Brandishing explosive weapons with his serve and forehand, Sam Querrey was an early disruptor; his debut Grand Slam singles match at the 2006 US Open was an upset of 2004 French Open champion Gaston Gaudio, ranked 150 places higher. Now a winner of 10 career titles, Querrey’s breakout 2010 included four wins on three surfaces. Elbow surgery derailed progress in 2011 but two titles, a Wimbledon semifinal and a US Open quarterfinal highlight a renaissance in 2017.
Sporting genes are strong for the Californian-born Querrey; his baseballer father Mike was drafted to the Detroit Tigers and sister Ellen played collegiate volleyball. Sam himself declined a full tennis scholarship at the University of Southern California in order to focus on his pro career. A lover of sports including basketball, table tennis and golf, Querrey hit two home runs in batting practice at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami in 2008.
If one quality most defines Querrey’s career it’s perseverance. The American endured the longest wait of the Open era to reach a major semifinal, the milestone occurring in his 42nd Grand Slam at Wimbledon. The career-best run incorporated three five-set wins, including over Andy Murray in Querrey’s second upset of a reigning No.1 (the other against Novak Djokovic in 2016) at The Championships. There was also victory over Rafael Nadal to win Acapulco and a return to the top 20 after Querrey’s second title for 2017 at Los Cabos.
Winner: Acapulco, Los Cabos
QF: Queen’s, Geneva, Houston, Delray Beach, US Open