The younger brother of Olympian Ryan Harrison, Christian bested Florida Gator Sekou Bangoura 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at high noon, then returned a couple hours later to confound former Gator Greg Ouellette 5-7, 6-1, 6-0. “When I heard him yelling at himself, I knew he was more tired than I was,” said Harrison, who’s now doubled his previous number of most consecutive tournament weeks at six.
The younger Harrison showed such mastery and relentlessness in the final two sets, that Ouellette – the same player who waylaid the No. 1 seed the evening before – seemed mystified by how he might stop the train.
(WARNING: See Christian Harrison in Friday's quarter-finals against sixth-seeded Agustin Velotti of Argentina, as he could be that American “shooting star” who moves beyond the Challenger level in the next year, never to return to Lexington. Watch for two things Harrison says he’s put in extra work on: 1. Putting away short balls, and 2. Dictating the point more when he moves inside the court or up to the net.)
Father Pat Harrison, who works with elite touring pros at Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, said Christian is the perfect example of “the difference between a kid who can hit and a kid who can play. He can construct points, he has the ability to raise his level of play in tight situations and he has heart.”
Professional demeanor, work ethic and a maturity that belies Christian’s age, the elder Harrison said “is a tribute to his brother. Ryan’s a terrific role model.”