10 things to know about Novak Djokovic-slayer Sam Querrey
With a 10-year professional career, World No. 41 and US Davis Cupper Sam Querrey, aged 28, has been around for many years now albeit in the fringes. With his sensational upset of the planet’s hottest player Novak Djokovic in the third round of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships, he has suddenly burst into the spotlight.
Tennis fans will now be keenly watching if he can back up the biggest win of his career and progress deeper into the draw. Before the American embarks on that journey on a much-awaited Manic Monday at SW19, here are ten things that will help you to get to know Sam Querrey better:
1. San Francisco-born Sam Querrey has sport in his genes as his father Mike played college baseball despite having been drafted by the Detroit Tigers. His younger sister has also dabbled in volleyball in high school.
2. It was his father who inspired him to choose a pro career in 2006 over a scholarship offer from the University of Southern California. Mike Querrey never got to make peace with his own decision of turning down the Tigers in favour of college baseball and he motivated his son to pursue tennis professionally.
For the young Sam, it was a tough choice and he later admitted his dilemma in an interview, saying that it was “one of the toughest decisions of my life. […] I’d play a match and want to go pro. I’d lose and want to go to college.”
3. Riding on his booming serve and forehands, the 6’6’’ American did have some early success in his career. In 2006, he won his first Challenger event on pro debut.
Two years later, the 20-year-old laid hands on his first trophy at the ATP Tour level in Las Vegas. The next two years were very productive and brought him as many as five titles across all three surfaces.
4. 2010 especially was his annus mirabilis that saw him capture four titles one of which was the premier Wimbledon tune-up event at the Queen’s Club. That success also propelled him to his best-ever ranking of 17th in January the very next year.
5. A right elbow surgery in 2011 laid him low after which he managed to win just two more titles, taking his overall title count to 8 in singles. The latest of those triumphs came this year in February at the Delray Beach on hardcourts.
6. He is a decent doubles player too and has five titles to his name with a career-best ranking of 23rd achieved in 2010. His partnership with fellow giant American John Isner became a much talked-about team and was even dubbed ‘Quisner’. They had their biggest moment in 2011 when they triumphed on the clay courts of the Rome Masters.
7. Before 2016 Wimbledon, he reached the fourth round of Grand Slams in singles thrice – the 2008 US Open, the 2010 Wimbledon and the 2010 US Open. In 2012, he was involved in the second-longest singles match ever played at the All-England Club when Marin Cilic beat him 7-6(6), 6-4, 6(2)-7, 6(3)-7, 17-15 in 5 hours 31 minutes in their third-round clash.
8. He had his best showing in doubles last year when he reached the men’s doubles semi-finals and the mixed doubles final at the US Open.
9. His serve has always been the talking point throughout his career. He holds the record of slamming 10 consecutive aces against then-World No. 10 James Blake at the Indianapolis quarter-finals in 2007. That was instrumental in fetching him his maiden win over a top-10 player.
10. In 2015, Querrey was in the news for reasons other than his skills on the tennis court. He was a part of Bravo TV’s show titled ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ where host Patti Stanger tried to play cupid for him.