Back when Ryan Harrison participated in the 2011 edition of the hard-court ATP tournament in the nation's capital, he was still a teen, still considered the next big thing in American men's tennis, and still talking about wanting to be, in his words at the time, a "multiple Grand Slam champion."
Harrison lost to Viktor Troicki that week. As it happens, all of these years and hiccups later, Harrison played the same guy again Wednesday at the same event, and this time he won, eliminating the 10th-seeded Troicki of Serbia, 7-6 (4), 6-4, to reach the Citi Open's third round as a qualifier.
For Harrison, now 24 and nearly a decade into his professional career, it represents the first time he's won back-to-back main-draw matches in 2016. It also represents a real step back in the right direction for someone who reached his career-best ranking of 43rd in 2012 and is now 158th.
"Mentally, it's been an up and down ride over the last couple years, because the hardest thing to do when you've had early success and you hit a speed bump is to let go of the negative. You can dwell on so many things. At so many stages of my career, I've been angry and irritated. I've been discouraged. Not depressed in my life, but disappointed with the way that I'm playing," Harrison said in an interview after beating Troicki in front of a standing-room-only crowd.
"You can get in a sulky mode. Everything that's built up from negative moments can creep back in," continued Harrison, who was born in Louisiana and is now based in Texas. "The biggest thing for me moving forward is just being who I am today. I know what I can do, I know the level I'm capable of playing, and when I do let go of all that stuff then I feel I give myself chances to win. Because I don't doubt myself from an ability standpoint."
Harrison converted only three of 22 break points, but he counted it as a positive that he didn't let all the missed chances get to him.
"When you're in a situation like I'm in — that you haven't won a ton of matches — it seems like it's tough to convert on opportunities. And it's easy to get discouraged. You miss your first couple, and you feel like you've lost the match," he said. "For me, the biggest turning point for this week, compared to other weeks, has been when I'm not getting that first opportunity, (I'm) staying in there and creating more."
Next for Harrison is an all-American matchup against fifth-seeded Steve Johnson, who beat Adrian Mannarino of France, 6-3, 6-4.
Others advancing included top-seeded John Isner, No. 2 Gael Monfils — who hadn't won a match since early May and said he'd missed time on tour recently because of a virus — No. 3 Bernard Tomic, No. 6 Jack Sock and No. 15 Marcos Baghdatis.
In a match between two of the three teens in the ATP's top 100, seventh-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany saved all five break points he faced and overwhelmed Taylor Fritz of the United States, 6-4, 6-2. They were born six months apart in 1997, but Zverev brushed off the idea that this was a significant meeting of two members of tennis' next generation.
"It doesn't mean a lot for the future," Zverev said. "We both know that there's a lot of improvements to be made for both of us."
The third teen in the top 100, Borna Coric, won Wednesday and faces Monfils next.
In women's play, top-seeded Sam Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, moved on when former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki retired from their match in the second set because of an injured left arm. Wozniacki took the opening set 7-5 despite getting treatment from a trainer after feeling pain in her arm while hitting a backhand late in the set. She stopped playing right after getting broken to trail 4-3 in the second.
Earlier, wild-card entry Jessica Pegula defeated Christina McHale, 7-5, 6-2, to reach her first WTA quarterfinal.
McHale, who pushed Serena Williams to three sets at Wimbledon, is the sister of Harrison's fiancee, Lauren.
Their wedding date is in next March, which coincides with the closing weekend of the Masters tournament in Miami.
"So," noted Harrison, smiling and sounding as confident as ever, "we are hoping to have to reschedule."
D.C. United deals Espindola, acquires ex-Terp Mullins
D.C. United, which is 19th among 20 Major League Soccer teams in goals with 18 this season, made two trades to shake up its attack. The club dealt Fabian Espindola, 31, who has no clear position in the final year of his team-high contract, and acquired Patrick Mullins, 24, who is searching for playing time after a stellar career at Maryland. According to sources, D.C. United received financial considerations, known as allocation money, from the Vancouver Whitecaps for Espindola and sent allocation funds and an international roster slot to New York City FC for Mullins. Mullins had six goals and four assists in 11 league matches last season but has just an assist in 230 minutes this season as he mostly sits behind Spanish star David Villa.
—Steven Goff, The Washington Post
Youth soccer: Alex Krause had five goals and an assist over four games, all victories, as the Baltimore (Under) Armour/Soccer Association of Columbia, Maryland U13 Pre-Academy team won the United States Club Soccer National Premier League championship Monday in Aurora, Colo. The team beat City FC (Dallas), 4-0, and Chicago Inferno Elite, 2-0, in group play, then Intense Academy Athletico (New York), 2-1, in the semifinals and host Real, 1-0, in the final. Sam Kalishman had the winning goal in the semifinal, and Bradley Paz scored the lone goal, on a free kick in the final. Nile Keiller had a goal and an assist, and Diego Lopez scored a goal. Baltimore Armour U13 PA, coached by Oscar Sancho-Davila, is the first SAC academy team to win a national title.
WNBA: Reserve Rebecca Allen hit four 3-pointers and finished with 19 points — both career highs — as the bench of the New York Liberty (18-7) scored a league-record 69 points in an 88-81 win over the host Washington Mystics (9-14). New York's starters scored just 19 points — including 13 by Tina Charles — to tie the WNBA record for fewest by starters in a win. The Mystics' bench scored 63 points in a triple-overtime win against the Los Angeles Sparks on June 1, 2014. Emma Meesseman's jumper capped an 11-3 run that pulled the Mystics within four with 1:45 to play, but Brittany Boyd hit Kiah Stokes for a layup to make it 87-81 a minute later. A steal by Boyd, her third of the game, on Washington's next possession sealed it. New York used an 18-2 run to take a 35-27 lead with 4 minutes left in the first half and led the rest of the way. Meesseman led the Mystics with 20 points.
Golf: Matt Sughrue of Arlington, Va., had rounds of 68-69—137, 3 under par at the Suburban Club, and won the Middle Atlantic Golf Association's 88th Senior championship Tuesday. Tim Dilli of Towson, Mike Occi of Columbia and John Howson of Sparks tied for second at 142. ... Zachary Bauchou of Forest, Va., an Oklahoma State sophomore, matched the Woodholme Country Club course record twice with rounds of 66-66—132, and won the medal in qualifying for the U.S. Amateur championship Tuesday. Tyler Herriott of Brandywine and Bart George of Arnold also advanced to the championship Aug. 15-21 at Oakland Hills CC in suburban Detroit.
Maryland football: Riverdale Baptist cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields, a consensus three-star recruit, has included the Terps among his top college choices, with Alabama, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Michigan State and North Carolina.
--Daniel Gallen, Baltimore Sun Media Group
More college football: Bowie State was predicted to finish second overall to Winston-Salem State in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and first in the Northern Division, according to the conference preseason poll. Bulldogs on the All-CIAA preseason team include seniors Nyme Manns (wide receiver, Patterson), Justin Nestor (offensive lineman, River Hill), Jordan Garrison (wide receiver, Poly) and Sean Copeland (defensive lineman, Overlea) and sophomore Robert Chesson (punt returner, Old Mill). ... Johns Hopkins is ranked No. 15 in the D3football.com preseason poll. The Blue Jays were ranked 13th by the Sporting News earlier this summer.
Book: Jim Palmer, a Hall of Fame pitcher for the Orioles and a TV commentator on the team's games, will sign copies of his book "Nine Innings to Success: A Hall of Famer's Approach to Achieving Excellence," on Friday at the Orioles Team Store at Camden Yards from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fans can purchase the book at the signing for $27.
Sun staff and news services contributed to this article.