Ryan Harrison Interview - Indian Wells, Mark 16

Posted on March 17, 2011

Ryan Harrison Interview
March 16, 2011

R. FEDERER/R. Harrison
7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So someday when you're sitting around the Thanksgiving table with your kids years and years from now, what will you say when you talk about the night you met Roger Federer?
RYAN HARRISON: Hopefully it was the first of a thousand. I mean, I'm not trying to be the guy who played one match against Federer that was a tight match, and, you know, I played well. He played well. There was a couple points here and there that made a difference.
But I'm not planning certainly on this being the highlight of my career.

Q. Looked like you were getting a lot of pressure on with the return and he was starting to press a bit with the third shot. Did you have that impression, as well?

Q. It looked like he was pressing a lot on the third shot of the rally. You'd serve and he'd hit a good return, and instead of trying to construct the point -- looked like you were getting in his kitchen a bit.
RYAN HARRISON: I guess, one of the things that helps me is the fact I move very well and play defense pretty well. It was kind of tough conditions out there. We both shanked a few forehands, because it was kind of tough to see the ball a little bit and the wind was kind of swirling a bit at times.
You know, I think that -- you know, yeah, he missed some forehands but he also hit a lot of good ones. He hit some good ones on big points.

Q. What was it like just being out there on stadium? Is that the biggest stadium you've ever played in? How did you feel like you all did?
RYAN HARRISON: Yeah, it was an extremely awesome experience playing Roger, greatest player of all time, and the second biggest stadium in the world. And a night match in night Indian Wells is one of the biggest stages you can play on.
Like I said a minute ago, hopefully it's not the biggest highlight of my career. Hopefully I have many of these matches to play, and one day I am the guy that Roger is. I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be tomorrow, but at some point in my career I want to win Grand Slams and I will be on top.
Hopefully I will be coming out on top in these matches. It's a great experience. Roger is an incredible player and a class act. He's, you know, everything you can idolize and look up, and I have a lot of respect for him.

Q. Were you nervous in the first game, and then you started finding yourself? Like, Hey, I think I can...
RYAN HARRISON: Well, was the first clue I missed my first five serves? Obviously I was a little bit.

Q. You started quite tense. I mean, was it the fact that the match was scheduled as the evening session and you had the whole day to think about what was going to happen?
RYAN HARRISON: No, not really. I normally -- you know, I was trying to approach it just like any other match. I mean, I wasn't trying to psych myself out or really -- I didn't spend all day wondering what first serve I was gonna hit.
That's kind of something that is more of a feel thing. You kind of go to the line whenever you get up there, and you kind of look up. Because, you know, it all depends on a loft stuff. First of all, the court, the balls, the opponent, the opponent's positioning, you know, the way you're feeling.
I can go out there in a warmup and hit 15 serves up the T and make all 15 and go, That feels great today. I'm going to start with that one.
So you kind of have like a lot of conditions that come into it where you want to serve and how you want to hit 'em. Yeah, I got up to the line, and I was just thinking about trying to control the serves and put 'em in the spots.
I was a little bit nervous, kind of shanked a couple, mishit a few, and then double faulted a few times to start the match. I was able to get the break back a couple times, but I lost it in the tiebreaker.

Q. You obviously did incredibly out there and often held your own, but I would like to ask a question about Roger, who we all know is probably the greatest player of all time. What impressed you? What was it like to see his array of shots and stroke-making? What impressed you in his game?
RYAN HARRISON: Um, I have watched Roger play a lot, so a lot of the things he did today I have seen him do before at the highest levels. His forehand is unbelievable. I mean, he missed a few today, but he hit some great ones.
I felt like it was probably six times today that I hit some approach shots that I literally hit as well as I could hit them. I mean, I hit some good knifing slices and came into 'em. I put myself in good positions.
I moved pretty well. I'm pretty quick at the net, and I definitely don't volley poorly. So I put myself in a good position, and he just blew the ball by me. I turn around, I'm, like, Well, that makes sense. That's why he's done what he's done.
You know, it's a great, great opportunity for me to have the chance to play him, I mean, to see what that level is like and to kind of get a feel for exactly what it's like to play him, and to play people at his level is a great experience for me.
It's the first time I've played someone who has accomplished what he has. I played Soderling in Brisbane, but Roger has obviously done what he's done.

Q. Is it the whole package, the shots, the movements, the intelligence?
RYAN HARRISON: Yeah, the reason why he's the greatest player of all time is because he doesn't have a weakness. He does everything pretty well. Most guys that have a one-handed backhand either hit a really good slice or they have a pretty rolled back grip and they hit a really good topspin.
To see someone be able to do both, is first of all uncommon; and also the fact that he does both of them very well is just -- I mean, that's the reason why he's Roger. He hits everything on top. I mean, you hear so much about how great his forehand is, and it just -- the way he hits his forehand completely overlooks how good his backhand is, because his backhand is really good for anyone that's not Roger. So that's what I've got to say about that.

Q. Even though things didn't go your way tonight, do you take some satisfaction from the fact that you were able to really stay with Rog throughout the match?
RYAN HARRISON: Yeah, I'm proud of myself for the way I competed. I always try to compete well and I always put my heart and soul in everything I do. But one of the things I did this tournament is I kept my concentration better than in matches and tournaments past.
I'm really excited. You know, a lot of times you see someone come in and have a big win and then they have the lull, the letdown match, and even tonight's match wasn't a letdown match. I stayed focused and I put my heart into it and I competed well.
I lost to the best player of all time, so I'm looking forward to having more opportunities. I certainly am excited to see how well I held my own. Hopefully I can do that again.

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