Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Querrey surprises seed in Australian Open

File photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey appears to be breaking out of a long slump.
   The 26-year-old San Francisco native dismissed 23rd-seeded Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 late Tuesday night (California time) in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey blasted 19 aces, converted 72 percent of his first serves and won 88 percent of the points on his first serve.
   "That was one of my best serving days ever," Querrey, who has played part-time for the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis for the past two seasons, told reporters. "And I felt like I returned very well. He has a huge serve. I felt like I did a good job of making him play on his service games.
    "It's one of my biggest wins in the past 12 months. It was overall a really solid match for me, the best I've felt in a long time. I just feel like I'm playing really well right now. I hope I can keep it up."
   Querrey dropped from No. 22 in the world at the beginning of last year to No. 46 at the end of 2013 and entered the Australian Open at No. 51. 
   Querrey will appear in the third round of the Australian Open, his best result in Melbourne, for the fourth time in eight appearances. He will meet 15th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy for the first time, with the winner likely facing No. 2 seed and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic.
   Fognini eliminated Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, a 32-year-old left-hander who reached the quarterfinals of the 2008 Australian  Open, 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
   In the first round of doubles, Querrey and Ryan Harrison of Boca Raton, Fla. lost to Simone Bolelli of Italy and Fognini 6-2, 7-5.
   Also, women's top seeds and defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy defeated Mona Barthel of Germany and Megan Moulton-Levy of Washington, D.C., 7-5, 6-2 in the opening round. Moulton-Levy made her WTT debut for the Capitals last season.

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