Southern California Tennis Camps

Wimbledon – Querrey’s Run Comes To An End

When Sam Querrey’s competitive tennis career comes to an end, he will have a special place in his heart for the 2016 version of The Championships. In the first round, he spent three hours and twenty-two minutes earning his first come from two sets behind career victory when he edged Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 12-10. He added impressively to his credentials by defeating the defending champion and No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6, in the third round, and followed that up with a superbly crafted 6-4, 7-6, 6-4 win over Nicolas Mahut, the Frenchman who lost the longest match in history (eleven hours and five minutes) to John Isner, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 at Wimbledon in 2010.

Sam Querrey Photo Susan Mullane_camerawork usa

Sam Querrey Photo Susan Mullane_camerawork usa

Querrey’s quest to better his best Grand Slam tournament singles performance came to an end today (July 6th) when Milos Raonic of Canada, slipped past him, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. (By reaching the quarterfinals, in London, he became the first American to do so since Mardy Fish in 2011. His imposing Djokovic victory was the first by an American over a No. 1 at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren upset John McEnroe in the 1985 quarterfinals.)

“I don’t think I played poorly at all,” Querrey said after the contest. ”I knew he had a big serve, obviously, but I was really impressed with his net game. He really didn’t miss a volley today. He kept coming forward, kept the pressure on me, and I felt it. Kudos to him for playing a very good, clean match.”

Steve Johnson Fred Mullane_camerawork usa

Steve Johnson Fred Mullane_camerawork usa

In the two hour and thirty-one minute test, Raonic earned “A’s” hitting 58 winners and making but 16 unforced errors compared to the 36 winners/28 unforced errors stats that Querrey put in the book. The end result is hardly surprising because the winner collected 138 points while Querrey earned 110.

Raonic, who John McEnroe is working with at The Championships, offered, “This is the best match I have played all the way through. I was efficient today. Other than those three games (in the third set), I had a very good percentage when I came in. I’m proud of that.”

CoCo Vandeweghe Photo Susan Mullane_camerawork-usa

CoCo Vandeweghe Photo Susan Mullane_camerawork-usa

Having hit only 13 aces to Querrey’s 15 he added, “I saw he was standing pretty far back on the return. I took something off my serve and it allowed me to get closer. I think that’s why I made a few good volleys. I was always in good position.”

Memories of The Championships will be a career highlight for Steve Johnson, too. In 2015, he reached the third round at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. He made the third round again this year Down Under, but at Wimbledon he earned a spot in the fourth round. On Centre Court, Johnson faced “The King” Roger Federer, the seven-time tournament winner, who played like the “Royal” that he seems to be, dispatching the Southern Californian 6-2, 6-3, 7-5.

Federer called the victory his “best match so far…” It also tied him with Jimmy Connors for Open Era Wimbledon quarterfinal appearances at 14. Johnson acknowledged the almost magical way Federer was able to play out of difficult situations with an array of formidable shots that really make him one of the best of all-time.

A year ago, CoCo Vandeweghe was The Championships’ darling. She played a feisty and hotly competitive quarterfinal contest with Maria Sharapova before falling 6-3, 6-7, 6-2. Prior to this year’s event, she was in phenomenal grass court form having won the ‘s-Hertogenbosch title for the second time (2014 was her first pro title). Unfortunately, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was in even better, (taking 63 points to her opponent’s 48), sidelining Vandeweghe, 6-3, 6-3, in the fourth round.

“I started off fine then I had one sloppy game in the first set,” Vandeweghe said. “She broke me at love then I broke back immediately. I got a little unlucky at 3-4. She had a return off the net that dribbled over, off a very good serve that I hit. So that was the story of the first set.

“The second, getting down a break early is never a confidence booster. Getting down a double break is not something that I should be dealing with off of my serve. I tried to keep the pressure on her as best I could, but it was a very poor returning day for me.”

For Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson The Championships was “brilliant.” For the effervescent Coco Vandeweghe it wasn’t quite as “smashing” as she had hoped, but it was surely one that she will never forget.

Mark Winters

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

 

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