Ryan Harrison Interview
March 13, 2011
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - BNP PARIBAS OPEN
R. HARRISON/G. Garcia Lopez
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. General impressions of your progress at this stage?
RYAN HARRISON: Um, well, I'm obviously extremely excited right now. I felt like I did a couple things very well today; couple things I could have done better. But all in all, I played well in the big points.
He had plenty of chances. There in the second set he could have knocked me out and got into a third, but I was able to hang tough and put myself in a position to where in the tiebreaker he missed a pretty simple forehand after we had a really long point, and that was all the mini break I needed. I was able to hold it out from there.
Q. This is probably as far as you have been in a Masters Series. Can you talk about that?
RYAN HARRISON: Yes, I did. I went second round here last years, first round Miami. This is the furthest I have been.
Q. Does it feel like a breakthrough?
RYAN HARRISON: Well, hopefully it's not stopping now. I want to keep going as long as I possibly can. I definitely have full belief in myself no matter who I play, so I'm going to take each match as it comes and try to do my best every time.
Q. What was that discussion? I was there for the first set, and I left the second set and you had a discussion with the chair umpire?
RYAN HARRISON: I hit a slice serve out wide that they called out, and I challenged it. They said it was good. The challenge system said it was in. His racquet, the tip of the racquet, head of it, hit the outside of the ball and the ball just kept going by him, so he got a small, small piece of it.
But for one, the call came after he made contact with the ball. And for two, there was absolutely no chance he could have gotten it back. She made us replay a point and play a let. I argued that the serve was unreturnable and that he had no chance. So I thought that was my point.
But I guess come to find out, the rule is if he makes any racquet touch on the ball whatsoever, you play a let. I didn't know that.
Q. That is the rule.
RYAN HARRISON: I guess so. That's what I have been told. That's what she told me. I'm not sure if I should trust her or not. (Laughter.)
Q. So she knew that he couldn't hit it back either, but...
RYAN HARRISON: Exactly.
Q. He had touched it?
RYAN HARRISON: I mean, it was just a little bad luck. Obviously the challenge system has only been in play for two years, so personally I think that that should -- because usually the chair or, you know, if they've got sense, they can tell if the guy had a play on the ball if there was any chance he could have made it. I think it should be discretional.
But the rule is right now from what she said that if he touches it, then we replay the point, even if he had a, you know, a really, really little piece of it. So I think if he was playing like a normal size racquet rather than a long racquet, there is no chance he would have touched. But that's all right.
Q. Then you double faulted.
RYAN HARRISON: Then I double faulted and then I hit two big serves.
Q. Probably your best results since the Open. In the last few months or since then, what do you think you've learned and what do you think has improved in your game?
RYAN HARRISON: I won a challenger in Hawaii about a month and a half ago. That was probably the only good result I've had. Actually I made finals of a challenger right after the Open.
So this is the biggest event, the biggest event I have had since the Open at the tour level. Obviously, you know, I've only played I guess three tour event main draw matches since then. The first one was against Soderling, and he beat me 2 and 4; the second was Australian Open. I didn't play very good there. I got beat pretty bad by Mannarino. Wasn't a very good match. The last one was against Serra in Delray where I was really, really sick the entire time, throwing up on the court and trying to battle through it as much as I could.
I ended up losing 5 in the third. But it was to the point where I was serving and volleying on both serves just because I literally couldn't hit three or four shots a point. I was getting that tired.
For me, obviously I have had some chances. But, you know, I'm going to keep putting myself there in that position. I trust myself to come through. You just have to go through percentages. You put yourself in the right position, more often than not you're going to come through.
Q. How clear a strategy do you have in the match? Because sometimes it's hard to figure out serve and volley on second serve, staying back.
RYAN HARRISON: That was the biggest thing that I tried to do today differently than I have had in other matches at this level. When I got to big moments I just -- I picked something and I went with it. I didn't doubt myself, and I didn't look back on it and think it was a bad decision.
If it didn't go the way I wanted to, I took a couple seconds to think about what I wanted to do. In my head, I was weighing the options of what I thought had the highest percentage chance of working, and I went with that. If it didn't work sometimes it was all right, but it worked more often than not.
Q. I haven't seen too many second serves 109, 112. Is that new? Is that always how you go about things? It's not very safe.
RYAN HARRISON: I have always gone after my second serve. I guess it's safer, because my double faults are always lower than three or four a match, so...
Q. You might play Raonic in the next round if he gets through Fish. You guys are similar in age.
RYAN HARRISON: He's two years older. He's not a teenager anymore, so let's clarify that.
Q. What do you have to say about his game? He's obviously one of the biggest names on tour this year.
RYAN HARRISON: He's playing great and he's been playing great tennis. I have watched him play. He's made a lot of improvements in his game, especially on the ground. I remember him from juniors. We played three times in juniors. I won twice; he won once.
But at that time, I mean, we're talking juniors, so we're talking years ago. He's a big guy. He's finally reeled in his groundstrokes, and he's playing great tennis now.
Whether it be him or Mardy, I do have full confidence in myself and I feel I can win. It would certainly be great to have the chance to play Raonic, and I would look forward to playing Mardy as well.
Either way I'm pretty excited to be in the third round. No matter who I play, I'm going to approach it with the same mindset.
Q. Do you think at all about being a leader, being part of the next wave of the next tennis stars? We watch Roddick who is 28, Blake's 31. They're not going to last forever. Do you talk about that with your coaches? Is there a plan here two years from now?
RYAN HARRISON: Well, um, I mean, that's tough, because obviously in theory you tell yourself not to think about it. You say you're not going to think about it, you're just going to worry about yourself.
Anyone who says they don't see press about themselves and read about what people write -- I mean, obviously you're going to see it at some point. Clearly, I think it's -- I have said this plenty of times -- but pressure to me, it's not a pressure to have that on my shoulders.
I look at it as first of all, it's an honor to be mentioned in the same name and sentence as the guys that I have been before. I really -- I'm doing everything I can to work hard and to put myself in the right positions to come through and make it there.
I certainly believe in myself as much as anyone can believe in themselves. I have complete intentions of winning Grand Slams and being No. 1 in the world and hopefully being a Davis Cup leader. I mean, that's what I want to do with my career.
And, yeah, I mean, Andy has been great for the past ten years. James was up to 4 in the world. Mardy is now playing the best tennis. I think he's 28 or something like that, and he's at a career-high ranking right now.
Sam has been pretty established in the top 20 in the world last three years, and John has been kind of sporadic in the top 20, but clearly with his game he's got the ability to beat anybody.
I think that everyone kind of got spoiled whenever we had Agassi, Sampras, Chang, and Courier, all these guys in the same era that all won Grand Slams.
With the way tennis is these days and the way technology is, you have little countries producing great athletes, so just obviously the depth is a little bit more, a little tougher, because the United States doesn't have just like an outstanding amount of players playing tennis compared to everybody else.
Obviously Spain has a lot of players and so does France and some other countries. I can't name all of them right now.