ryan harrison on the rise?

Ryan’s rise? This might be Ryan Harrison‘s moment. One of the rather promising up-and-coming American youngsters, Harrison is a name that has been thrown around for a couple years and really impressed in a five-set loss in the second round of the US Open last summer to Sergiy Stakhovsky. The 19-year-old has stayed consistent on the tour, and had somewhat of a breakthrough at Wimbledon, reaching the second round after getting into the draw as a lucky loser and playing brilliantly at times against David Ferrer, losing in five sets.

Yesterday Harrison, ranked no. 120, continued his trek on American soil. The Louisiana native took down Xavier Malisse 6-7 (3) 6-4 6-4 in a match that had a few testy moments, which Harrison talks about in the video above. Harrison also talked of his confidence that has been on the rise this year, which he pins to the Open: “I have more belief in myself this year … The US Open was big for me because I played back-to-back matches against guys in the top 30 in the world. I won one of them and had three match points in the other one. That was kind of like a light bulb for me: that I don’t  need to overplay to beat these guys. I can play my game, play within myself.”

Is he the real deal? Guess we’ll find out in the next 24 months — and at least get a better idea of over the next two months. | Draw: Hotlanta

(Video via TalkAboutTennis)

the great, weird, awesome, strange, geeky, amazing find of the day

Combat tennis. Normally we might ask: How do these people actually have time on their hands to do something like this?! But in truth, we really dig this fun, quirky take on tennis meets combat. Sure, it’s overproduced and cheesy, but doesn’t that make it all the more lovable? On this TGI Friday we say, TGFTF (Thank god for tennis fans). More creative stangeness can be found at the video maker’s website, PatrickWillems.com. Willems co-runs Lumberjack Films, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Enjoy!

(Video by Patrick Willems)

sorana and bethanie: paintball warriors

Great shot! The WTA has found the perfect mix between its “Strong is Beautiful” campaign and the ATP‘s creative sportraits for the year-end championships. It’s paintball. Yep, paintball! Here Sorana Cirstea and Bethanie Mattek-Sands take out some London frustration on two willing fellas in a back alley. Sure, there are a couple close ups we could do without, but the paint and music and fun of it makes it a great watch. The targets are Matthew Pritchard and Lee Dainton, two parts of a British comedy group (think of the Jackass boys) known as Dirty Sanchez. And yes, they get a little dirty here, too.

(WTA video)

novak djokovic, graminivore

Graminivore, one who eats grass. That description would fit Novak Djokovic just fine after his post-Wimbledon eating habits. The champ, after knocking off Rafael Nadal in four sets, snacked on a little bit of Centre Court to really “taste” victory. While we appreciate the gluten-free Novak expanding his diet horizons, we wouldn’t have minded just a plain-old shirtless victory cry. Video above. | TSF Vault: Shirtless Nole

there's color (in the crowd) at wimbledon

Best dressed? Sort of cheesy, we know. But, like any slam, Wimbledon has plenty of color in its crowds — even if the players have to sport all white on the courts. The WTA has this video on fans around the grounds, and we dig the characteristic tennis-savvy folks on screen/in the stands.

Middle (American) weekend: Mardy Fish moves on | Serena, too

(WTA video)

the gals get glammed for wimbledon player party

Girls’ night out: Those pictures of Bethanie Mattek-Sands have us shuddering. But at least a few of the WTA ladies got all glammed up in the right way for last night’s Wimbledon Players’ Party.

More party: Maria’s need-it-now necklace

On the court: Dokic makes UNICEF Open final | Things are all held up at Eastbourne because of … rain

(WTA video)

flashback: jana's tears, 1993

No pleasure in this pain. Well, this story has a happy ending. But Jana Novotna‘s 1993 choke in the Wimbledon final — and her subsequent crying on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent — rang in at no. 1 on a Tennis Channel countdown of greatest chokes of all time. And how could we not give it a little bit of ink prior to the grasscourt season flying into full force over the next month? Novotna swatted away a 4-1 third-set lead against Steffi Graf to lose in the Wimbledon final that year, but after losing to Martina Hingis in the ’97 title match, she finally walked away (rightfully so) as champ in 1998. Check out her crying below.

More: Caroline Wozniacki stays alive in Copenhagen | Ivanovic leads charge at Eastbourne

The men: Tsonga upsets Rafa, Murray takes out A-Rod and a surprise run by a British wildcard at Queens | Draw

how cute is heather watson?

That 1000 Watt-son smile. Seriously. How cute is Heather Watson? The new British no. 2 was one of eight girls to make the leap into the top 100 following the French Open. The 19-year-old Watson moved up from no. 117 to no. 93 in the world by reaching the second round after winning three qualifier matches at Roland Garros. In Birmingham this week, Watson takes on Chanelle Scheepers in the first round, the no. 15 seed. In this WTA Xperia vid, she tours the crew around the grounds and couldn’t be more candid, cute or genuinely sweet. Ew… Now I’m grossing myself out. The girl is cool. You get it!

More: Birmingham draw | Copenhagen draw