Tennis

Querrey wins; now top-ranked in US

Share This Story

Richard Evans

Richard Evans has covered tennis since the 1960s, reporting on more than 150 Grand Slams. He is author of 15 books, including the official history of the Davis Cup and the unofficial history of the modern game in "Open Tennis." Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

INDIAN WELLS, CALIF.

Sam Querrey, who took over as the No. 1 ranked American when he beat Australia’s Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 7-5 here Tuesday in the third round of BNP Paribas Open, would have taken up the game earlier if he had not found it so daunting.

Juan Martin del Potro

DESERT HEAT

The world's best players took on the California desert at the 2013 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Check out the best shots.

“I did play tennis when I was 8, but I had more interest in baseball and soccer and things like that,” said the 6-foot-6 giant, who was born in San Francisco.

“I think they’re just easier to play when you are younger. Tennis now has those soft trainer balls and a smaller net, so if I had had those, maybe I would have been more into tennis, because I would have been a little better.”

Luckily for the American game, Querrey did start to play tennis more seriously, and has now overtaken John Isner, who lost in the first round here and slipped out of the top 20.

Querrey will move up sufficiently in the ATP rankings to ensure that the U.S. does have at least one player in the world’s top 20.

“It means a lot,” Querrey said when asked about his new, elevated status.

“It’s a great feeling. I feel I’ve worked hard for it. Everyone seems like they’ve had their shot — Andy (Roddick), Mardy (Fish), James (Blake) and John (Isner), so I feel like it’s my turn now. But some of those guys are right on my heels, so hopefully we can all keep pushing each other and all keep moving up the rankings.”

Querrey said it wouldn’t make too much difference as to how he is perceived.

“I think if you are in the world’s top 10, I think you’re seen a little differently,'' he said. "This is a world wide sport.”

Querrey had to fight hard against the powerful Matosevic, who pummels the ball from both flanks.

“Yeah, it was tough,” Querrey said. “Last couple of weeks, those are the matches that I lost, so it feels great to get through.”

Tough would be one way of describing his next assignment, which will see him line up against the man who is the world No. 1 — Novak Djokovic. Yet in a way, this might be the right time for Querrey to play the Serb.

For one thing, he defeated Djokovic the last time they met, at the Paris Indoors in October, which was the last time Novak lost a match. And, of course, there will be the crowd factor.

But most important, Djokovic, by his standards, is not firing on all cylinders.

The little Italian Fabio Fognini took a set off him the in the previous round, and Tuesday, the young Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov should have won the first set against a strangely passive Djokovic. But, alarmingly for his sake, Dimitrov managed to produce no less than four double faults when he served for the set.

“That’s very unusual in men’s tennis nowadays,” said Djokovic, who won 7-6 (4), 6-1.

Andy Murray and Kim Sears

BETTER TOGETHER

Want to know who supports the best players in the game? Check out these tennis wives and girlfriends.

“I really played poorly in the first set in my opinion. From my standard, I haven’t brought the game to the level I want. I just tried to stay positive and calm and hang in there.”

It was a frustrating day for Mardy Fish, too, although more so because he blew a 4-0 second set lead against the No. 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and went down 7-6, 7-6, losing the second breaker without winning a point.

“I can’t remember losing a set from 4-0,” said an obviously disappointed Fish. “But for a first tournament back after such a long absence, I have to look at the positives. I won a match and I’m feeling fine.”

Later, on a warm evening, Andy Murray, the reigning U.S. Open champion who has never won the title at Indian Wells, had to work harder than the score suggests to beat Yen-Hsun Lu from Taipei 6-3, 6-2.

Lu, who had beaten Murray at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, engaged the Scot in long baseline rallies but could never force a breakthrough.

More Stories From Richard Evans

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Tennis Videos

Djokovic tops Federer in five-set Wimbledon final Posted: Jul 06, 2014
Novak Djokovic captures his second Wimbledon title while denying Roger Federer a...

Dramatic Moments of the Week: 6/2-6/8 Posted: Jun 09, 2014
We count down the most dramatic moments from the week in sports, including the K...

Williams sisters bounced at Roland Garros Posted: May 28, 2014
Andy Roddick on Venus and Serena losing on the same day at the French Open.

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store