Ryan Harrison wanted to talk, judging by the protracted nature of his phrases. And boy, can he ever talk.
Our interview, conducted over the phone just hours before his first qualifying match in Acapulco, exceeded 40 minutes. That from merely 11 questions. His first response alone lasted an uninterrupted eight minutes.
But Harrison undoubtedly has plenty to discuss and ponder, despite being a novice pro at 22. As he put it, he’s “gone from being a can’t-miss prospect to a has-been five times already.”
His matter-of-fact and, at times, blunt, lingo mimics his mentor, Andy Roddick, and like the retired Texan, Harrison isn’t one to sugar coat.
Harrison’s willingness to chat away from a press-conference setting, where match specifics tend to take up much of the focus, also suggested he wasn’t afraid to face the music. Here was the man tipped to be Roddick’s heir apparent, yet who almost fell outside the Top 200 last October.
Even prior to beating Grigor Dimitrov in Acapulco this week to end an 0-for-22 skid against Top-10 players, the 169th-ranked American was convinced that better days lied ahead. It stemmed largely from reuniting with coach Grant Doyle in the middle of November and working in the off-season with the Australian, along with Roddick, in the latter’s base of Austin, Texas.