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August 26, 2013

Ryan Harrison


R. NADAL/R. Harrison
6‑4, 6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How tough was it for you to get Rafa in the first round?
RYAN HARRISON:  It's not that tough.  I mean, you know, it is what it is.  I'm not thinking of, Gosh, I'm going to be done on Monday, as soon as I see the draw.  You just get ready to play so can you do your best.
Obviously my best today wasn't good enough.  He won pretty comfortably.  Hopefully, you know, I can just get back to work and keep the process going.

Q.  What are you telling yourself going into a match like this?
RYAN HARRISON:  Beforehand, for me, I'm trying to stick to my weapons.  Actually, after the first game I got broken in the first set, I played an all right set after that.  I mean, I had a couple chances, Love‑30, 15‑30 a couple times in the first set.  I felt like the rest of that set was okay after getting broken the first game.
The way I was playing after getting broken in the first game was kind of the way I had visioned it, you know, controlling things on my service game, hitting some big serves, hitting some big forehands.  I didn't get any opportunities on his serve.
Unfortunately, he had far more opportunities than I did, and he capitalized on the ones he got.  Some of that was due to great play; some of that was due to mistakes.
That's the difference between his game, where his level is right now, and mine.  I've got to get a lot more repetitions under my belt.

Q.  You played him before.  Is he doing anything different?
RYAN HARRISON:  I only played him once.  That was Indian Wells.  From what I see and what I gather, these top guys are really, really good at peaking at the slams.  They know how to get their best out of it.  It's almost like an Olympic sprinter who waits to try to peak at the right time, which is the Olympics once every four years.
The top guys have that mentality and know their routines.  Even though he wins Cincinnati and Canada, he's thinking about peaking here, which he's going to have a really good chance because he's one of the greatest players ever.

Q.  Have you lost any faith?  You struggled a bit this year.  Have you lost faith you're going to be able to make a big breakthrough?
RYAN HARRISON:  Well, I'm 21 years old.  If I lost faith in my career at this point, that would be pretty embarrassing.  So no.

Q.  Obviously James is retiring.  You just mentioned you're 21.  What kind of effect has he had on your career?
RYAN HARRISON:  James has been a good friend in the locker room to everybody.  I mean, it's funny.  Whenever you ask anyone about James, he's left a great impression and just a great impact on everybody that he's known in the game.
His career is one thing.  He obviously has his results.  I think something far more important that he's leaving behind is the fact he left a really positive impact on tennis and the people he was around, which is what you are ultimately looking forward to doing after having a long, successful career like he's had.
He's one of the greatest guys out here on tour.  He's into the next stage of his life, which is being the family man, having the baby, having his wife and kid, just going that route.
I'm extremely happy for him.  I congratulated him when I saw him.  You know, I look forward to keeping in touch with him throughout his life after tennis.

Q.  The season is not over, but the Grand Slam season is over.  How do you feel about where you are right now in 2013?
RYAN HARRISON:  To be completely honest with you, for me, I kind of feel like my season started six weeks ago because that was the first time I felt like I was‑‑ the semis run in Atlanta was the first time I felt like I had a little bit of success this season.
You know, the tennis season is technically January 1st to early November, whenever it is.  In a year‑round sport like this, it's a 12‑month calendar ranking system.  So part of the reason why I got to 40 in the world or 43 in the world last year was not only because I did well at the beginning of last year, but also because I did pretty good at the end of 2011, as well.
You know, I'm looking forward to the next six months.  I'm looking forward to preparing for Australia.  I feel like things are going the right direction.  Obviously you want to get in the matches like this again.
When I draw a top guy again in Australia, it's going to be a fun match again.

Q.  Do you feel like you got some good lessons out of the first six months of the year or do you want to wash it away?
RYAN HARRISON:  No, there was a ton of good lessons.  Anyone that's ever gone through a rough patch in a career they're passionate about, if they didn't learn from it they're not really trying very hard.
Whether it's tennis or whatever it is, you look back and reflect on unsuccessful moments.  You reflect on failed opportunities and trials and things that you're trying in your game.  You learn from it.  You ultimately come out a better player from not having the success that you want.
Working with Trace was a great thing for me in some ways.  He helped me stay in that positive, humbled mindset throughout a rough patch, which was probably not easy on him because I wasn't playing well.  You know, I'd had a lot of success.  We were both getting a little bit of heat for not being successful as my talent would say that I could.
But, you know, he taught me something extremely important, which was throughout the whole thing, throughout everything, you always, always make sure that you give your heart into everything, which is not something that can be overlooked as a young athlete.
A lot of guys come into a sport and have skills and have success and they think about nothing except for the money and the lifestyle and all this stuff.
The biggest thing that I learned from the first six months was the appreciation of success and how good it feels, not really overlooking, you know, every single match win and how fun it is to get out there and have success.

Q.  Your success, are you saying you were coasting a little bit?  It had gone to your head a little bit?
RYAN HARRISON:  I mean, it's hard to say.  You have some success, you win some matches, and you get confident.  Yeah, like you said, sometimes you just coast.  You get some wins.
It's not about the match today.  It's not about the practice tomorrow.  It's about a consistent day in and day out progression of improving.
So whenever you're winning some matches like I was and maybe not doing the day‑to‑day work as professionals that could be done, yeah, I'm winning matches then and I'm having some success then, but I'm not improving.
I'm maintaining, which is not what you want to be doing at 20 years old, 21 years old.  You want to be constantly looking for that edge and that improvement.

Q.  Is there something particular you're going to focus on now?
RYAN HARRISON:  Yeah.  I mean, the things I've been focusing on in my game are first and foremost being a little bit more aggressive, dictating with my serve, and trying to control points.  Anyone that really wants to get technical about it, I shortened up my backhand.
If anyone ever picked up on that, I don't know.  I used to take a pretty high loop on it.  I'm taking it more straight back, a little bit more like an Andre did where it's just straight back in hopes it will be a little bit more solid and less can go wrong with a shorter backswing.
Those are just some little technical and fundamental things here and there that we've been working on.  It's just about day‑to‑day, same things.  We have three or four things we're going to be working on.  We'll do it every day at 100% and trust the process.

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