Monday, August 28, 2017

Querrey dominates former top-10 player in Open

No. 17 seed Sam Querrey defeated former top-10
player Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 today in the first
round of the U.S. Open. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey could go far in the U.S. Open.  
   With his confidence at an all-time high, the 29-year-old San Francisco native opened with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Gilles Simon, a former top-10 player from France, today at Flushing Meadows.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, coming off his first Grand Slam semifinal last month at Wimbledon, fired 10 aces in the 1-hour, 52-minute match.
   "I thought I did everything pretty well," the 17th-seeded Querrey, who now lives in Santa Monica in the Los Angeles area. told reporters. "The best thing I thought I did well was not get too down on myself. I lost serve three or four times in a row at one point, which doesn't happen too often. I did a good job of battling through that. Every part of my game felt good today, so overall I was pretty happy."
   Simon, 32, ascended to a career-high No. 6 in 2009. Both Querrey, ranked No. 21, and Simon, ranked No. 39, have reached the round of 16 in the U.S. Open twice.
   Querrey will face another 32-year-old veteran, Dudi Sela of Israel, in the second round on Wednesday. Sela, only 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters) and 144 pounds (65 kilograms), dismissed U.S. wild card Christopher Eubanks 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. Querrey leads Sela 3-2 in their head-to-head series.
   Querrey could face 10th-seeeded John Isner, 6-foot-10 (2.08 meters), in an all-American showdown in the round of 16. Querrey is 4-2 against Isner.
   Earlier today, Dmitry Tursunov lost to qualifier Cameron Norrie 7-6 (7), 6-1, retired. Tursunov, a 34-year-old Russian who owns a townhouse in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, had his right knee taped during the match.
   Norrie, a 22-year-old left-hander, was born in South Africa, grew up in New Zealand, starred at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, still lives there, and plays for Great Britain.
   On the women's side, Sloane Stephens beat 2015 U.S. Open runner-up Roberta Vinci of Italy 7-5, 6-1 for her first victory at Flushing Meadows in three years. Stephens, a 24-year-old Fresno product, won eight of the last nine games.
   Stephens missed last year's U.S. Open with a foot injury and lost in the first round in 2015. The former world No. 11 had foot surgery and missed 11 months. She returned at Wimbledon, then reached the semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati.
   Two years ago in the U.S. Open, Vinci pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports history when she ended Serena Williams' bid for the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf's in 1988.
   The unseeded Vinci, playing in her first major semifinal at age 32, shocked the top-ranked Williams 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
   Stephens, a semifinalist in the 2013 Australian Open (beating Williams), will face No. 11 seed Dominika Cibulkova in the second round.
    Sofia Kenin, who won the $60,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger last month, stunned No. 32 seed and fellow American Lauren Davis 7-5, 7-5 for her first Grand Slam victory. Kenin, 18, trailed 4-0 in the first set.
   “My dad and I made a deal (that) if I win my first round, I get to go to Tiffany's," Kenin, who was born in Moscow and moved to the United States as a baby, told reporters. “I'm going to take him out tonight in the city and we'll go.”
   If Kenin remains an amateur, she will forfeit $86,000 for reaching the second round and at least $144,000 if she beats qualifier Sachia Vickery on Wednesday.
   Kenin and Vickery, 22, live five minutes from each other in the Miami area and "practice (together) almost every single day," Vickery said.
   The winner could take on wild card Maria Sharapova, who ousted No. 2 seed Simona Halep 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

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