Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Confident Querrey Wins 3-Set Thriller

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Confident Querrey Wins 3-Set Thriller

Article excerpt

LONGBOAT KEY

SARASOTA OPEN: Former Top 20 player battling back after string of injuries

James Blake's broken neck may have been a more serious injury. Tommy Haas' hundred or so hurts and illnesses are beyond compare for sheer numbers.

But nobody approaches Sam Querrey in tennis when it comes to most unusual injuries and illnesses.

First there was that time Querrey was putting on his shoes in Bangkok, Thailand, then he fell through the glass table that shattered and sent shards into his arm. Two years later, following arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow, Querrey developed an umbilical cord infection.

Twice.

It required minor surgery.

An umbilical cord infection?

"I still don't know how it happened," Querrey said Tuesday shortly before he wowed the crowd Tuesday night with an impressive 3- 6, 6-4, 6-1 win over clay-court specialist Horacio Zeballos on a day filled with marathon matches. "They said if happens again they will remove my belly button."

Querrey shook off a slow start and showed surprising movement to his 6-foot-6-inch frame to dispatch the 166th-ranked player.

"The setting sun gave me a little trouble in the beginning," Querrey said. "I was very happy with my movement."

Querrey is a survivor. And at the tender age of 24 Querrey is still young enough to be considered an American hope for the future. He showed some glimpses of that with the solid performance against a player comfortable on clay.

"I've got like eight more years left," said Querrey, who ended the match with the final of 13 aces. "I definitely feel like I can be one of the next guys and get in the top 10.

"My game feels great. I feel I am playing as well as I was when I was top 20. I think I have to just have to stick with it and keep playing, and I think the results will come and my ranking will start to climb back up.

That ranking reached a career-high of No. 17 in Jan. 2011, the result of winning four titles on three different surfaces in 2010. He seemed to be on a fast track to being one of the next American hopes until elbow surgery in June of last year sidelined him for three months.

Armed with new coach Philip Farmer and a healthy elbow, Querrey has been making progress this year and moved back into the top 100 this past week at No. …

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