Querrey: No stage fright

American looks ready to make mark in a major

September 06, 2010|By Diane Pucin, Tribune Newspapers

NEW YORK — Sam Querrey has six titles in his four-year career, including four this season.

Problem is, all those victories have come at smaller events. Behind his back, Querrey sometimes is called "King of the 250s," meaning the 22-year-old hasn't made a mark at any of the Grand Slams or the major ATP events such as Indian Wells or Key Biscayne that offer more rankings points and have stronger fields.

But Querrey, seeded 20th at this U.S. Open, is acting as if he belongs on the biggest stage. In fact, he's asking for it.

After winning his third-round match Sunday at Louis Armstrong Stadium, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 over 14th-seeded Nicolas Almagro, Querrey said he'd like his next match to be at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"I'm ready for it," Querrey said.

His fourth-round opponent is unexpected. Stocky Swiss veteran Stanislaw Wawrinka upset fourth-seeded Andy Murray 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-3.

Querrey's friend and sometimes doubles partner John Isner didn't fare as well. He had his serve broken in the first game of his match with 12th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny and played from behind most of the night in a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (5), 6-4 loss.

Third-seeded Venus Williams, dressed to impress in a fire-engine-red dress, overpowered 16th-seeded Shahar Peer 7-6 (3), 6-3 and earned a quarterfinal date with French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, who beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 6-0.

Defending champion and second-seeded Kim Clijsters took less than an hour to eliminate Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 6-1. Clijsters will play the winner of Sunday night's match between Samantha Stosur and Elena Dementieva.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal was one of five Spanish men to stay alive in the top half of the draw. Nadal beat Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

Nadal's quarterfinal opponent will be 23rd-seeded Feliciano Lopez, who was up 6-3, 4-0 when Sergiy Stakhovsky retired with an injured right toe.

Stat of the day: Williams topped out her service speed at 127 mph. Her fastest second serve was 112 — faster than Peer's fastest serve of 107 mph.

Quote of the day: Nadal, disputing a rumor he refused to take a courtesy car that had a picture of Roger Federer on the side: "This is a very stupid thing. I was in a van with the picture of Roger, both sides of the van, like 15 times these two weeks. I want this car because it is bigger."

Monday's featured matches: Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki vs. 14th seed and 2006 champ Maria Sharapova; 13th-seeded Jurgen Melzer vs. second seed and five-time champ Federer.

dpucin@tribune.com

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