World #173, American Ryan Harrison (above).

Ryan Harrison, the 18 year old standout American tennis prospect and Texas product now living in Florida, defeated 2010 US Open Junior Boys Champion and New York Junior Tennis League alum Jack Sock today in 4 hard fought sets, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4 at the finals of the USTA’s Australian Open Playoff Final in Norcross, Georgia today.  Harrison has now played his way into a 2nd consecutive Australian Open wildcard, defeating Jessie Levine in the final last year.

Harrison was eliminated in the main draw by the entertaining Janko Tippsarevic, who famously took Roger Federer to 5 sets in the 3rd round of the 2008 Australian Open, and who had Roger down 2 sets to 1 before the great man made his charge, in an electricity charged night match on Rod Laver.  Harrison has now qualified for his 3rd major and second consecutive major, having made the main draw of the 2010 US Open where he won his first round match against Ivan Ljubicic before dropping a tough 5 setter in round 2 to a one-hander we’ve had our eye on for his impressively fluid game, Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.

We feel Harrison is supremely suited to the forgiving Australian Open Plexi-cushion surface, which is rated kindly as medium fast.  Harrison’s speed around the court should be on display, and he could do some damage should he not face a top 5 calibre player in round one.  In fact, we are going to go out on a limb and say Harrison turns in his best major showing to date next month in Melbourne.

Tough break for Sock though, who will rebound and who is sure to make New York and Nebraska proud. 

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/harrison-and-sock-square-off-for-wildcard-berth-into-main-draw-of-the-australian-open/

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Also a tough break today and a bit of a surprise for Coco Vandeweghe, who has had quite an end to her season, as the 19 year old scored impressive victories over quality opponents such as French top 20 player Aravane Rezai, and who had caught the eye of US Federation Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez.  Vandeweghe hung tight in the Fed Cup final where she replaced Venus Williams, and gave 2010 French Open Ladies Champion Francesca Schiavone quite a run for her money, despite several hiccups on her service games.

Today 17 year old Lauren Davis of Ohio who is currently world #444 and who trains in Florida at the Evert Academy, routed Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-2 in a non comppetitve match, earning the younger player her first entrance into the main draw of a major.  We’ll say it again: several young Americans are deserving of discretionary wildcards, including Vandeweghe, Sock, Young, Rhyne Williams, and hard serving Pennsylvania native Alison Riske.

The US and Australian Tennis Federations have a reciprocation agreement in which they trade each other 1 discretionary wildcard on both the men’s and women’s side, so we think there’s a good chance for Sock and Vandeweghe.  As for one of our favorites, Donald Young?  At this point he has had so much hype and so many chances, we doubt we’ll see him, unfortunately, anywhere on the main tour outside of the United States until he can earn his way in.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)