Sam Querrey Poised for Another Deep Run at Wimbledon

Sam Querrey Wimbledon
Spread the love

Still affected by a nagging abdominal injury, Sam Querrey was, in the eyes of many, an afterthought entering Wimbledon. The big-serving American did boast a superb 11-3 singles record over the last three editions of The Championships, reaching the semifinals in 2017. But it was reasonable to remain sceptical about his chances of replicating a deep run after what has been a injury-hit season for the Californian.

Equally, however, Querrey is no stranger to wreaking havoc at the All England Lawn Club, upsetting top seeds Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in consecutive seasons. In case you forgot, the San Francisco native played lights out back then. He dismantled two of the most resilient players ever by repeatedly hitting his spots, no matter how razor-thin his margins were.  In 2019, after his three-month layoff, Querrey racked up four victories at the Eastbourne tune-up event, but losing the final in straight sets to Taylor Fritz tempered most expectations.

Wimbledon brings out the best in Querrey

However, since arriving at SW19, Querrey has turned into a real-life Thanos, bulldozing world #4 Dominic Thiem 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-0 and talented youngster Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-2 6-3. The 31-year-old has won 56.3 per cent of the points played, a robust number considering the level of opposition. Moreover, he has been sterling under duress, fending off all 11 break points he has faced so far.

In a post-match chat with Brett Haber and Jon Wertheim at the Tennis Channel studio, Querrey broke down his approach when facing break points in to three key elements: make the first serve, be aggressive and get to the net.

Maintaining a high first serve percentage is paramount for Querrey. Along with Daniil Medvedev, he leads all players in percentage of first serve points won, winning an outstanding 88 percent of the points behind his first delivery through the first two rounds.

Open draw, on paper

Querrey might be the purest grass courter in his quarter of the draw. According to Tennis Abstract’s ELO-based forecast, the American has a respectable 21.2 percent chance of reaching the semis for the second time in his career, trailing only two-time champion Rafael Nadal. However, he prefers to keep his feet on the ground.

“It’s impossible not to look at the draw and say ‘Hey, I’m maybe the best grass court player there,’ but everyone is good. I got John Millman next, who beat Roger Federer at the US Open,” Querrey said to Haber and Wertheim. “John also won today in straight sets 6-3 6-2 6-1 (versus Laslo Djere) and he’s confident on the grass. He’s a great player, makes you hit a lot of balls, so I’m going to worry about that match on Saturday and that match only.”

For the record, Querrey prevailed in both his previous matches against Millman, although they took place on hard court at the Challenger level, back in a distant 2014. If he can so again on the hallowed lawns at Wimbledon, he will once again find himself in the second week of the Championships. And from there, anything is possible.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images