FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – With all the attention going to Andy Roddick, John Isner, Mardy Fish and at this tournament, James Blake, Sam Querrey has become the forgotten man at the US Open.
And it was just a year ago when he was 17th in the world but then fell to 120th after a knee injury.
Now he’s back to 28th in the world and is the No. 27 seed at the Open.
“I was hurt last year and dropped from 17 to 120,” he said. “But it was very tough to get back to where I am now at 28.”
Today he made a step to continue his climb by beating Yen-Hsun, 6-7 6-4 6-4 7-5 to move onto the second round of the Open.
“Lu is a tough player,” he said. “A little windy. Hits the ball low and flat. It’s tough for me because I’m a taller guy, I like it up a little higher.
“I didn’t play my best out there, but I just stuck with it so I’m happy to move on.”
Believe it or not, Querrey could be the face of American’s tennis in the near future. He is only 24 and by today’s standards approaching his prime. A former Top 20 player in the world, Querrey has a chance to make some noise.
But he has to keep on track and that includes staying healthy and keep on winning.
“I need to keep winning like I’ve been doing,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been playing at a higher level than 28. I feel like if I keep doing what I’m doing, I can get back into the top 15 and hopefully top 10.
“I want to keep serving big, hitting big forehands and taking risks and going for it more like I’ve been doing.”
He said we are in a period where guys in late 20s have been taking center stage. He things eventually the cycle will swing back to the teenagers eventually but that’s not anytime soon.
So with some of the top players getting older, Querrey has a chance to make some noise, even at this Open where he feels like he’s playing his best tennis.
But the second round comes first with a match against Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo.
“I play Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo who I played once before on grass in Newport like four years ago,” he said. “So I don’t really remember a whole lot. I feel like if I serve well and do what I did today, hit big forehands, I have a good chance to win that and hopefully move on to the next round.”
If he does, he may not be the forgotten man in American men’s tennis anymore.