Player of the Month for July 2009—Sam Querrey
August 8, 2009 · Print This Article
The glory day’s of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Michael Chang winning every major title may be over. But if you ask Sam Querrey, the state of American tennis resides in capable hands. Led by his pin-point serve and Samurai club following, the 21-year-old California native is just getting started.
The month of July will always be considered a down time of year on tour. Wimbledon has ended, and the North American summer season begins to pick up steam mid August. Although the “Big Four” utilize the month of July to recharge their batteries, become parents, or find out how to win at a high level again, Uncle Sam made use of the dog-days-of-summer by making a name for himself on tour.
Throughout the month of July, Querrey had a fanatic stretch of tennis which included three finals appearances in row (Newport, Indianapolis and Los Angeles), as well as capturing the LA title during his trifecta of sensational tennis.
Other Americans who poured in great results in July and deserve mention: Rajeev Ram for winning his maiden tour title in Newport, and Robby Ginepri for capturing his first title in three seasons in Indianapolis. In case you were wondering, both men defeated Querrey for their titles.
With Ram and Ginepri breathing down the neck of Querrey’s POM honors, the choice for picking the San Fran native over his peers was based on consistency.
Querrey is without question the brightest prospect for the United States. His blistering serve provides easy service holds, and his compact, but highly effective forehand seldom breaks down. If Querrey can improve his movement and net play, there will no stopping him from reaching the top ten.
Querrey has shown the ability to play well all surfaces. He exhibited his all court prowess by reaching the Newport final (grass)—his quarterfinal appearance in Monaco (2008, quarterfinal), as well as pushing Rafa Nadal to four sets during a Davis Cup tie in Spain last year.
Perhaps the greatest asset which Querrey possesses is his not-so-serious demeanor. He readily summits quirky posts on his Twitter account, discussing his passion for video games and ice cream.
Querrey’s ability to work hard, while maintaining a light-hearted will allow him to conduct a long and prosperous career.
Andy Roddick has already regarded Querrey as a “stud”, and countryman James Blake coined Sam “the nicest guy I know”. For Roddick to call someone other than himself a “stud”, and for nice guy Blake to provide Querrey with the “nice guy” accolade—the 6′6″ So-Cal native appears to be more than just a backhand down-the-line.
When looking for fan fair, perhaps no other player can provide the necessary excitement Querrey can. His legion of devoted Samurai Club followers have become a staple at every Stateside tour stop.
Although Tommy Haas expressed his dislike towards the Samurai’s after a recent encounter, his disapproval was based solely on his defeat to Querrey in the LA Open semifinals. One can not argue the benefit of shirtless, brash, and witty clan of supportive Querrey followers and their contribution to a stadium court crowd.
Querrey’s fan base has spurred other players to follow suit. Rajeev Ram’s “Entouraj”, and Dudi Sela’s “Hebrew Hammers” will also look to rival the ear-pricing chants of Samurai’s. Good luck!
Moving on, let’s assess he rest of the US Open hard-court series, and Querrey’s chances.
It is to early to tell if Querrey has peaked going into New York. He has participated in three tournaments post Wimbledon, and will be taking part in Washington, Montreal and Cincinnati. Querrey will likely gather a US Open seeding based on his recent success.
Going forward, if his ranking continues to climb from its current No. 26 position, Querrey will need to better address his schedule in order to avoid fatigue and injury.
It is yet to be determined how the Samurai Club will react to a reduced Querrey calender.
With the expectations of being marked “the next great American player”, Querrey offered a wise outlook towards the remainder of his career.
When asked whether of not he was ready to win the US Open, the charismatic Californian responded, “No player plans to do his best and get to the fourth round.”
Those “fighting” words would suggest that the rock-and-sock-em Yank will not be satisfied until he reaches the higher echelons of the sport.
The focal point for the tennis community leading up to the US Open, especially in the United States will be centered around Querrey’s results. No other player, except for Andy Roddick will be called upon by US supporters to provide that same sort of electricity.
There is a price for winning, it’s called expectation. Some embrace it and feed off of what is expected—some crumble and prefer to be unknown.
Sam Querrey clearly resides in the column of embracing the moment.