SAVANNAH, May 5, 2018
23-year old Ryan Harrison booked a spot in the $75,000 St. Joseph’s/ Candler Savannah Challenger semi-finals after a convincing 7-5, 6-4 win over Thomaz Bellucci.
In the first set the US-American battled from behind for a majority of the time, saving two set points, and ultimately going on to take the opening set 7-5. In the second set, both players held serve until late in the match when Harrison was able to take the break and close out the match 7-5, 6-4 on his serve.
“It’s just about playing every point and not getting down on myself,” said Harrison. “I think that I did that well today and you know I made sure that one bad shot didn’t turn into multiple.”
With the win Harrison has now reached his first career ATP Challenger Tour singles semifinal on clay. This will also be his first semifinal of the year on the Challenger Tour. Coming into Savannah this week, Harrison hadn’t been able to get a win on the green dirt, but after three consecutive wins he is ready for the next match.
“I feel like I was taught to play the whole court, so I think I have adjusted well,” said Harrison. “I am actually really comfortable on the clay right now.” Harrison will now take on Reilly Opelka Saturday afternoon as he looks to continue his run in Savannah.
Later in the day Opelka defeated qualifier Martin Cuevas 6-3, 6-4. “I am really enjoying how I am having to look forward to playing each point in the match and how I am going to get the win,” said Harrison.
Also advancing to the semi-finals were Hugo Dellien, who defeated Guilherme Clezar and Michael Mmoh, who edged past fellow #NextGenATP player Max Purcell.
Semifinal Saturday gets underway at 12:00 p.m. with Mmoh taking on Dellien. It will then be followed by the remaining singles and doubles semifinals.