• Blake dismantles Harrison in Miami opener

    3/21/13 3:04 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Blake dismantles Harrison in Miami opener Tour veteran James Blake gave his young countryman a tennis lesson in the feature match on Wednesday night at the Sony Open in Miami.

    Ryan Harrison's tennis woes continued to the Miami Masters on Wednesday, with James Blake defeating the young American 6-2, 6-2.

    Blake, who is attempting to build his ranking from its current spot at No. 95, actually played quite well on his favorite surface. The veteran prefers a quick hard court which will give a little more bite to his big forehands and he used the conditions to his favor in the 58 minute win.

    But there is no question that Harrison has been on a downward slide since his halfway decent quarterfinal showing in Sydney back in January. The American has slipped to playing a uncompetitive form of passive tennis. As he has often over the past two months, Harrison spent the match against Blake retrieving balls and generally letting his opponent dictate play.

    Harrison's ranking, already down 15 spots to No. 88 after his dismal showing in Indian Wells, will continue to struggle as long as he plays reactive tennis.

    Blake moves into the second round, where he will take on Frenchman Julien Benneteau.

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6:2 6:2 against Harrison lends some credence to Conspirator's hunch :-)

Though it is sad to hear Harrison is regressing. There was a time when I thought this young man was destined for greater things.

ed251137 , 3/21/13 12:09 PM

I feel sorry for the young players in this era, It's hard for them to get on. I felt sorry for Harrison's Dad when he was playing Rafa at IW and it was obvious that he was going down. You could see the look of exasperation and frustration on his face wondering how his son is ever going to make it with players still at the top of their game at mid 20s to mid 30s.

Harrison is a very talented player, but t's not easy to beat the top players regularly to get to the top.

Rafa is unique. He's been a force to be reckoned with from the day he turned pro, beating the best regularly and making his way to the top asap.

nadline , 3/21/13 12:30 PM

It is hard to believe it's already eleven years since Rafa won his first ATP tour match and ten years since he defeated Albert Costa, the reigning RG champion, in the the Monte Carlo 2R - the match which really put him on the radar.

ed251137 , 3/21/13 2:21 PM

I am concerned about Harrison's lack of progress. It was evident watching him play Rafa. He has all this natural talent, but can't seem to harness it and get it all to come together. He seemed quite lost against Rafa. I didn't expect him to really challenge Rafa seriously, but I did not expect to see him so lost on the court.

Blake played well at I/W. But it's still a surprise to see such a lopsided win over Harrison. It's not just about beating the top players. It's really about becoming better and learning. I don't see that happening with Harrison. It's a concern.

Nativenewyorker , 3/21/13 6:27 PM

He's the Melanie Oudin of the ATP right now. I fully expect his younger brother Chr18tian to pass him in the rankings by year's end.

chr18 , 3/21/13 9:24 PM

Does anybody know why Christian Harrison withdrew?

ts38 , 3/22/13 1:36 AM

I feel that Harrison is suffering from lack of confidence due to being beaten by too many top players early in tournaments.

Like one retired player stated, it's not easy for any of the lower-ranked players to break through due to the draws. And, unless someone takes out a top player early in the quarter, I doubt that we'll see any of them breaking through or even getting past 3rd round at the GS.

scoretracker , 3/22/13 3:40 AM

Christian and Ryan are scheduled to play doubles at Miami. i hope they can win a few rounds to help ryan gain some much needed confidence.

scoretracker , 3/22/13 6:51 PM

Go Blake Go!

holdserve , 3/23/13 5:07 AM

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