Let’s continue discussing some of the matches at the 2013 Australia Open and look at the relatively young American tennis players who are called potential future stars: Christina McHale, Steve Johnson and Ryan Harrison.
20 year old Christina McHale, who is ranked #35, lost in three sets to Yulia Putintseva, who just turned 18 last week. A former Russian, Yulia now plays for Kazakhstan. I was actually a little bit surprised. Though I am sure that Putintseva will reach top 50 in one or two years, I did not expect her to play so well today against a more experienced player. In my opinion, Yulia literally outplayed Christina and also seemed very strong psychologically. Her will to win was very impressive.
Then, I asked a tennis coach to express his opinion about the play of two very talented American players, Steve Johnson and Ryan Harrison.
Did you see Steve Johnson v Nicolas Almagro? Steve Johnson lost in five sets, but he played really well. Do you think he has a chance to break into the top 50? What’s your advice for Steve Johnson to improve?
Stevie Johnson just ran out of gas against Nicolas Almagro, but never stopped competing. 100 to 50 is a sure thing. 50 to 20 will take a fair bit of work. First of all, Steve needs a reliable backhand. He could be a bit quicker. Then he could work on his strengths. Forehand could be more precise. Second serve could have more variety.
Can Ryan Harrison put up a fight against Novak Djokovic in the second round? What is your score prediction? If you were Ryan Harrison’s coach, what would you tell him before the match?
Ryan Harrison will lose in 3 sets to Novak Djokovic unless they call the match early. Harrison has nothing to hurt one of the fastest, fittest, best balanced players of all time. He has to stop playing like a really good junior, but I am not convinced that Ryan Harrison is willing to leave his comfort zone.