Querrey Is On The Rise
Six foot six American, Sam Querrey, considered by some in the tennis world to be the next great “American hope” on the men’s side, reached a career high ranking of twenty-six with his title at the LA Open yesterday where he beat Australian qualifier, Carsten Ball, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 (they’d played in their junior days). It was the second career title for the twenty-one
By reaching his fourth final in 2009, Querrey joins a select group of players, i.e. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. In 2009, the big-serving Querrey is also near the top of the Tour serving stats, i.e. third place behind Ivo Karlovic and Andy Roddick for most aces, second place behind Karlovic for winning percentage on first service points (Querrey is at eighty percent) and fifth place behind Karlovic, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in terms of winning percentage of service games played (Querrey has won eighty-seven percent!).
Querrey has been on the radar for more than a year since he won his first title in Las Vegas, reached the round of 16 at the 2008 U.S. Open losing a tough match to Rafael Nadal and then acquitted himself quite well in his first Davis Cup tie where he lost again to Nadal in four tight sets on clay in Spain. Sam has a laid back appearance in interviews which masks his competitive fire. As he continues to work on his fitness, Sam must also handle the pressures he faces to fight through the rough patches in a match. At the same time, a huge first serve and powerful forehand will carry a competitive guy pretty high in the rankings, e.g. Andy Roddick. The challenge for Querrey will be to shrewdly manage his schedule for the rest of this summer leading into the U.S. Open. In addition, if Sam continues to rise up the rankings, he will not only face the increasing expectations on him from the American tennis community, but also the other players in the locker room. As many top players can tell you, it’s much harder to stay at the top than to climb the mountain.