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Friday, July 9, 2010

Harrison Falls in Newport; Talbert Winners to be Honored; Williams Beats Sock in Pittsburgh; More Nic Brown

Ryan Harrison had a great opportunity to reach his first ATP semifinal today at the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, RI, especially after taking the first set from qualifier Richard Bloomfield of Great Britain 7-5. Harrison hit an amazing running forehand passing shot to take the opening set, but couldn't sustain the momentum, losing the second set in a tiebreaker and the third 7-5. Bloomfield, with an ATP ranking of 552, looked comfortable on the grass and never waivered from the serve-and-volley game plan. He had an early break in the second set, but was unable to serve it out at 5-4. In the ensuing tiebreaker, the 27-year-old took a 5-2 lead, with Harrison double faulting down 5-3. Bloomfield evened the match on his first set point.

In the third set, Harrison had four break points with Bloomfield serving at 4-4, but he didn't return well, while to his credit, Bloomfield got a lot of first serves in when he needed them. Harrison held in his next service game, as did Bloomfield in his, but Harrison failed to convert a game point that would have sent the match to a third set tiebreaker, and three points later Bloomfield had claimed the victory and a place in the semifinals against Mardy Fish.

Tomorrow is an exciting day for four juniors named winners earlier this spring of the Bill Talbert Sportsmanship awards. Shaun Chaudhuri, Neil Karandikar, Caroline Price and Marc Powers will receive their awards in Newport, prior to the induction ceremony for Mark Woodforde, Todd Woodbridge, Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva and three others. For more on the Talbert winners, see this press release. For more on this year's inductees, see Joel Drucker's article for espn.com.

In the Pittsburgh Futures quarterfinals today, the last two juniors were beaten, with Tennessee sophomore Rhyne Williams defeating No. 7 seed Jack Sock 6-4, 6-1 and No. 4 seed Dennis Zivkovic downing No. 5 seed Andrea Collarini 6-3, 7-6(6). Williams and Zivkovic will play in one of Saturday's semifinals, with No. 6 seed Daniel Yoo and No. 3 seed Adam El Mihdawy in the other. For full results, see the ATP website. In Dallas, Georgia Tech junior Irina Falconi won her second round match, but in her second match of the day, against Jamie Hampton in the quarterfinals, Falconi lost 6-3, 6-4. Ken Thomas is doing audio streaming over the internet of the tournament at radiotennis.com. See the Pro Circuit page at usta.com for draws and results.

Two days ago I posted about Nic Brown's novel Doubles, following an interview he did with Nick McCarvel. Brown himself wrote a very interesting account of a match he played with Tripp Phillips, where his seemingly modest goal is to win a point. Called "In Tennis, Love Means Nothing," Brown elaborates on some of the themes he touched on in his interviews promoting the novel, but this first-person account is even more fun to read. I doubt Phillips would care to challenge Brown in a writing competition.