Giant strides: the inside world of Sam Querrey
Armed with a big serve and crushing forehand, the six-foot-six Sam Querrey has made some giant strides on tour in 2017. Here’s what else we’ve discovered about the Team World star.
His mother provided his start in tennis
Born in San Francisco and moving with his family to Santa Rosa at age two, Querrey thanks mother Chris for his start in the sport. He first took to the court at age four and it’s been reported he would later spend entire days hitting against a ball machine at the La Cantera tennis club, where his mother worked.
He’s from a sporting family
Sam’s father, Mike, is now a mortgage banker but he was also a talented baseball player who was drafted with the Detroit Tigers. Mike Querrey instead took up a scholarship to play the sport with the University of Arizona. Sporting genes clearly run in the family: his sister Ellen, had an impressive career in volleyball, also at the University of Arizona.
Sam chose to bypass college
Influenced by his father’s experience, Querrey passed up a full scholarship with the University of Southern California and turned pro in 2006, the same year he graduated from the Thousand Oaks High School. That decision, which Sam admits was a difficult one, soon proved wise. With a first title achieved at Las Vegas in 2008, Querrey made his top-50 debut within two years.
A legendary Las Vegas link
As a Las Vegas resident for much of his recent life, Querrey was understandably thrilled when he claimed his first ATP title in his hometown. That win strengthened a connection with Andre Agassi, who was influential in the younger American’s career. “He’s one of the very first guys I got to watch live so I’ll always remember that,” Querrey has commented. “He was one of the first top 10 pros that I ever got to see at a tournament live so that’s something that I’ll always remember.”
Perseverance is his strength
A huge serve and crushing forehand are obvious weapons for the 29-year-old but perseverance could be an even bigger strength. Querrey’s first Grand Slam semifinal run, achieved at the most recent Wimbledon, occurred in his 42nd major appearance – marking the longest wait of any player in the Open era. That milestone was achieved with a win over world No.1 Andy Murray and complemented the upset he achieved over then No.1 Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon’s third round in 2016.
He has Samurai supporters
If you spot some shirtless, screaming fans at a Querrey match they’re likely part of his “Samurai Club”. A number of Querrey’s friends from the Thousand Oaks High School started the group to support him at American events, often wearing Samurai pants and with “Samurai” or “Sam” spelled out on their chests.
He loves a team event
Coached by Craig Boynton, Querrey competes especially well as part of a team. Alongside 10 singles titles, the American has five in doubles – and notably, each of them won with countrymen. It follows that Querrey loves to compete in Davis Cup. He’s done so on 11 occasions, amassing an 8-9 record (seven wins in singles, one in doubles) over the past nine years.
He’s a good sport
Whether you’re referencing his amenability or his athleticism, you’re right to call Querrey a “good sport”. In his younger years Querrey played basketball, baseball, soccer and football and he now lists golf and table tennis among his favourite sports. In 2008, Querrey hit two home runs during batting practice at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.
In 2015, Querrey’s quest to find love famously took him on reality TV show “Millionaire Matchmaker”. It didn’t happen then but the American now has a long-term girlfriend in Abby Dixon, a model who supports him at many events on tour.
He’s a homebody
Paris and London are favourite cities for the Californian, but there’s no place like home when the tennis stops. Asked how he likes to unwind during an interview with the ATP’s media team, Querrey pointed to simple things. “I like doing chores, I like doing little projects around the house,” he said. “Little things that keep my mind off tennis. For me that’s the best way to spend my weeks at home and keep my mind fresh.”
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