Ryan Harrison Has What It Takes In Indian Wells
Ryan Harrison has what it takes to win an ATP Tour main draw match. At least he did last night.
Harrison took out Dent in the first round at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, 6-3, 6-4. In a match that was punctuated by Dent’s frustration and disbelief, Harrison showed a fortitude that many young players fail to secure when the opportunity for success presents itself.
Harrison’s quality serve, consistent heavy ground strokes kept Dent on the move as Harrison effectively used a Nadal style forehand as he alternated between a two handed and slice backhand.
Early on it appeared that Harrison’s strategic inexperience may let the match slip away, but the match lost it’s innocence when the umpire negated a Dent serve stating that the “receiver was not ready.” Dent proceeded to double fault leading to a break and then a warning as Dent sent a ball into the scoreboard at 3-5 in the first set.
The second set was tight once again with Dent changing to a backhand slice and successfully attacking the net, but once again (this time on break point,) Harrison put his hand up as Dent was ready to serve. The subtlety of the move sent a message that Harrison was not intimidated, not in awe and prepared to do what it takes to win. Dent received the message and was broken.
Harrison held serve the remainder of the match to put himself officially in an exclusive group of teenagers that have won at Indian Wells: Agassi, Nadal, Sampras and Chang. All but Chang will play in the Hit for Haiti exhibition this evening.
If Harrison manages to avoid his tendancies to come to the net on cross court approach shots, Ljubicic may be the next to fall to Harrison on Saturday.