Sam Querrey in Contention for ATP Tour Finals Spot

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Sam Querrey

In a year littered with unfiltered ATP chaos, Sam Querrey making the ATP Tour Finals might just be the icing on the cake.

With a title in Los Cabos to back up a surprise Wimbledon semi-final, the American has suddenly propelled himself to #11 in the Race to London. Remove the injured pair of Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka from the equation and that number falls to #9. Suddenly, it becomes a very real possibility.

Sam Querrey emerging from the ATP rubble

If someone had told you at the start of the season that Sam Querrey would be competing at the O2 Arena in November you would have laughed them out of the building. The 29-year-old has though, been one of the few players to make the most of the carnage that has unfolded on the ATP Tour.

2017 on the ATP Tour has almost transcended time itself. With the renewed success of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal coupling with the emergence of a new pair of genuine challengers in Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev it feels as though the past and future have combined to stifle the present.
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In amongst the ailing form and injuries of 2016 protagonists Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic there have been other failings. Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic have both regressed while Tomas Berdych is also losing his stranglehold on a guaranteed top 10 ranking. Grigor Dimitrov’s early season form has wavered and Stan Wawrinka is the latest name on the injury pile.

Yet Sam Querrey, at 29, has genuinely progressed. His Los Cabos title is the second ATP title of the season, the first time he has managed that since his haul of four in 2010. A Grand Slam semi-final is another new achievement to add to the CV as well. Perhaps most impressive is his win over Andy Murray, the second time he has eliminated the #1 seed at Wimbledon in as many years.

Who else is in the mix for the ATP Tour Finals?

Sitting effectively ninth in the Race to London at this point in the season certainly means the Sam Querrey is undeniably in the conversation. He seems to hold a key advantage over the players around him as well. He can actually win tournaments.

The cluster of names around him in the race are Tomas Berdych, Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori, David Goffin and Milos Raonic. All are big names in tennis. All are expected to collect titles. Yet, in 2017, Sam Querrey has as many as these five combined. Dimitrov has two ATP 250 titles and the other four have zero. Eight runner-up trophies but no titles.
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With his current form – 9 wins in 10 matches – you expect Querrey to capitalise on the struggles of his peers. After his Los Cabos win the American says he expects to play around ten more tournaments this year. Given there are four more Masters hard court tournaments and the US Open you have to argue Querrey is primed to become the first American to reach the ATP Tour Finals since Mardy Fish in 2011.

Sam Querrey hitting new heights

In the past, Sam Querrey has reached seven ATP Tour quarter-finals in a calendar year twice. This year he has reached seven already, and we are only in August. Consistency breeds a rise in rankings and, with only 40 points to defend for the rest of the season, his ranking will rise.

Will it be enough to force his way into the ATP Tour Finals? Maybe. Other factors might come into play. Andy Murray for example may not be in London. He is coated in question marks at present. Raonic and Nishikori could find their missing form and make a late push. It is too early to say for definite.

If the past eight months have taught us anything about the tennis landscape though, it is to expect the unexpected. Sam Querrey in the ATP Tour Finals. Unexpected? Certainly. Possible? Most certainly.

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