Thursday, January 12, 2017

Giant-killer Querrey could face Murray in Aussie Open

Sam Querrey, shown in 2014, shocked Novak Djokovic in the
third round at Wimbledon last year. Querrey could meet Andy
Murray at the same stage of the Australian Open next week.
Photo by Paul Bauman
  Sam Querrey pulled off a huge upset in the third round of a Grand Slam tournament last year.
   The 29-year-old San Francisco native might have a chance to do it again next week.
   Querrey, seeded No. 31, could face No. 1 Andy Murray in the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   The draw for the year's first major was held today. Play begins Sunday (California time) and ends Jan. 29.
   Querrey, 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters), shocked top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round at Wimbledon last year en route to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
   Querrey, who now lives in Santa Monica in the Los Angeles area, will open against promising Quentin Halys, a 20-year-old Frenchman ranked No. 154, in the Australian Open. It will be their first meeting.
   Halys reached the final of the $50,000 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger last October, falling to former top-30 player Santiago Giraldo of Colombia.
   Querrey has lost in the first round of the past two Australian Opens and has never advanced past the third round in 10 Melbourne appearances. He is 1-6 lifetime against Murray.
   Murray, a three-time Grand Slam singles champion, seeks his first Australian Open title. He has five runner-up finishes, falling just short the last two years and in three of the last four. All five losses have come against the top-ranked player, Roger Federer in 2010 and Djokovic the subsequent four times.
   Dmitry Tursunov, a 34-year-old Russian who trains in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, caught a break by drawing a qualifier to be determined. It will be the injury-plagued Tursunov's first match since July. Ranked as high as No. 20 in 2006, he has plummeted to No. 408.
   On the women's side, ex-Stanford star Nicole Gibbs will have difficulty reaching the second round of the Australian Open for the third consecutive year. She will face No. 25 seed Timea Babos, a two-time Wimbledon runner-up in women's doubles, for the first time. Both players are 23.  
   USTA Pro Circuit in Long Beach -- Rain wiped out play in the Legends $25K Tennis Tournament for the second day this week.
   The second round of singles and quarterfinals are scheduled for Friday. The forecast calls for partly cloudy weather with a 20 percent chance of rain.
   No. 4 seed Mackenzie McDonald, who grew up in Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, will play American qualifier Mico Santiago. McDonald, 21, won last week's USC/Los Angeles $25,000 Tennis Tournament.
   Collin Altamirano, a 21-year-old Sacramentan, will meet Logan Smith of Carlsbad in the San Diego area in a matchup of wild cards.
   Altamirano is a junior at two-time defending NCAA champion Virginia, and Smith is a sophomore at USC.

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