Sweeting ousts Querrey on Houston clay
Ryan Sweeting escaped six break points in the final game and upset fellow American Sam Querrey 3-6, 7-6 (5) 6-3 in the first round of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships on Wednesday night.
Sweeting survived 18 of 24 break points. Querrey, the second seed, lost three points on his serve in the tiebreaker, including a double-fault for set point.
There were 11 total service breaks in the match. The players broke each other in seven consecutive games, spanning from the last five games of second set through the first two games of the third.
''I think overall I was happy with the way I played,'' Sweeting said. ''I started off really slow and he broke me in the first game and served really well. I was standing way back on his serves and had no chance to break him. I knew I had to do something so in the second set I started stepping in on his second serve and returned pretty well.
''Then, I couldn't serve.''
After a strong start, Querrey faded.
''I just don't feel comfortable on clay yet,'' Querrey said. ''I need to just put a couple of weeks of practice in there and get ready for the next tournament.''
Fourth-seeded John Isner of the United States broke from a tight first set for a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina.
Isner served up 14 aces and did not face a break point in the match.
''I actually enjoy playing on clay, but the first one is very tough,'' Isner said. ''The movement is very different and I only got to practice four or five times on clay. I was just trying to get through.''
Isner, who is 6-feet-9, will play 6-10 Ivo Karlovic of Croatia next.
''It's not often I get to look eye to eye with someone and he's the same,'' Isner said.
Karlovic boomed 12 aces to beat Igor Kunitsyn of Russia 6-4, 6-1.
Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia defeated eighth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6 (4), 6-3.