WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN
August 12, 2012
B. TOMIC/R. Harrison
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Chances there in the second with the set points. The second set was kind of up‑and‑down.
RYAN HARRISON: Yeah, I mean, I had some chances in the second. He started to miss a little bit. I started to come back. I didn't get 'em, ended up losing. That's kind of what happened.
Q. How do you feel about your game overall during the match?
RYAN HARRISON: I didn't play great. I competed well.
But the luxury of being able to serve is to be able to give yourself chances, even if you're not playing well. I'm a point away from the third set. Who knows what happens there. I could go and have a good rest of the tournament.
But that's tennis. It happens your way sometimes; sometimes it doesn't. You just have to keep working.
Q. What is it like for you jumping back onto the regular grind of the tour after the Olympics?
RYAN HARRISON: I mean, the Olympics, even though it's such a prestigious event, it's still an individual tournament for us. It's not like Davis Cup where you're playing as a team. You're all representing the U.S. but it's really not that different than coming from any grass court tournament because you're still preparing as if it's an individual event.
Q. He kept you pretty deep for a lot of the match. Was he doing anything different with his game?
RYAN HARRISON: Not really. One of the things I do well is run after and defend points from that deep. Everyone gets pushed deep at some points. One of the things that is my luxury is I'm quick enough where I can get to a lot of those balls.
Just because I choose to run after them may look like it's a little bit deeper. But the ultimate outcome of the match was just determined by my lack of confidence on the bigger points.
Q. He's going to hit a lot of dropshots, try to pull you forward.
RYAN HARRISON: What's the question?
Q. Is that an effective way to play on hard courts?
RYAN HARRISON: Well, he won. So obviously. I don't understand what the question is still.
Q. Wondering what it is to play someone that plays with a herky‑jerky style.
RYAN HARRISON: I mean, the cleaner you play, he likes it better. Obviously I was trying to, you know, move him around a little bit and keep things off balance. I actually started bringing him out of rhythm in the second set. Even as poorly as I played, I still gave myself a chance because I was, you know, competing and doing just about everything else as hard as I could, competing as well as I could for as poorly as I felt like I was hitting the ball.
But, you know, that's really all you can do. Once you get in between the lines, who knows how you're going to feel.
Q. Is it a matter of more time on the hard courts to get more into a regular tennis rhythm than the grass?
RYAN HARRISON: Honestly, I don't really know what the secret is because if I did, I would have played well today. So for me whether I play good or play poorly, I go back into the same work ethic and the same routine as I always know. That's waking up tomorrow, putting good hours in, putting good time in.
You know, we'll reflect on this match and obviously see unfortunately a lot of things I didn't do well. So we'll have a lot to work on.
I have two weeks. If I have a good US Open, then it's better that it happens in Cincinnati than the US Open. Not that this isn't a very big event, but obviously the Grand Slams are what you want to peak for. If I can do well at the Open, then this will be forgotten.
Q. What is your game plan before you go to New York? Are you going to play next week?
RYAN HARRISON: Right now, I don't know. I haven't really thought about it. Me and my coach haven't had a chance to talk about it. I just cooled down, showered, came here.
We'll talk about it, come up with the best recipe, what he thinks. Sometimes from an outsider's perspective it's easier to see things as opposed to whenever I'm playing. So I'll consult with him and we'll figure out what the best plan is going to be to get ready for New York, and I'll do what I think is necessary to play my best tennis there.
Q. You were talking about lack of confidence on the big points. When did that start?
RYAN HARRISON: Well, I didn't win many points on his serve in the first set.
Q. Over the last month or...
RYAN HARRISON: I mean, it starts whenever you lose matches. Matches in tennis, whenever you're playing at this level, are usually decided by a couple big points. So, you know, I had I guess a match with James in Atlanta. I lost 5 in the third. It was tight. I got broken after being up a break in the third. Ended up losing 5 in the third. Things started to kind of roll the wrong way.
I mean, it's really like anything. I mean, it's a long season. You have a 10‑ to 11‑month season. There are going to be times when you're not going to be playing well. All you can do is keep your head down and keep working and stayed focused.
I think it was obvious I competed well today, I gave it my best shot. That's what I'm going to continue to do. I trust that my abilities are going to get me where I want to go every time.
Q. What are the challenges of playing New York versus the other majors?
RYAN HARRISON: Well, I mean, obviously I didn't play as well as I could have last year. I think I served for two sets, though, against Cilic, who is a pretty good player. So it wasn't awful. It was just a couple things didn't swing my way. Then obviously I had a good US Open 2010. That's the first time I made a real impression.
I love playing there. It's great playing in front of those crowds. It's great playing on those courts because they suit my game well and I can usually serve pretty big and play pretty aggressively.
