Sunday, February 21, 2016

Querrey wins first title in four years; Bellis loses

Sam Querrey beat Rajeev Ram to win the Delray
Beach (Fla.) Open. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey said he played "ugly tennis" throughout the Delray Beach (Fla.) Open.
   It was still good enough for the 28-year-old San Francisco native to win his first singles title in four years.
   Querrey topped Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., 6-4, 7-6 (6) today in only the second final between unseeded players in the tournament's 24-year history.
   Querrey, 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters), overcame early breaks in each set and deficits of 0-3, 2-5 and 5-6 in the tiebreaker.
   "It was kind of nervous, ugly tennis all week," Querrey told reporters after winning his eighth career singles title. "But sometimes it feels better to win when you don't play your best."
   Another San Francisco native, 16-year-old CiCi Bellis, lost to countrywoman Jamie Loeb 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the final of the $25,000 Surprise (Ariz.) Tennis Open.
   Querrey -- who lives in the tax haven of Las Vegas, where he spent part of his childhood -- jumped 18 places to No. 43 in the world. He reached a career-high No. 17 in 2011.
   Ram, who will turn 32 next month, soared 29 spots to a career-high No. 60.
   Both players have excelled in Northern California.
   Querrey won the doubles title in the now-defunct SAP Open in San Jose with Mardy Fish in 2010 and swept the singles titles in the three-week NorCal Challenger swing through Napa, Sacramento and Tiburon in 2014.
   Ram reached the singles final of the Sacramento Challenger 10 years ago, losing to since-retired Paul Goldstein, and took the doubles crown in the 2011 SAP Open with Scott Lipsky.
   In the Delray Beach doubles final, unseeded Oliver Marach of Austria and Fabrice Martin of France escaped six match points to stun top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan 3-6, 7-6 (7) [13-11].
   The 37-year-old Bryan twins led 9-5 in the match tiebreaker. They were seeking their third straight Delray Beach title and fifth overall. 
   Goldstein, Lipsky and the Bryans all starred at Stanford.
   Bellis, an amateur who lives near Stanford in Atherton, committed 12 double faults and won only 12 of 38 points (32 percent) of the points on her second serve.
   Loeb, a 20-year-old product of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in New York, won her fifth singles title in a professional tournament.
   Loeb won the NCAA singles title last May as a sophomore at North Carolina, captured the doubles title in the inaugural Stockton Challenger in July with former North Carolina All-American Sanaz Marand and turned pro in August.

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