Ryan Harrison defeats Jeremy Chardy in BNP Paribas Open first round
Wildcard entrant Ryan Harrison of the United States of America defeated Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in a tough three set contest at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens in Indian Wells, California. The match was a part of the first round
at the BNP Paribas Open, the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year. The battle lasted 2 hours and 37 minutes, and culminated in a final score of 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 6-3 in favour of the home favourite.
Harrison is currently ranked 152nd in the world. At only 18 years of age, he is widely seen as a tennis prodigy and is expected to be America's answer to Canadian sensation Milos Raonic. His defeat of Chardy, France's hero in the
Davis Cup will do everything to raise his profile in the sport. Chardy is currently ranked 49th in the world, and at 24 years of age he is already a veteran of the circuit.
This match comes as Harrison's first tour level victory this year. The teenager started the match off serving quite well. In a tight first set, he delivered 69 per cent of his first serves correctly. His French opponent matched
him blow for blow, and succeeded in landing 65 per cent of his first serves properly. Harrison was better at winning points on serve though, and took full advantage of his strong serving to win 67 per cent of the total points on serve. Chardy only managed
to take 63 per cent of his own service points, but this inequality did not prevent a tie break, as the two players exchanged a break each. The tie break was quickly wrapped up by the more experienced Frenchman as he forged ahead one set to none.
The second set was also quite close from the start. Harrison got 62 per cent of his first serves right while Chardy bettered that statistic to 66 per cent. Harrison was again better at conversion as he won 68 per cent of his points
on serve, compared to the 24-year-old's 56 per cent. While he did concede a break, the American was strong enough to steer the set into a tiebreak. That segment of the contest he dominated and this forced a decider.
The third set saw the American race ahead. While his serving accuracy dropped, he improved his return game greatly. Winning 54 per cent of his total return points, he broke his opponent twice to seal the match.
Harrison's second round opponent is Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, the 22nd seed. Garcia-Lopez received a bye into the second round thanks to his seeding, and will look to get his campaign underway in a couple of days.