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Kalamazoo Welcomes Stellar Field for 2008 National Championships

Texans Ryan Harrison and Harry Fowler hope to follow in the footsteps of last year's No. 1 seeds Michael McClune and Tennys Sandgren in fighting off all challengers for titles at the USTA Boys 18 and 16 National Championships, which begin tomorrow in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Boys 18s Top Seed Ryan Harrison
© ZooTennis.com
The 16-year-old Harrison, who trains at the John Newcombe Tennis Academy in New Braunfels, Texas, heads an unusually deep field in the 18s, which features seven players in the ATP's top 1000, all of whom are contenders for the prestigious title and the U.S. Open main draw wild card that accompanies it.

Harrison became a member of an elite group in April by qualifying for Houston's U.S. Men's Clay Courts main draw, then stunning Top 100 ATP player Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in straight sets. Harrison joins Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal on a short list of players whose first ATP victory has come before turning 16. An unseeded quarterfinalist in Kalamazoo's 18s division last year, Harrison, who competes as a professional, is ninth in the ITF World Junior rankings.

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