Eighteen-year-old, Ryan Harrison, defeated the 20-year-old world #37, Milos Raonic, 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-4 in the Third Round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California today to set up a Fourth Round clash with world #2, Roger Federer. Harrison, a wild card entry into this tournament, is currently ranked #152 in the world. This is the first time Harrison has been the into the final sixteen at an ATP Tour 1000 level event and his match against Federer will air live on the Tennis Channel Wednesday night.
Harrison continues to topple world-class opponents and storm the game of tennis.
For the past six months Ryan has been training with Performance Specialist Alex Cohen at the Athletic & Personal Development program, working on increasing his agility, strength and conditioning. Due to the high intensity level of play in tennis, the training is tailored to make the player more explosive off the mark with more controlled movements.
To prepare Ryan for the level of competition he has been playing as of late, Coach Cohen has used a combination of methods including plyometrics, resisted movements and interval training, which has paid off for Harrison. Since Harrison began conditioning at IPI, Coach Cohen has seen a huge improvement in his core strength and stability along with becoming more explosive on the court. Training with medicine balls, running sprints and integrating agility drills in to Ryan's workout has helped the young tennis star take his game to the next level. So how will all of his training at IMG pay off against an opponent like Federer?
âThe speed drills I have incorporated will allow Ryan to react quicker to the drop shots Federer is known for,â Coach Cohen stated,â his increase in power endurance will also allow him to be able to cover more of the court, which in turn will give him the confidence to battle and stay in the point longer.â
Harrison has received a fair amount of advice from Andy Roddick.
Was how to reason with an umpire one of the things he learned? You'd think so by the way the 18-year-old conversed with Kerrilyn Cramer in his second-round win over Guillermo Garcia Lopez. Harrison logically got his point across, avoiding a rant, in hopes the Aussie would give him a point following a contentious serve.
Game-wise, Harrison possesses almost everything -- a very good, flat serve, a kick serve and a potent forehand. He can also play at the net, goes for returns and moves well. One return against Raonic came back almost faster than the serve itself, no small feat, even if using the pace off the delivery.
Fitness and the backhand need working on, and Harrison may want to reel in his temper a shade (though there's nothing wrong with some fire).
Did Harrison apologize after zinging a ball near Raonic's head?
The Louisiana native has court smarts and competes well, too, two intangibles that can only be taught to a certain extent. Harrison surprised Garcia Lopez by coming in behind his second serve, and routinely pummeled the Spaniard's second serve.
Equally as impressive, reminiscent of a Rafael Nadal or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Harrison doesn't play it safe on big points; when given the chance, he looks to attack.
Garcia Lopez is currently punching above his weight in the rankings, but Harrison topped Raonic and a confident Jeremy Chardy in the first round, adding to solid matches he contested last year at the U.S. Open against Ivan Ljubicic and Sergiy Stakhovsky. They're all quality opponents.