Querrey The Forgotten Man

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – With all the attention going to Andy Roddick, John Isner, Mardy Fish and at this tournament, James Blake, Sam Querrey has become the forgotten man at the US Open.

And it was just a year ago when he was 17th in the world but then fell to 120th after a knee injury.

Now he’s back to 28th in the world and is the No. 27 seed at the Open.

“I was hurt last year and dropped from 17 to 120,” he said. “But it was very tough to get back to where I am now at 28.”

Today he made a step to continue his climb by beating Yen-Hsun, 6-7 6-4 6-4 7-5 to move onto the second round of the Open.

“Lu is a tough player,” he said.  “A little windy.  Hits the ball low and flat.  It’s tough for me because I’m a taller guy, I like it up a little higher.

“I didn’t play my best out there, but I just stuck with it so I’m happy to move on.”

Believe it or not, Querrey could be the face of American’s tennis in the near future. He is only 24 and by today’s standards approaching his prime. A former Top 20 player in the world, Querrey has a chance to make some noise.

But he has to keep on track and that includes staying healthy and keep on winning.

“I need to keep winning like I’ve been doing,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been playing at a higher level than 28.  I feel like if I keep doing what I’m doing, I can get back into the top 15 and hopefully top 10.

“I want to keep serving big, hitting big forehands and taking risks and going for it more like I’ve been doing.”

He said we are in a period where guys in late 20s have been taking center stage. He things eventually the cycle will swing back to the teenagers eventually but that’s not anytime soon.

So with some of the top players getting older, Querrey has a chance to make some noise, even at this Open where he feels like he’s playing his best tennis.

But the second round comes first with a match against Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo.

“I play Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo who I played once before on grass in Newport like four years ago,” he said. “So I don’t really remember a whole lot.  I feel like if I serve well and do what I did today, hit big forehands, I have a good chance to win that and hopefully move on to the next round.”

If he does, he may not be the forgotten man in American men’s tennis anymore.

 

 

Aussie Kim Going For The Aussie Win

When we last saw Kim Clijsters and Vera Zvonareva in a Grand Slam, Clijsters had the upper hand with a 6-2, 6-1 demolition in route to her second Grand Slam title in a row.

Yet, now the two are playing in the Semifinals at the Australian Open, Aussie Kim isn’t taking any chances.

“Uhm, I think I was playing well at Wimbledon,” Clijsters said after her Quarterfinal win over Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-3 7-6. “I won the first set. I kind of just, you know, dropped my game a little bit. She’s a player who will be very consistent throughout a whole match, will not really mix her game up tremendously. She’ll always give you the same kind of thing. I think she did that really well.

“At the US Open I don’t think she played her best tennis in the final, and I was able to just really take advantage of that. I played really well in the beginning of the points, moved her around. Yeah, so, I mean, there were obviously two different matches, also I think from her side and also from my side.

“It will be tough. There will be a lot of rallies, long rallies I think. But I’ve always enjoyed playing my matches against her. They’ve always been a lot of fun. They’ve been, like I said, like physical and just kind of what you expect coming up for a semifinal.”

Clijsters is playing very well at Melbourne, not dropping a set and trying to get a Major outside of the US Open. Back in Flushing, she pinpointed Melbourne as her best chance, because the surface is similar to the one in Queens and he play this past week and a half has proved it.

But she face opponents below her ranking and if everything goes according to plan, the world’s most famous mother will have to face the No. 2 seed in Zvonareva and the No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the final.

But number’s don’t bother her.

“I don’t feel like I’m No. 3 in the world. I don’t think about a number,” she said. “I mean, it’s a number. I just try to be the best Kim out there whenever I play, and it’s not about numbers. I mean, obviously we want to do well. We all want to win.

“But, you know, I remember when I first became No. 1. It was something when I was young. It was like, Wow, to be No. 1 in the world. When you actually get to it, It’s like, Oh, that’s it?

“So it’s a number, and it’s something that you obviously don’t get given for free. You have to work very hard to get to that. But, uhm, yeah, like I said, it’s just a number.”

