WHAT HAPPENED: Serving strongly, American Sam Querrey upset No. 28 seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the US Open second round on Thursday, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Querrey had beaten Garcia-Lopez last week in the Winston-Salem quarterfinals.
After trading service holds to start the match, the American began pushing Garcia-Lopez on the return thanks to a lucky netcord winner, and gained the early break with clean hitting off both sides. Serving 10 miles per hour faster than his Spanish opponent, Querrey raced through the opening set 6-3 in less than 30 minutes.
Serving at 4-4 in the second set, Garcia-Lopez buckled under the pressure of the more aggressive Querrey (who ultimately struck 39 winners to 15 from the No. 28 seed) and double-faulted away what was only the second break of the match. Querrey continued to serve bombs and sealed the second set 6-4.
A fifth double fault from Garcia-Lopez proved costly as the third set got underway, and Querrey would take full advantage to break with a forehand winner struck at full stretch. Querrey remained cool under pressure; though he missed an opportunity to end the match at 5-3, he was ruthlessly efficient with his serve and forehand to book a place in the third round.
WHAT IT MEANS: Querrey will likely play No. 1 seed and last year’s finalist, Novak Djokovic. Though he comes into the US Open unseeded, the 26-year-old Querrey had to be considered the favorite against Garcia-Lopez, who has posted his best results on clay. Querrey has never lost to the Spaniard, though all of their ATP main draw matches have gone the distance.
The American had an unremarkable summer during the Emirates Airline US Open Series until Winston-Salem, where he made the semifinals (beating Garcia-Lopez in the quarters). Querrey is aiming to reach the third round at a Grand Slam tournament for the second time this year after starting the year making the Australian Open third round. The former Top 20 stalwart has made the second week of the US Open twice, in 2008 and 2010.
THE QUESTION: Can Querrey go one better and match his best result at the US Open?