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Harrison, Davis Earn Aussie Open Wildcards; Odesnik Returns

December 27, 2010 11:15 AM
Australian Open 2011 Wildcards to Americans Ryan Harrison and Laura Davis

Ryan Harrison (photo Tom Grason/USTA)
Americans Ryan Harrison and Laura Davis, who both train in Boca Raton, Fla., earned wildcards into next month's Australian Open by winning the USTA Australian Open Wildcard Playoff at the Racquet Club of the South in Atlanta on Dec. 19, 2010.

Harrison beat fellow 18-year-old Jack Sock 7-6(3), 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4, while Davis, a 17-year-old from Gates Mills, Ohio, defeated 19-year-old Southern Californian and 2010 U.S. Fed Cup player CoCo Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-2.
Harrison, currently ranked No. 173 in the world and living in Cortez, Fla., had never played Sock before, but the two matched up evenly with Harrison just a little bit better on the bigger points.
"That was an all-out battle out there," Harrison said after the match. "Those were four tight sets. I thought there were times when we could have played better and been a little more aggressive but that being said we were also playing for a spot in the Australian Open so there was a lot pressure on both of us."
Harrison also won last year's USTA Australian Open Wildcard Playoff, beating Jesse Levine in the final.
Davis, currently ranked No. 444 in the WTA rankings, won all three of her matches over the weekend without dropping a set. She trains with the Chris Evert Academy in Boca Raton, and has now won 27 consecutive matches, and 36 of her last 37 matches. She won two ITF Futures events and the recent Dunlop Junior Orange Bowl and the prestigious Eddie Herr Junior Championships.
"I think I handled the nerves well and I handled her power and everything she threw at me," Davis said afterward. "I wanted to be consistent but I wanted to be aggressive too because if I knew if I didn't she would just go right through me."

The Australian Open begins Jan. 17, 2011 in Melbourne. 

Florida's Odesnik Eligible to Return to Pro Tennis
Weston's Wayne Odesnik, who received a two-year ban from professional tennis after being caught transporting human growth hormone (HGH) into Australia in January 2010, is now eligible to compete in January 2011 after having a year cut off his sentence by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

Odesnik had the remaining 12 months of his two-year doping suspension lifted after cooperated with the ITF's anti-doping authorities.

The 25-year-old Odesnik, a native of South Africa who moved to the United States as a child, was stopped by Australian customs officers as he arrived for the Brisbane International tennis event in January of this year. Authorities found eight vials of HGH in his luggage, and Odesnik eventually pleaded guilty and was fined approximately $7,000. Odesnik maintains that he never used HGH.

American and fellow Florida player Mardy Fish was unhappy with the ITF ruling, calling it "a black eye for all of sport, not just tennis" and telling USA Today, "He is a good player on enhanced substances. Let's see if he can be a good player without them."

Odesnik in a statement said, "I am thrilled that I can return to the game and compete in the sport about which I am truly passionate. I have learned a lot during my time away from competitive tennis and I now have even a greater appreciation for what a privilege it is to be a professional athlete."






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