Harrison Shines In New York Opener
Ryan Harrison has always had a soft spot for this part of the season. His biggest ATP Challenger Tour title (Dallas) and lone ATP Tour singles title (Memphis) both came in February 2017, and the American consistently brings his best on home soil.
The 26-year-old took his first step towards another big run stateside on Tuesday at the New York Open, winning all but three of his first-serve points (25/28) to sprint past Peter Polansky 6-3, 6-4. Harrison needed just 65 minutes to complete the win and set up a second-round clash with Paolo Lorenzi.
"No matter how hard you think you worked in the off-season, getting the wins at tournaments is the telltale sign," said Harrison. "I've had mostly good matches so far this year. I feel like I'm in a good spot with my game and want to capitalise on this U.S. stretch because it's fun to play in front of a home crowd.
Joining Harrison in the second round is fellow American Reilly Opelka, who found himself two points from defeat in the tie-break before rallying to defeat Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. Mannarino won more points on the day (99 to 97), but Opelka only needed a lone break of serve at 1-1 in the final set to advance in one hour and 57 minutes.
Next up for Opelka is the winner between Mackenzie McDonald of the United States and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
Other first-round matches on Tuesday saw Christopher Eubanks of the United States prevail 6-4, 7-6(4) in an all-qualifier battle against Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain. Jason Jung of Chinese Taipei withstood a mid-match surge from qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan of India to prevail 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, while veteran Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez rallied from 3/6 in the first-set tie-break to defeat Alexei Popyrin of Australia 7-6(6), 6-3.
The evening session saw qualifier Brayden Schnur defeat wild card Jack Mingjie Lin in an all-Canadian battle 6-1, 6-3. The victory gave Schnur his first-ever ATP Tour main draw win.
"Jack used to live in Montreal, where I live and train now, so we used to practise together quite a bit," said Schnur. "I thought he played a good match and he made me work hard for the win."
The final match on Tuesday's schedule saw No. 6 seed Sam Querrey fire 13 aces to defeat South African Lloyd Harris 7-6(2), 6-2. The American will next play the winner between Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and Radu Albot of Moldova.