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Courier backs Ryan to shine in Davis Cup

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Originally published on: 03/04/12 13:54

When a fatigued Mardy Fish pulled out of the United States’ Davis Cup team to play France this week, Jim Courier could have gone for experience in naming a replacement. However, the US captain has opted for the raw but emerging talent of Ryan Harrison rather than old hands like Andy Roddick or Sam Querrey.
 
Harrison, 19, has made only one Davis Cup appearance, winning a dead rubber against Switzerland’s Michael Lammer earlier this year, but Courier has chosen the world No. 66 as his second singles player alongside John Isner, the world No.11. The Bryan brothers complete the American line-up.
 
“What you’re seeing with Ryan is a work in progress,” Courier said. “That’s the exciting part. He’s in the top 100 now. There’s so much he’s going to learn and improve. It’s shot selection, being organised in his game, knowing what he can do well to hurt people. That’s coming. He’s made a lot of progress in the last year. He’s going to make I would say probably more progress in the next year because he’s now physically prepared for the rigours of the tour. Now the game is going to come behind that.”
 
Courier believes Harrison has the ability to become a successful player on the tour. “You see the weapons,” he said. “The serve is big. The forehand is big. He’s athletic. He plays good defence when he has to. It’s just about taking advantage of the shots that present themselves to him.”
 
Nevertheless, Harrison will be by some margin the lowest ranked player in the World Group quarter-final, which is being played on clay in Monte Carlo. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (world No.6) and Gilles Simon (world No 13) are expected to be France’s singles players, while Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra are set to be the home team’s doubles pair.

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