Who said American men’s tennis is dead?
No sir, it’s alive and well and living in the person of Sam Querrey.
Now after his fourth-round decimation of Micha Zverev, 6-2 6-2 6-1, Querry has become the first American to make the Quarterfinal, since Andy Roddick in 2011.
And it looks like he may have a clear path to the Final next Sunday and if he does make it, Querrey becomes the first American in the Finals in 10 years (Roddick in 2006).
We may be a little early for that and we know, but with the drought like this one, we can dream.
By the way Querrey played tonight, it’s right to dream.
“Felt good out there from the beginning,” he said. “I felt like even when I was warming up, the ball was coming off clean. I felt like I was going to play well before the first point started.”
Even though he’s been on the tour since 2007, this was Querrey’s first time playing under the Arthur Ashe lights and he excelled.
Almost immediately into the match, Querrey broke Zverev and it was off to the races. Querrey did what John Isner didn’t do in Friday against Zverev, which is why he had such an easy time against the No. 23 seed.
Look, this is a different player than the one we saw even last year, where Querrey was in Isner’s shadow and becoming lapped by younger Americans on the tour.
For Querrey if he made it through to the first weekend, his Open would have been considered a success. Third round exits were considered his high watermark and frankly, he was what he was.
But something changed in Acapulco and Querrey became more aggressive in his style. He made the Semifinals in Wimbledon and now is in the Quarters here in Flushing Meadows, something you would have never dreamed of last year.
“I wouldn’t consider myself a late-bloomer,” he said. “I’ve been decent for 10 years. I’ve heard that a lot already.”
Now Querrey faces the No. 25 seed in Kevin Anderson, whom he holds an 8-6 record. Querrey beat him in five sets in Wimbledon, but then lost up in Canada last month to Anderson in straight sets.
“He’s tough,” Querrey said. “A close record. Got a big game. He’s another one that is tough to play. He doesn’t give you much rhythm. He can go games where he’s serving huge, you don’t get a ball in play. He takes big cuts from start to finish. If he’s on and he is dialed in, he’s one of the toughest guys to play out there. You have to weather the storm against him, know he’s going to have some brilliant shots.
“But I feel like when my game’s on, I have a dangerous game as well.”
That’s so true. Querrey is now America’s hope in men’s tennis. He feels no pressure, but if he beats Anderson, who knows?
But at least until Tuesday, American men’s tennis is alive and well and living in Sam Querrey.