With Marin Cilic going out, the bottom half of the draw is wide open. So much so that Sam Querrey gave his thoughts on what it means.
“It will be weird to have a guy in a final that has never been there before,” he said.
And what if that guy is you Sam? How weird would that be?
And it could happen. He’s the only player left in that half of the draw that played in a grand slam semifinal and this year, Querrey is playing the best tennis of his life.
It just is clicking for him.
“I think it was in Acapulco, my second round against (David) Goffin,” Querrey said. “I really clicked in that match, really committed to being aggressive, coming forward. I feel like from that point forward this year, I’ve just played probably the best I’ve played in my career.”
So now with John Isner bowing out of the Open, a lonely nation turns its eyes on Sam after he dispatched Radu Albot 4-6 6-2 6-4 6-4 to reach the round of 16.
It’s ironic, because Querrey was somewhat of a journeyman before this year. He had a big serve, but didn’t move as well as some of the better players. Now, though, it has changed.
He made his run at Wimbledon where he reached the semis. And now he is looking as strong as ever, even though he’s not getting the respect he deserves. Sure, he played on the temporary Armstrong today, but in the second round, his match was put on an outer court, because of lack of interested and because the Open needed to double up due to the rain.
And now, just a few days later he’s America’s only hope for a finalist this year.
Of course, he can’t get too over excited when he’s on Arthur Ashe. Querrey needs to stay within himself.
“I play my best when I’m not too emotional either way. If I change that based on the crowd size, something bad will happen,” he said. “I’m just doing what I do, keep my emotions pretty levelheaded. People can come out and watch if they want. If they don’t want to, they don’t have to.”
They will be watching for sure and even though Querrey has a good path to the finals, there will be some pitfalls ahead, starting with No. 23 seed Mischa Zverev, who sent Isner packing with a 6-4 6-3 7-6(5) tonight.
“It’s tricky playing a lefty,” he said. “Serves and volleys, chips the slice. I wouldn’t call him a clean ball-striker. He gives you a different look at a ball every time, which can be frustrating.
“I’ll sit with my coach. I’m assuming he’ll know what to do. That’s why he gets the big bucks.”
And if Querrey is playing next Friday, he will get the big bucks too.