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January 9, 2013

Ryan Harrison


6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ How does that rank?テつ Top 15 player, top seed of a tournament; how does that rank?
RYAN HARRISON:テつ Well, certainly ranking‑wise it's the highest win I've ever what had.テつ I'm really excited about.テつ It I felt pretty comfortable.テつ It was windy conditions at the start, and I think that we were both a little out of sorts at the beginning but still holding comfortably.
Had to save a couple breakpoints early, bit then once I got past those I felt like I served really well and was able to start cashing in a lot rhythm from the ground.テつ On the big points that I was faced on my serve I still was able to come up with some good shots.
So pretty pleased with it.

Q.テつ Does anybody get intimidated by John just walking past, let alone playing him?
RYAN HARRISON:テつ The first time I played him I think I was 17 in Memphis.テつ I remember just thinking, Wow, this guy is huge.
But, yeah, we've played enough together and practiced enough.テつ You can never really get used to playing a guy like that; you just got to know what to expect going in.
So whenever you get up Love‑30 and he gets a few aces and kind of gets back in the games, you kind of know what's going to happen and you just know you're going to get a couple chances and you have to try to capitalize on those.

Q.テつ You were talking about fitness yesterday.テつ You looked a little quicker.テつ Do you feel quicker?
RYAN HARRISON:テつ Definitely.テつ I feel like‑‑ it's not just the burst.テつ I feel like I can give that good energy and then get back up and do it again on the next point.テつ I feel like that's been the goal for sure.
Like I said, I lost five or six pounds and was able to get myself in a little better shape.テつ As we spoke about yesterday, it's certainly not at the highest caliber right now, but the gap is smaller.テつ It's going to continue to shrink as I continue to work throughout this year.
You know, this is a good steppingstone for me moving forward, but there is a long ways to go and certainly a lot more to build off it.テつ This tournament I have another tough match tomorrow against Benneteau.

Q.テつ You returned pretty well, too, outside of serving.
RYAN HARRISON:テつ Well, that was a big focus of my off‑season practice was being more aggressive on return games.テつ I spoke about that a little bit yesterday in our conversation.テつ Just whenever I'm in matches I'm holding comfortably.テつ I never got broken.テつ You get your chances, but you don't want it to be a loss because of tentative play.
So I just wanted to make sure that any time I got the racquet on it I put a good hit on it, and even if I missed it, kind of put that in the back of his mind that I'm on top of it and that I'm hitting it.
If you take a good crack at a return, even if you miss it by a little bit, at least he feels it.テつ That can cause some double faults.テつ I remember I got a double fault at deuce in the game I broke in the second set.
You know, you never know what exactly‑‑ you know, what's going to happen from his game.テつ You could certainly try to impose yourself and your game on a guy.
I felt like I did that today.

Q.テつ Does it feel a little weird to have no Andy Roddick on the tennis scene?
RYAN HARRISON:テつ Well, it's different.テつ Andy was obviously such a polarizing figure for the States for so long.テつ His presence in the locker room is always felt whenever he's there.テつ You could certainly hear him if you can't see him.テつ (Smiling.)
He's a really close friend of mine.テつ He's still very much in connect with the tennis world.テつ Like I said, he's been such a polarizing figure in his career.テつ I know that with the charity work he's doing and with the exhibitions that he's been playing afterwards I know that he's still very much involved in tennis.
He's not going to be one of those guys you see retire and completely disconnect from tennis.テつ He'll be very active in it.テつ As I said yesterday, he's been very active in communication with ‑‑ even down here.テつ I know that he's going to be watching all the matches and watching the scores.テつ He's a good guy.

Q.テつ So that's four wins in a row with quallies?
RYAN HARRISON:テつ Five considering‑‑ four and a half because I played three games in one of them.

Q.テつ It's been a while, five wins in a row, huh?
RYAN HARRISON:テつ It has.テつ It's been a while.テつ I can't remember exactly when the last time was, but, you know, to start out this year and to have won I guess eight my first nine matches, it's a good start.
Having a lot of matches under my belt moving forward, I don't think there is any substitution for winning, no matter what level it comes at.テつ It becomes contagious.テつ You start feeling more confident, and I felt consistently more confident every day moving forward.
I'm really excited about the opportunity for the rest of this tournament, and then obviously moving into the Grand Slam next week I'm very excited about it.

Q.テつ What are one or two of the biggest things you learned last season that you're looking to use coming into this year?
RYAN HARRISON:テつ The first one was the fitness level and the gap that I had to close in between me and those guys.テつ There is a difference between being able to last for five sets and being able to play at a high level and be at a high fitness level for five sets.
That was the focus.テつ You kind of come out and you realize, Oh, okay I can play for four hours.テつ Yeah.テつ Well, I can be out there for four hours, but can I play at a high level without getting a mental lapse or something happening from just being tired.
I started noticing in some of service games I would get broken, it wasn't from anything other than I just got a little fatigued and just sort of checking out of points, which maybe I wouldn't have done that if it was a little earlier in the match.
The second thing is something that I've been continuing to improve on is my emotions and staying positive.テつ I feel like I'm doing a better job of that.テつ Just really enjoying the process, not being too caught up in the panic of trying to win each match and trying to look pretty in each match.テつ Just really enjoying the process of playing tennis and winning whenever they come, and whenever you lose learning from it and building to continuously move forward.
I'm nowhere near my potential, but I'm moving toward it.

Q.テつ Is the beard any kind of statement?
RYAN HARRISON:テつ It's a statement of laziness from the last couple days.

Q.テつ You got to keep it on if you keep winning.
RYAN HARRISON:テつ I guess so.テつ Not sure my agent is gonna appreciate that.テつ Does it look that bad?テつ We just going to see the feedback we get from it.

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