Everything is going to be to learn, you know, my game. I don't want to say 'learn', let's say 'practice' my game moving forward because I'm comfortable doing it. It's just a matter of being able to do it at the right times. If you're doing it down Love‑30, Love‑40, it's not really the most crucial moment. You have to learn how to do it when it's a breakpoint and a big moment. That's what it comes down to.
I'll try to get ready and peak for that.
Q. (Question regarding Ryan's brother.)
RYAN HARRISON: I think so. I mean, he can play. He's got some game. I don't know if you watched his match the other day, but he looks comfortable on the court. He doesn't look like he's out of his comfort zone, I guess. He just wasn't able to play that level yet.
It's going to take some time for him to get up here consistently. Even when he does, he's going to have matches like I did today, that you just don't play well.
You know, ultimately he's playing a lot better. He just made semis of a challenger, which is a big step for him, beating guys in the top 300, 250. He's had a few wins around there.
It's good for me to see. He's had a lot of struggles in his career with injuries, different obstacles that he's had to overcome. For him to be at the level he's at for the obstacles he's faced at his age is pretty outstanding.
We've always practiced well together. We've always pushed each other well. You know, aside from being my brother, he's just a great guy and a great guy to be around. I'm really looking forward to him being up here.
Q. When you see him play, what are the similarities between your games?
RYAN HARRISON: You know, to be honest with you, I guess it's just because I've known him for so long, that I know some things that he does well, that I do a little better. Obviously you can kind of compare and contrast some things.
But as far as just like stroke production goes, I think that looks similar. You know, you can actually look at a lot of different things on the serve and the backhand. But the forehands look pretty similar. I guess us both being right‑handed, both playing with Babolat, I guess it can look similar.
Q. The other American players, Roddick, Fish, Isner, who do you bounce things off of for advice?
RYAN HARRISON: Well, Andy and I live together‑‑ not live together. We live in Austin. Wished I lived in his house. That would be awesome (laughter).
But we train together a lot. And so, you know, I guess he gives me the most advice out of everyone. But I think that everyone's pretty helpful to me. I have a lot of respect for those guys. Hopefully I've kind of earned some of their respect at this point. So I definitely will take any advice I can get.
Q. Tomic is part of your generation. How far do you think you are from your top form?
RYAN HARRISON: I don't know. Pretty far, I guess. We've got a ways to go. I mean, I guess, what, there's been like two or three top‑10 wins out of all of us. Unfortunately I've contributed to zero.
You know, there's a bunch of levels. I mean, for me, I've got to break the top 30. I mean, there's just so many steps. Then once you start beating those guys in the top 10, you've got to do it consistently.
Those top four guys, they've got such a stranglehold on the tour right now, it's a ways to go. But it's not impossible. I know that I'm going to keep working. I've seen those guys working. I know they're going to keep working.
The way you get to where they're at, at that level, is by pushing each other and competing. I guess that's all you can do really, just keep working and try to improve and get there.
Q. Are you frustrated at all with how slow the road has been?
RYAN HARRISON: Slow?
Q. Last year you were talking about how you wanted to be in the top 20 the next year.
RYAN HARRISON: You realize that one good result, I can be back in the top 30, top 40, right?
RYAN HARRISON: It's just now the beginning of August, so you're speaking like that is just out of the realm of possibility for the rest of the year.
It's like we're halfway through the season, you know what I mean? I got to a career high of 43 a few weeks ago. Obviously I'm going to strive as hard as I possibly can. That's my goals, because I want to be the best.
Whether or not I achieve my goals, I mean, once I achieve my goals, my goals are really high.
Q. You were talking about the level of the top four guys. If some lay fan came up to you and said, Hey, Ryan, I've heard it's a great time in men's tennis, I'm going to watch some players in the US Open, who would you tell them to look at?
RYAN HARRISON: Wow, that's a good question. That could be one of the best questions I've ever been asked, I've got to be honest (laughter).
You know, you can look at the fitness level of these guys. I don't think we get the respect for being as good of athletes as all these guys are. We're really powerful, really fit. Also the flexibility. Everything comes into play when you're playing a sport like tennis.
Just look at the speed of the game. If you watch it on TV, it looks like it's going really slow. Then as soon as you're there and on the court, it looks a lot quicker. So it can kind of get mistaken how difficult it actually is, how fractional errors are, et cetera.
I think just being there and seeing the energy of it, realizing how much more it is than just swinging and hitting a tennis ball, that once you've witnessed it live, I think that's why so many people fall in love with it.
I can tell you a number of friends and family members that I have that didn't really play tennis. As soon as I started playing, they started watching it, now they love it, including my mom's parents. They didn't really watch or know anything about it. Now they know everything that happens.
My grandmother and grandfather will text me all day about tennis stuff. It's just like I think that once you start getting a part of it, that's why so many people like it.