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Harrison awarded final Newport wild card

NEWPORT, R.I. — Ryan Harrison, an exciting young American tennis star currently ranked No. 48 in the world and No. 4 among Americans, has been awarded the final wild card into the player field for the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. The tournament, which is the only professional tennis tournament played on grass courts in North America, will be hosted July 9 - 15, 2012 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. Last week, Harrison was named to the US Olympic team, along with Newport’s defending champion John Isner, Donald Young, and the doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan, all of whom will play in Newport. This will be Harrison’s third appearance in Newport, where he won the doubles title last year with Matt Ebden of Australia.

“We first saw Ryan in Newport just two years ago, when he was ranked in the high 200s. It’s been great to see his career take off and his game develop. He has a lot of fans in Newport who will be happy to see him back,” said Tournament Director Mark Stenning. “Ryan’s matches are always exciting to watch, and he’s a fantastic addition to a very strong player field heading to Newport right after Wimbledon and before the Olympics.”

Following a semifinal result at the AEGON International at Eastbourne in June, Harrison cracked the world top-50 just before Wimbledon, and entered the Grand Slam event at world No. 48. He advanced to the second round of Wimbledon, after defeating world No. 56 Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei. In the second round, he fell to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, but was able to win one set against the reigning Wimbledon champion first. Earlier this season, Harrison was a semifinalist at San Jose, advanced to the Round of 16 at Indian Wells, and he was a quarterfinalist at Houston.

In the two years since Harrison has burst on the scene, he’s become known as an exciting player who is dedicated to growing his game. He has consistently climbed through the rankings, has taken some of the world’s top-ranked players to some intense battles, and he’s represented the United States in Davis Cup competition. In 2010, Harrison was ranked world No. 262 when he was awarded a Newport wild card and he advanced to the tournament’s quarterfinals. In 2011, he returned to the tournament to capture his first ATP World Tour title, when he won the doubles title with Ebden.

Harrison is a strong addition to the Newport player field, and he is sure to add some excitement to the competition. In addition to Isner, Young, and the Bryan Brothers, other players already scheduled to compete include former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt; Canada’s No. 1 player Milos Raonic, who is ranked world No. 22 and took Roger Federer to an intense match at the recent Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany; and Kei Nishikori, a Japanese tennis star, who is ranked world No. 20. The tournament draw will feature 32 singles players, 10 of whom are ranked in the world top-60. Fourteen players in the singles draw are bound for the Olympics after Newport, and two of the 16 doubles teams will compete in the London games as well. The tournament’s other wild cards were awarded to Hewitt and to Jack Sock, a rising American star.

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Fun special events top off the tournament action all week. Festivities kick off on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 with Family Weekend & Qualifying Rounds, featuring tennis clinics for kids, face-painting, balloon art, museum scavenger hunts, and more! On court, pros will compete for the four remaining spots in the Main Draw. On Monday, July 9 and Tuesday, July 10, the United States Professional Tennis Association will offer free tennis clinics for all ages. Monday, July 9 is also Kids Day, featuring a clinic with an ATP World Tour pro, and Friday, July 13 is Military Appreciation Day, with half-price tickets for active military, reservists, veterans, and their families.

A highlight of the week will be the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, July 14 at 12 p.m. At this grand celebration, the highest honor in tennis will be presented to former world No. 1’s Jennifer Capriati and Guga Kuerten, Spanish tennis star Manuel Orantes, tennis industry innovator Mike Davies, and the late wheelchair tennis champion Randy Snow. On Sunday, July 15 at 10 a.m., new Hall of Famer Guga Kuerten will be back in action with a special Exhibition Match, also featuring tennis greats Todd Martin, Gigi Fernandez, Owen Davidson, and Stan Smith.

For additional information and to order tickets, please call the Tournament Office at 401-849-6053 or visit tennisfame.com.

 

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