The question of when will an American man finally make a big run at a Slam seems to come up every single Grand Slam. Ever since Andy Roddick won the 2003 US Open, the US men’s side has failed to produce a Grand Slam champion. In a tough era with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray, it’s totally understandable–but now that Sam Querrey has booked his place in the semifinals of Wimbledon maybe it’s about time he starts getting looked at as a serious contender.
His run so far at Wimbledon has earned him little attention in his home country, and now that he’s two wins away from breaking the US Slam drought he deserves some love nationally. The majority of people would probably like hearing more about the “Big Four” and other international superstars, but stories like what Sam Querrey is doing right now need national attention. Coming off three straight five set wins over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kevin Anderson, and World number #1 Andy Murray, there’s no reason why he can’t win two more. He’s shown the ability to win big matches as well–earlier this year he defeated Rafael Nadal to win the Acapulco title, and last year he upset Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon (who was also #1 at the time).
Federer has shown that at 35 years old, there really isn’t an age limit on when you can play some of your best tennis. At 29 years old, there’s no reason to write off Sam Querrey. His big serve, big forehand, and aggressive style of play is translating well on the grass and nerves haven’t gotten the better of him. The USTA is trying to promote the young stars coming up, like Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz to name a few, but at the same time are they forgetting about the veterans who’ve made their mark on tour already? I don’t think Sam Querrey has been taken seriously up to this point. A win like today’s over Andy Murray will have ESPN talking about him, but hopefully not as a flash in the pan. He’s gotten to a career high ranking of #17 in 2011, and won nine titles in his career, but something just seems different about him this week. Normally you might see him falling apart after dropping the 3rd set like he did today, but he stuck to his game plan and just hit Murray off the court in the final two sets.
Up next for Sam Querrey is Marin Cilic. Over a two-week span at a Grand Slam you need luck to go your way sometimes ,and while Cilic is playing some of the best tennis in his career, Querrey has avoided a potential match against another “Big Four” player until the final. He hasn’t defeated Marin Cilic in his career ,but their four career meetings could’ve gone either way. In 2012, Cilic defeated Querrey 17-15 in the 5th set at Wimbledon so when the two take the court on Friday, Querrey will be looking for some revenge (and a spot in the final). Marin Cilic knows a thing or two about winning a Grand Slam out of nowhere as well–he won the 2014 US Open–so he’ll know not to take Querrey lightly.
Maybe when it’s all said and done, regardless of how Friday’s match plays out, Sam Querrey has earned himself some respect nationally. Instead of being looked at as the 6’6″ American tennis player who once appeared on “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” maybe he’ll be known as a top tennis player who will be a serious contender for years to come. He should be; he’s absolutely earned that.