Ryan Harrison is the latest American to come out from under the USTA umbrella and go his own way on the coaching side.
The 25-year-old from Texas, currently ranked No. 47 and winner of the French Open doubles title this year with friend Michael Venus, announced the change Tuesday.
Harrison has hired the indefatigable Michael Russell as his coach for 2018.
Davide Sanguinetti and Peter Lucassen (who works with the USTA out of California and, more specifically, with up-and-comer Ernesto Escobedo) had been listed as his coaches.
“His reputation on and off the court are flawless and I look forward to getting to work,” Harrison said of Russell on Twitter. “Also would like to thank the USTA for their support.”
Russell, 39, wrapped up a long playing career at the 2015 US Open. He reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 60 in 2007.
What stood out with Russell during his career was his off-the-charts work ethic. It wasn’t unusual to see him on the practice courts at tournaments for extended periods daily, with two and sometimes three different players.
Harrison and Russell share Texas roots.
Russell works out of the Houston Racquet Club, where he was named director of the Houston High Performance Tennis Program back in May.
Harrison lives in Austin.
Excited to announce that next year @MRusselltennis and I will be working together. His reputation on and off the court are flawless and I look forward to getting to work. Also would like to thank the @usta for their support. American Tennis is ready to rock in 2018! #usa #tennis
— Ryan Harrison (@ryanharrison92) December 5, 2017
Harrison’s countryman Jack Sock, also 25, made a similar change this past summer.
He had worked with the USTA’s Troy Hahn for three years. But after longtime USTA head of men’s tennis Jay Berger stepped down from that role in June, Sock picked him up a month later.