Harrison Brothers Choose Babolat Racquets and Strings for Next Four Years
Lyon, France – May 7, 2008 –- Babolat, one of the leading manufacturers of tennis products, today announces Ryan Harrison and Christian Harrison have chosen to use Babolat racquets and strings for the next four years. Babolat has had a relationship with the Harrison brothers since 2004, having provided racquets and strings to Ryan in 2005 and 2006, and to Christian from 2005 to present.
Ryan Harrison (age 15) and Christian Harrison (age 13) have signed an international agreement with Babolat that assures they will be equipped with innovative Babolat tennis products through 2012. Jean-Christophe Verborg, Babolat International Sports Marketing Manager commented, “The fact that they wanted a long-term agreement instead of the standard one-year contract shows the confidence they have in the Babolat brand. We’re very happy to have them as a part of Team Babolat.”
Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, the Harrison brothers live in New Braunfels, Texas, with their parents and younger sister. Their father, Pat Harrison, is Assistant Director at the John Newcombe Tennis Academy where Ryan and Christian train. He introduced the boys to the sport when they were just toddlers - both demonstrated an abundance of natural talent and drive to succeed even at an early age. Seth McKinley, Babolat USA Promotion Manager for Professional Players and Juniors, has known the Harrison brothers since 2004 and says he’s never seen two young kids who love the sport as much as they do. “Their enthusiasm is contagious – I see it first hand on the courts. It’s really refreshing and it’s what the game of tennis needs to grow in the US.” Ryan and Christian are both managed by IMG.
Ryan is ranked #7 in the world in the ITF (18 and under) and is the second-highest ranked player for his age in the world. In October 2007, he won the Osaka Mayor’s Cup World Super Junior Tennis Championships in Japan, a Grade A event - the highest level in the ITF tournament ranking system. Earlier this year, he reached the semi-finals at the 2008 Australian Junior Open. Most recently, he qualified for the ATP event in Houston and won his first round against a player ranked in the top 100 making him the tenth player in Open Era history to win an ATP match before their 16th birthday – joining the likes of Richard Gasquet (2002 Monte Carlo) and Rafael Nadal (2002 Mallorca). He is also the third youngest ATP match winner since 1990, behind Gasquet and Nadal. Ryan is playing with the new Babolat Pure Storm Limited, the latest model in the Babolat Pure range of racquets and uses a Babolat VS Touch + Pro Hurricane Tour custom hybrid string combination. Ryan says he likes to attack and has built his game around great serve and volley.
In 2007, Christian reached the finals at Les Petits AS in France - the best tournament in the world for players 14 and under - and the semi-finals at Teen Tennis in England. Christian is also the 2005 Orange Bowl Champion (12 and under) and reached the semi-finals in La Libertad Junior Open in El Salvador. He recently won the Boys 16’s International Spring Championships in Carson, CA. Christian has chosen the new Babolat Pure Storm Limited and uses VS Touch natural gut strings. Christian is an aggressive baseliner with a big forehand.
Babolat Recruitment: Finding the Next Generation of US Stars
The Babolat USA Promotions team, led by McKinley, travels to tournaments and visits academies across the country to watch the rising stars among both junior and professional players. McKinley explains, “We want someone who will represent the brand well in his or her local area and ultimately be a Babolat person for life. The Harrison brothers are the perfect example of the kind of players we’re looking for - they have a great work ethic and dedication to the sport they love. I think they’ll do very well – the sky’s the limit.”
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