Harrison: U.S. needs male star

by: Matt Cronin May 31, 2013

AP Photo

Ryan Harrison says that in order to grow tennis in the United States and get more children playing and watching the game, the U.S. must produce more high-level male players.

“The unfortunate truth about the situation is you've got to have a guy who's American and winning a lot, because then kids have something to look up to,” Harrison said. “They have a popular athlete in the States that's becoming a dominant figure. That kind of draws attention. For the most part over the last seven, eight years, you turn on the TV to watch the Australian Open final or the final here or Wimbledon, you can count on one hand the guys you've been seeing over and over. That's what tennis in the States needs. You got to have someone who is really being an idol to the kids growing up, making them say, 'I want to get in that position; I want to be like that.'”

More Stories

Kei Nishikori makes winning return from injury at Swiss Indoors

Nishikori defeated Dusan Lajovic, and Marin Cilic topped Mikhail Youzhny. 

Nikoloz Basilashvili upsets second-seeded Tomas Berdych in Vienna

Earlier, Ivo Karlovic hit 16 aces to beat Steve Johnson, 7-6 (5), 6-3. 

Tie Break Tens showed that tennis shouldn't be afraid to experiment

Alternative formats are trying to cut some of the fat from the sport.