Christian Harrison has had eight surgeries. But at 26, the American’s tennis is starting to shine.
Harrison stunned top seed Cristian Garin 7-6(3), 6-2 on Saturday to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com. Entering the week, he owned two tour-level singles wins, and now Harrison has doubled that count.
After Eight Surgeries, Christian Harrison Shows He’s Still Standing
The No. 789 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings is the second-lowest-ranked quarter-finalist in Delray Beach tournament history, trailing only former World No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro, who accomplished the feat as the World No. 1,042 in 2016.
Harrison earned his first Top 50 victory against World No. 22 Garin. The Chilean is one of the toughest baseliners on the ATP Tour, but the home favourite played a more physical brand of tennis, using groundstrokes laced with heavy topspin to keep the top seed from gaining control of points. Harrison earned four service breaks in his 90-minute triumph.
The key moment came at the end of the first set. Harrison was serving for the set at 6-5, 40/0, but Garin was sharp with his passing shots under pressure to break serve and force a tie-break. The four-time ATP Tour titlist earned a quick mini-break, but from 3/1 up he lost six consecutive points and with it, his momentum.
Harrison did not let slip the opportunity, advancing to the last eight in Florida, where he will next play 2020 Rio Open presented by Claro finalist Gianluca Mager. The Italian ousted sixth seed and 2016 champion Sam Querrey 7-6(8), 6-1 earlier in the day.