And if everything goes by the numbers, Clijsters will be on track for her first non-US Open Grand Slam No. 1 in the next few days.

Caroline Big Under the Sunshine (With A Great Dress Too)

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The only thing brighter than Caroline Wozniacki’s game today may have been her dress. The exclusive adidas design features a florescent yellow inseam to go with it more earth tone appeal.

“Well, I’m so lucky that I am the face of adidas and Stella McCartney and I have my own special line that no one else is wearing,” Wozniacki said.  “I think that’s really nice. For me it’s important to feel good on court and of course to look good.  Then I can focus on my tennis at 100%.”

Of course, the size of the dress is something that has turned a few heads, which is a big tight compared to other outfits.

“I think it’s nice.  I definitely am sure I’ll get a lot of male fans now,” she laughed.

Actually Wozniacki could have worn a burqa out there and still turned won over fans after beating Maria Sharapova, 6-3 6-4, to advance to the quarterfinals. The 20 year old showed tremendous confidence on the court and fought back her toughest challenge to date.

“I was going out there and I knew I could win,” said Wozniacki, who now improves to 19-1 since Wimbledon.  “But I knew it was going to be tough.  I knew that I had to fight for every point.  I knew that she wasn’t going to go away.  I knew she was going to hang in there and keep fighting till the end.”

The No. 14 seed may have fought, but she made just too many mistakes today. With 36 unforced errors, 9 double faults and a putrid 1-8 on breakpoints, Sharapova essentially made it easy for Wozniacki.

“Against someone that’s playing really well, playing with a lot of confidence, it’s really important to take those chances that you have, the very few that come your way,” she said. “I felt like I played a couple of good points and then, you know, make an easy error, hit a return long or miss a first serve, give her many looks at second‑serve returns.  You know, didn’t feel like I put much pressure on her.

The biggest fight in the match came in the first set after Wozniacki went up 4-1. Sharapova raged back to bring the set back on serve with the Russian serving to tie it up, but the Dane was able to the break the 2006 Champion back and went on cruise control from there.

No matter what Sharapova tried to do, Wozniacki had an answer. When she won a few points with the light lob to bring her opponent in from the baseline, the winner of the Pilot Pen Championship was able to have an answer.

And even when she fell down, Sharapova wouldn’t capitalize, by shooting the ball over the line.

“Well, you know, at first I was like, Okay, I should have hit that first shot better,” Wozniacki said.  “But then I was, Okay, I’m at the net.  Then I see her lobbing me.  Okay, I have to go back.  Then I fall on my butt.  I’m like, Okay, well, tough luck, I lost this point.  Then I look back, and I couldn’t see whether it was in and out.  Then I look at the linesman, I see it’s out.  I’m like, Okay, I was pretty lucky.

“You know, I thought it was quite funny, too.”

But to Sharapova this was no laughing matter, as the former champion apparently still have a ways to go before she can get back to the top.

Today was just another step.

“Obviously, losing a match, 30 minutes later, you’re not the happiest person in the world,” said Sharapova who now falls to 12-15 since Wimbledon. “But at the end of the day, I’m sure you’ve heard it many times, but it’s a tennis match.  You’ve just got to look back at the match and what you should have done differently, what you need to work on.”

Petrova To Quarters In Quebec

QUEBEC, CITY, Quebec – Nadia Petrova may be thankful Melanie Oudin dropped out of the Bell Challenge. After losing in the fourth round to the 17 year-old, Petrova rebounded to make the quarterfinals of the Quebec City Tournament.

Petrova, the top seed and defending champion in the 220,000-dollar tournament, beat Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-2 in 69 minutes, belting 10 aces past the 19-year-old American in their second-round clash.

This comes a day after the Russian knocked out Open mixed doubles winner Carly Gullickson in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.

Petrova will face fifth-seeded Hungarian Melinda Czink, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over France’s Severine Bremond Beltrame in the quarterfinals.