By Curt Janka
LOS ANGELES, California â€“Â Ryan Harrison overcame his temper and a crafty opponent to earn a second consecutive ATP semifinal appearance in as many weeks, beating Yen-Hsun Lu 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the Farmers Classic. At age 19, Harrison is the first American teenager to accomplish this feat since Andy Roddick in 2002.
The whole week could be dÃ©jÃ vu for Harrison. If Mardy Fish beats Igor Kunitsyn later today, it will set up a rematch of the semifinal between Fish and Harrison last week in Atlanta.
Lu played a tactical match, winning many points at net. The strategy seemed to work as Harrison lost the first set and his composure in the second. On his third dramatic racquet toss, Harrison earned a code violation. As Harrisonâ€™s racket sailed cross-court and surprisingly close to the first row of spectators, the crowd waiting to cheer for the American instead gasped. Then a few jeered.
Strangely, that might have been the turning point in the match. Harrison kept his emotions in check the rest of the way, coming up with big serves when he needed them most. In the end, his determination was just enough to get past Luâ€™s guile.
Whether Fish or Kuntisyn wins later on Friday, Harrison will surely draw on that determination in the semifinal in the hope that this weekâ€™s script goes one page longer.