FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – To a degree Sam Querrey has a point, there should be more Americans playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium, but then again he also has to understand the USTA’s point of view.
On Friday, the 20th seed said this in his post interview press conference: “We have a lot of Americans here. None of us play on center court. If you go to the French Open, they have Gasquet, Benneteau, Monfils; they’re on center court every day.”
A fair statement from the Los Angeles native, but he has to understand, unlike London, Paris or Melbourne, he’s in New York, maybe the most international city in the world. The home of the United Nations, where its citizen hail from every part of the world. This is the home of the Yankees, and everyone knows New Yorkers like their winners.
So Flushing Meadows demands don’t meet the standards of any other major, let alone tournament, in the world, as the New Yorkers and those who fly into the city to see the Open want to see the best players in the world showcased and not just the Americans.
At Roland Garros, the crowd is mainly French, as it’s a very provincial city and that’s why you see French nationals getting showcased.
And frankly, Querrey should also understand he doesn’t have the pedigree to be demanding anything from the Open. He has a won six tournaments in his career with four of them coming in 2010. His highest was winning Memphis back in February which was a Tour 500 win with the rest being 250s. Frankly he’s not the name and draw the US Open is looking at to showcase. In all honesty, Querrey is not a household name, rather a someone the hardcore tennis fans know. He’s an up and comer, but still hasn’t made his mark.
Querrey, though, may have said this out of annoyance. There were very few people in his presser on Friday, with that being his final statement of his five questions.
Today, after reaching the Quarterfinals, after beating Nicolas Almagro, 6-4 6-3 6-3, he was asked to clarify his remarks.
“I definitely don’t think it could hurt,” he said. “It’s maybe comfortable ‑‑ I think we would feel more comfortable if we ‑‑ especially if John [Isner], Mardy [Fish], and myself for the first rounds played on Ashe, instead of playing on Armstrong, Grandstand, and all of a sudden you’re out on Ashe for the first time.
“I definitely think it would help. I don’t know what goes into the schedule. I know a lot of it is TV and stuff like that. It would be nice if we could play a few more matches on Ashe. But, you know, I don’t have any control over that.”
Actually he does have control. If Querrey wants to be a mainstay on Arthur Ashe, then all he has to do is win. You don’t see Andy Roddick getting bumped to Armstrong or the Grandstand and the Williams sisters always play on centre court. And back in the day Andre Agassi always got the main stage, even at the end of his career because the crowd demanded it.
If the US Open wanted to go the route of showcasing the middle seeds on Ashe, then the top players would get bumped. Try telling Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal they have to go to Armstrong, because room needs to be made for Querrey, Isner, and Fish.
And frankly, Querrey has little to complain about. Armstrong seats 10,000 people, and when he is out there, it’s usually a packed house behind America’s best remaining hope.
Right now, Querrey has little to worry about. He is going to be on Ashe for the rest of the tournament and if he happens to win the Open, he would have secured a spot for himself the rest of his career.
But now he needs to produce, because everything else seems like petty griping.