow IMG Bollettieri players Ricardas Berankis and Kei Nishikori represent quite likely the three most exciting matches of the men’s side in the 2010 Open. All 20 years old or younger, the three represent the next generation of great players, with Hannah Storm calling Harrison “the next great American player” on a post-match interview.
“America needs a young player to rally behind,” Nick Bollettieri said. “That builds excitement and energy and increases coverage for the entire tour. Ryan reminds me a bit of Andre Agassi in that even people who might be rooting against him are drawn to pull for him because of his talent, playing style and flair.”