Southern California Tennis

Wimbledon – Playing Well May Not Be Enough

In his second round Wimbledon match, Sam Querrey faced Roger Federer, last year’s tournament finalist. Detailing all that the seventeen-time Grand Slam winner, (seven of which were secured at The Championships), has done in his career could be enough to make readers move on to another story. Simply stated, Querrey, who grew up in Thousand Oaks, but now resides in Las Vegas, didn’t play badly; he just faced Federer, one of the game’s all-time best…

Sam Querrey  Photo

Sam Querrey

In the walkway, just off the spacious Centre Court, the No. 2 seed told the BBC television interviewer, after the match, “Sam has had a good run the past few weeks, getting to the final in Nottingham.  We were really close until the end of the first set when I got the break. Then, I had a really good run. In ten minutes, I broke him again and just carried on.”

The score was 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 and the contest took a mere sixty-six minutes. It may have seemed much longer to Querrey, though.

Tim Henman, a four-time Wimbledon semifinalist and the reason “Henman Hill exists, on the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, where spectators can watch play on a huge Jumbotron, told the BBC audience, “Querrey played very well in the beginning. He was serving so well, he had Federer on his heels. But, once he got the set and the break in the second, he was really free-wheeling.”

Querrey added, “I came out hot.  The first nine games really were neck and neck.  I thought we both played well.

“I was happy with how I played overall.  My first‑serve percentage was what hurt me the most today.  I think it was 57%.  But, other than that, I felt I hit the ball great from the baseline; returned well.”

Then stating the obvious, the twenty-seven-year-old said of his Swiss opponent, “He’s really good. He did a good job of bringing me in on his terms and then made me hit tough volleys. But, I was happy with how I played.”

With Querrey’s defeat John Isner and wild card Denis Kudla are the only US men still in the singles draw. On the women’s side, led by a trio, all with section ties, America has strong representation in the third round of The Championships.

Yesterday, CoCo Vandeweghe dispatched Karolina Pliskova, the No. 11 seed from the Czech Republic, 7-6, 6-4. Sloane Stephens matched the second round victory, downing countrywoman Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-4. In a contest that took two days to complete, Madison Keys finally got past Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.

Madison Keys  Photo Susan Mullane _ camerawork usa

Madison Keys
Photo Susan Mullane _ camerawork usa

Back on court today, the No. 21 seed took sixty-eight minutes to down Elizaveta Kulichkova, who comes from Novosibirsk, the third largest city in Russia (after Moscow and St. Petersburg), 6-4, 7-6.

The ever candid Keys, who is coached by Lindsay Davenport and her husband, Jonathan Leach, addressed the closeness of the match saying, “I think it’s really important being able to win when you’re not playing your best, or coming into a tournament not having a lot of matches and kind of struggling through some early rounds. But, I think that’s just getting better, learning how to figure things out.”

She admitted, “I think the way that she was going for her shots was really, really surprising. In tight moments, she kept going for it, and she never really gave me, a free point on anything. It was kind of surprising, but I was just really, really happy I was able to get through it.”

Keys, along with Vandeweghe and Stephens, got through. Querrey, whose best Wimbledon performance came in 2010 when he reached the Round of 16, wasn’t able to succeed, but he faced a formidable task. After all, Federer holds the Open Era record with fifteen grass court titles and is, now, just two wins short of one hundred forty victories on the surface. Roger Federer is Roger Federer and today, Sam Querrey found out why.

Mark Winters

Look for a fresh examination of tennis topics at “Mark Thoughts”

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