America’s next great hope has more work to do: 19-year-old Ryan Harrison was manhandled in the first round of the Open on Monday in a loss to Marin Cilic in straight sets, and so goes another chance to anoint a new star.
It would be bad enough to lose, but it was all made worse by Harrison’s misbehaving: he tossed his racquet repeatedly; he kicked a ball into the stands; he pouted and muttered. It was enough to draw boos from a few hundred at Louis Armstrong Stadium after so delighting the Queens crowd a year ago. Mary Carillo, broadcasting on the Tennis Channel, labeled Harrison a “brat” and “Mr. Cranky Pants.”
This story first appeared in the August 30, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I didn’t break any racquets, I didn’t say swear words on court,” said a not-very-remorseful Harrison after the match. “It could have gotten better and I could have been better. I didn’t really go nuts.”
We’ll see how potential sponsors feel about that.
Speaking of misbehaving Americans, Serena Williams will return to the Open for the first time in two years tonight. On Monday, she addressed the press in Queens for the first time since her last Open in 2009, in which she threatened a linesman and said…well, many unprintable things in her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters.
Even two years later, she still isn’t apologizing.
“You mean in the singles or doubles?” she asked,when quizzed about public reaction to her outburst. “A lot of people were telling me they thought I was super cool, that they’d never seen me so intense. So, yeah, it was awesome.”
Maybe this is the year that Mardy Fish really needs to have a big run, after all.