• Harrison earns Australian Open wild card

    12/8/09 8:26 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Harrison earns Australian Open wild card Ryan Harrison won the United States Tennis Association's wild card into the upcoming Australian Open by defeating Jesse Levine in the final of an eight-man playoff over the weekend.

    Ryan Harrison beat Jesse Levine 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 on Monday night in Atlanta to earn a spot in the main draw of the 2010 Australian Open. Harrison earned the USTA's wild card into next year's first Grand Slam event by winning an eight-man playoff.

    The USTA has an annual agreement with Tennis Australia in which which TA is allowed to hand out one wild card for the U.S. Open, while the USTA gets one wild card into the Australian Open.

    It will be the first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam for Harrison, 17. A highly-touted American junior player before turning professional in 2007, Harrison has played in one ATP event in his brief career. Just 15 years old at the time, he beat Pablo Cuevas in last year's Houston first round before falling to James Blake.

    Harrison, who registers one spot off his career-high ranking at No. 363 in the world, beat Alex Kuznetsov (6-3, 6-3) and Donald Young (6-3, 6-4) en route to Monday's final. Levine, seeded first for the wild card playoffs, took out Eric Quigley (6-2, 6-2) and Michael McClune (7-6, 6-4), but he will have to play in Australian Open qualifying after succumbing to Harrison.

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I have watched both Ryan and his brother Christian since they began playing tennis on the courts of Shreveport, La. Their competitive spirit, work ethic, and love of the game will inevitably make them two of the top U.S. male players in the near future.

dadams437 , 12/9/09 6:48 AM

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