QUERREY STUNS MURRAY IN
Ashley Marshall | July 12, 2017
After 42 Grand Slam appearances spanning more than a decade, Wimbledon giant-killer Sam Querrey is into his first career Grand Slam semifinal. And he did so in an unlikely yet emphatic fashion where the odds, history and hometown crowd were stacked against him.
Querrey toppled world No.1 and defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1, 6-1, in Wednesday’s quarterfinal at the All England Club. In doing so, he surpasses Mark Woodforde's Open era mark of competing in 38 majors before reaching his first semifinal.
World No. 28 Querrey will now play No. 7 seed and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic on Friday for a spot in Sunday’s final. Cilic also needed five sets to overcome Gilles Muller, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 5-7, 6-1, in the other early quarterfinal. In the bottom half of the men's bracket, Roger Federer is facing Milos Raonic and Novak Djokovic is playing Tomas Berdych.
Querrey has not beaten Cilic in four attempts, their most recent match coming in the round of 16 in Washington, D.C., in 2015. They have twice played at Wimbledon, most notably when Cilic won a five-set thriller, 17-15 in the third-round decider, in 2012.
Wednesday's upset inside Centre Court gives the American his second Wimbledon win over a world No. 1 in as many years. Just last year on the lawns of southwest London, Querrey defeated reigning champion Novak Djokovic en route to the quarterfinals – the first time he had been past the fourth round at any major.
Wednesday marked Querrey’s fifth career win over a Top-5 player, following victories over Andy Roddick in Cincinnati in 2009, Murray in Los Angles in 2010 and Djokovic at the Paris Masters in 2012.
On Wednesday, Querrey twice rallied from a set down to stun the partisan Centre Court crowd, relying on his big first serve to neutralize Murray’s return game and set up a number of easy put-away chances.
Querrey, who ventured to the net frequently with inconsistent results, sent down 27 aces and recorded 70 winners to 30 unforced errors compared with Murray’s 33 winners and 19 miscues.
After dropping two of the opening three sets, Querrey looked to be headed out of London, but he found a rich vein of form at exactly the right moment to win 12 of the final 14 games in a wild 50-minute spell.
He broke Murray three straight times in the fourth set to send the match into a fifth set before racing out to a 3-0 advantage in the decider. A second break of the Murray serve at 1-4 put Querrey on the brink of a massive upset, which he finalized with an ace on his second match point in his very next service game.
The last American man to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals was Roddick, who reached the final in 2009 before falling to Roger Federer in five taut sets.