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Isner Prevents Second Harrison From Reaching Atlanta QFs

Atlanta, U.S.A.

Harrison© Alex SmithRyan Harrison reaches his second quarter-final of the season.

Top seed and two-time finalist John Isner prevented 19-year-old Christian Harrison from joining older brother, Ryan Harrison, in the quarter-finals of the BB&T Atlanta Open after closing out a hard-fought 7-6(9), 4-6, 7-5 victory in two hours and 24 minutes Thursday night.

"I thought he played pretty well," said Isner. "He’s a very good player. I was very fortunate just to win. You never really want to win 7-5 in the third, two-and-a-half hours in humid, muggy conditions like this, but I’ll take it."

Isner, who served 29 aces and won 109 points to Christian's 110, clinched his lone break in the second to last game. Christian made his ATP World Tour singles debut on Wednesday with a win over last week’s Bogota finalist Alejandro Falla.

"I felt like I handled it well," said Christian. "Didn’t really feel like my emotions got away from me ever. I felt like I was under control and it just came down to a couple points here in the end. He was able to serve well and hit some big forehands… He came through clutch there in the end."

Ryan, 21, advanced with a 6-4, 6-3 win over fourth seed Igor Sijsling earlier in the day and praised his brother's ability to compete on the ATP World Tour.

"I told him he’s capable of winning these matches," he said. "I told him last night I was proud of him, I was excited for him, but I wasn’t surprised. I think a lot of people were shocked, but I wasn’t shocked. He wasn’t shocked. He has that expectation of himself where he feels he belongs."

Ryan last reached a tour-level quarter-final in January when he defeated Isner in the second round of the Apia International Sydney. Harrison goes on to face Colombian Santiago Giraldo, who held a 5-7, 6-3, 3-0 lead when American Michael Russell retired due to illness.

American James Blake reached his first quarter-final of the season after dismissing eighth-seeded Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-3, 6-2 in 64 minutes. Blake, a former World No. 4, broke Donskoy's serve three times while saving all four break points saved.

"I always feel like the hard-court summer is my best chance to get points; I’m playing my best tennis," said Blake. "The courts usually suit me the best. When it’s hot I play pretty well. Home crowds in the States, it’s generally my favourite time of the year. This is a good start to it right away."

Also in second-round action, second-seeded South African Kevin Anderson rallied past Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-2. He will next play Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, who defeated fifth seed Yen-Hsun Lu 7-5, 6-2.

In the doubles quarter-finals, top seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo fell to Israelis Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 7-5, 4-6, 10-8, while No. 3 seeds Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray cruised past Blake and Jack Sock 6-3, 6-2.

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