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Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
April 14, 2008
Fifteen-Year-Old Harrison Joins Elite Company

© Emily Jaschke
Ryan HarrisonFifteen-year-old American Ryan Harrison became the third youngest player (since 1990) to notch an ATP match win when he defeated Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 6-3 on Monday at the US Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston, Texas.

After breaking Cuevas' serve three times in five chances in the opening set, Harrison converted on his one opportunity in the second set to go up 3-1 and closed out his impressive ATP debut in 57 minutes.

Harrison, at 15 years, 11 months and 7 days, is the 10th player in the Open Era to win a match before his 16th birthday. He stands just behind current Top 10 stars Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal on the list of youngest match winners in the past decade. The two also won a match each at 15 years of age:

Youngest Match Winners at ATP/GS Tournaments (since 1990)
  Player Tournament Days Old
1 Richard Gasquet/FRA 2002 AMS Monte-Carlo 5780
2 Rafael Nadal/ESP 2002 Mallorca 5809
3 Ryan Harrison/USA 2008 Houston 5821

The Texas resident, who came into the tournament with a career-high junior ranking of No. 7, made his way into the main draw after losing just eight total games in his qualifying wins over No. 4 Phillip King and Alex Reichel. He is the 10th youngest to appear in an ATP-level main draw since 1990.

Another American youngster, 18-year-old Donald Young, also won his first round match as he defeated Spaniard Fernando Vicente 6-3, 7-6(5) in one hour and 41 minutes. He won half of his ten break point chances, and saved 10 of the 14 opportunities earned by Vicente.

Young will look to win back-to-back matches for the third time in his career, and also for the third straight tournament. He reached the Memphis quarterfinals in February and followed with a third round effort in Indian Wells, where he lost to World No. 2 Nadal.

Wayne Odesnik won his all-American first round match against wild card Amer Delic 6-3, 6-3 as he saved all seven break point chances he faced, and wild card Hugo Armando continued the strong American showing, battling to the 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win over Argentine Carlos Berlocq.

Robby Ginepri failed to make it a clean Monday sweep for the American contingent as he lost his first round match against Israeli No. 6 seed Dudi Sela, 7-6(5), 6-2.

Eighth seeded Spaniard Oscar Hernandez also advanced to the second round with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Argentine Carlos Berlocq.

ATP Tournament Profile | Houston TV Schedule

Qualifying: Fifteen-Year-Old Harrison Earns Main Draw Berth