Friday, September 1, 2017

Querrey advances, but no U.S. showdown

Sam Querrey, right, plays doubles with Gilles Mueller at Indian Wells in March.
Querrey, a 29-year-old San Francisco native, beat Radu Albot of Moldova in four
sets today in the U.S. Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey did his part.
   But John Isner was upset, preventing an all-American showdown on Labor Day weekend for a berth in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.
   Querrey, seeded 17th, defeated Radu Albot of Moldova 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 today in the third round in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., to equal his best showing in the U.S. Open. He also reached the round of 16 in 2008 and 2010.
   No. 10 seed Isner fell to No. 23 Mischa Zverev, a Moscow native who plays for Germany, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the first match of the night session in 23,771-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium. Halfway through the third round, Querrey is the only remaining U.S. man in singles.
   On the women's side, resurgent Sloane Stephens beat Ashleigh Barty of Australia 6-2, 6-4 to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time since the 2015 French Open.
   Querrey, a 29-year-old San Francisco native now living in Santa Monica in the Los Angeles area, will meet Zverev, a 30-year-old left-hander, for the first time on Sunday.
   Querrey is riding a wave of confidence after reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal in July at Wimbledon and completing a "Sombrero Double" with the Los Cabos title last month. He also won Acapulco in March.
   The bottom half of the U.S. Open draw, in which Querrey and Zverev are situated, will feature a first-time Grand Slam finalist following No. 29 seed Diego Schwartzman's 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 victory over No. 5 Marin Cilic.
   The tournament is missing Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, defending champion Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic because of injuries.
   Stephens, a 24-year-old Fresno product, returned to competition at Wimbledon after missing 11 months because of foot surgery. The layoff changed her perspective.
   "Before I was, like, so emotional. Everything always got to me," Stephens, who upset Serena Williams to reach the semifinals of the 2013 Australian Open, told reporters. "Now, my life is good, everything's good. I play a sport for a living. I don't operate on people. This is not life or death. It's hard to realize that when you're out there playing, because there's a lot riding on it: prize money, points, so many things go into it.
    "Now I'm kind of, like, I do this for fun. I love tennis. There's not a lot of people that can say, like, Oh, yeah, I go and play tennis every day, and sweat, see all my friends, hang out, work out, and take pictures. That's it, right? I think I have it pretty good."
   Stephens will play No. 30 seed Julia Goerges of Germany on Sunday and could face 2006 champion Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals. Stephens is 4-1 (4-0 on hardcourts) against Goerges, including a 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory two weeks ago in the Cincinnati quarterfinals.
   Sharapova defeated 18-year-old American Sofia Kenin 7-5, 6-2 in a late matchup of wild cards in Arthur Ashe Stadium and will face No. 16 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia.
   Kenin, a Moscow native who grew up idolizing Sharapova, won $60,000 Challengers in Stockton in July and Sacramento last year. She could turn pro, allowing her to keep $144,000 for reaching the third round of the U.S. Open.
(Matches involving players with Northern California connections)
Women's doubles
First round
   Julia Boserup and Nicole Gibbs (Stanford, 2011-13), United States, def. Naomi Osaka, Japan, and Francesca Schiavone, Italy, 6-3, 6-2.
   Sorana Cirstea, Romania, and Sara Sorribes Tormo, Spain, def. Kristie Ahn (Stanford, 2011-14), and Irina Falconi, United States, 6-3, 6-2.
   Qiang Wang and Yafan Wang, China, def. Sloane Stephens (Fresno product) and Taylor Townsend, United States, 6-4, 6-4.

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