Harrison Battles into
McCarton Ackerman | January 6, 2018
Ryan Harrison’s trademark fighting spirit was on full display Saturday at the Brisbane International, with the American rallying after being two points from defeat to topple wild card Alex De Minaur of Australia 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
The victory puts Harrison into his third ATP World Tour singles final. Should he defeat Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the championship match, he is guaranteed to surpass his career-high ATP ranking of No. 40 that he reached last July.
“Coming into this year, I want to leave it all on the court every time I play. I feel like if I do that, I’ll be improving,” said Harrison. “I didn’t have a whole lot of pressure on myself. I was just trying to play as hard as I could and now I’m in the final.”
De Minaur led five to four in the second-set tiebreak, but Harrison took advantage of nerves from the 18-year-old Aussie to level the contest. ADVERTISEMENT The American raced out to a 5-1 lead in the deciding set and appeared to have the match won, but a last-minute surge from De Minaur nearly brought the score back even. But rather than get rattled, Harrison calmly served out the match with an ace to wrap up play after two hours and 37 minutes.
Harrison enjoyed the best season of his career in 2017. He won his first ATP singles title at the Memphis Open, finished runner-up at the BB&T Atlanta Open, and reach a career-high ATP ranking of No. 40 in July.
He also excelled on the doubles court with Michael Venus of New Zealand by winning his first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. The pair also prevailed in Estoria and qualified for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, where they made it to the semifinals.
After Brisbane, Harrison will compete next at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, where he faces fellow American Steve Johnson in the first round.