World No 789 Christian Harrison stunned top seed Cristian Garin 7-6(3), 6-2 on Saturday to reach his first ATP Tour quarterfinal at the Delray Beach Open. Before the tournament, he had a total of two tour-level singles wins.
It is an encouraging result in Harrison’s latest comeback bid. The American has had a terrible run of injuries – he has endured bone infection and undergone eight surgeries — including operations on both legs, both hips, his right wrist, and both adductors.
“I just love the sport, I love what I’m doing,” Harrison said. “I just can’t wait to keep playing and hopefully have a good, healthy next couple of years.”
The 26-year-old is the second-lowest-ranked quarter-finalist in Delray Beach tournament history, trailing only former World No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro, who accomplished the feat as the World No. 1,042 in 2016.
This was also Harrison’s first win over a top-50 opponent.
The Chilean is one of the toughest baseliners on the ATP Tour, but the home favourite played a more physical brand of tennis, using superior depth with his groundstrokes to keep the top seed from gaining control of points. Harrison earned four service breaks in his 90-minute triumph.
“I just thought about just going to play each point,” Harrison said.
“Obviously he’s a very proven player. There are going to be times when he puts together a bunch of good points. I actually told myself I was lucky to be in that spot because at 4-3, he was up 0/40 on my serve and I came back.”
Harrison will next play 2020 Rio Open presented by Claro finalist Gianluca Mager. The Italian ousted sixth seed and 2016 champion Sam Querrey 7-6(8), 6-1 earlier in the day.
Mager defeated Christian’s brother, Ryan Harrison, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of the main draw.