An interview with: Sam Querrey

Written by: on 10th September 2010
An interview with: Sam Querrey  |

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What do you think was the difference in the fifth set?

SAM QUERREY:  Just a couple points here and there.  It was like every set was like that, just really just a couple of points in every set that made the difference.

Q.  It was such an incredible match to watch, but at the same time it’s gotta to be emotionally, you know, so difficult.  You played your heart out.  What was it like coming off the court?  How do you feel, basically, after that?

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, it was tough.  You know, four‑and‑a‑half hours.

I was pretty sad in the locker room for a little while.  I mean, I don’t feel that great right now.  You know, pretty tired.  My body is tired.

But, I mean, it was an unbelievable match.  Stan played great.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about, was it disappointing at all for the American men that you guys have all been eliminated before the quarterfinals in the second straight year?

SAM QUERREY:  Um, yeah, I mean, we want to make the quarterfinals.  It doesn’t ‑‑ we’re trying our best.  I was very close, but hopefully ‑‑ next year is another year, and hopefully have a few guys in the quarters.

Q.  Did you feel any pressure at all?

SAM QUERREY:  No, not at all.

Q.  When you win the fourth set, do you feel like you have all the momentum going into the fifth, or does the fifth become its own entity?

SAM QUERREY:  I feel like it becomes its own entity a little bit.  I felt like at the beginning ‑‑ I think I had break points the beginning of the fifth.  I can’t really remember.

Q.  You did.

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, maybe a little bit ofd momentum, but not much.  It’s kind of that fifth set just kind of that last decider.

Q.  Were you trying to channel your inner John Isner on that, a fifth set with how long it was going?

SAM QUERREY:  No, I mean, you know, it can only last about an hour, which is nice, because my leg was starting to tighten up.

Q.  He said that he thought you were getting a little bit tired and that you changed up I guess after the first three games or the first four games of the fifth set.  Was that how it changed to you?

SAM QUERREY:  That I changed up?

Q.  That you changed up your game a little bit trying to compensate a little bit for some maybe some fatigue?

SAM QUERREY:  Maybe a little bit, but not that much.  My leg was starting to cramp a little, but not to the point I had to like alter anything, I didn’t feel like.

Q.  Which leg?

SAM QUERREY:  Right leg.

Q.  Is this the kind of match, because it was so close, that you’ll replay a lot of the points in your head, or do you tend to just kind of let it go and move on?

SAM QUERREY:  No, I’ll let it go.  I didn’t even know I had a breakpoint in the fifth set.  Those volleys in the third were a little disappointing, but other than that, you know, I’ll let it go.

Q.  Late in the, I think it was maybe the last game in the match, at 30‑All I think you tried to serve and volley.  First time you did it all match, I think.  Was that out of tiredness or trying to change it up?

SAM QUERREY:  Just trying to change it up, you know, catch him off guard.  He was slicing the forehand return, so, you know, I wanted to, you know, serve and volley, and, you know, not let him get away with that again.

Q.  How would you describe just the atmosphere and how you felt about playing in there?

SAM QUERREY:  It was great.  The crowd was unbelievable.  It’s fun to play in there.  It was so windy in there, which makes it tough, but I thought the crowd was great.  You know, tried my best.

Q.  Does it help you go about your business to have that all going on around you, or does it help you start to fight to stay in the match?

SAM QUERREY:  No, they get me energized.  They do that with all the Americans, and I’d much rather play on a court like that with everyone cheering for me than in Switzerland.  (Laughter.)

Q.  You know, the first couple of sets they seemed like they still had the Labor Day blahs, the crowd.  Only when you made a great shot or something did they sort of awaken.  Just wondered if you sort of felt that.

SAM QUERREY:  It’s tough.  We both have big serves, so, you know, it’s not ‑‑ it’s not Nadal‑Ferrer where you’re going side to side all day.

But, um, yeah, you know, I kind of had to break him in the second set to kind of get him energized.  Had to give him something to get fired up about, and, you know, luckily I did.

Q.  There were a lot of unforced errors out there, and I was wondering how much you would say that was attributable to the windy conditions?

SAM QUERREY:  A lot.  It was really tough to play out there.  It was really, really windy.  The one side is like downwind the entire time; the other side is into the wind.  I mean, that has everything to do with the unforced errors.

Q.  End of the third set, do you remember you made a couple of pretty bad volleys?


Q.  Do you recall those at all?

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah.  I said earlier those are kind of the two shots I can look back and that I remember and I’m a little bummed about.  The first one was kind of tough.  The wind kind of got it behind my head a little bit.  The other one was inexcusable.

Q.  You said you didn’t feel any pressure at all in terms of being the last American, but was that in any way something you had thought about, cared about?

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, you think about it.  I mean, you guys tell me that every day I’m in here.  (Laughter.)

I didn’t feel any extra pressure or anything.  I definitely wanted to win and keep the American men, keep the hope going.  You know, I was close.

Q.  Is it personally frustrating to have to answer questions about the state of American men’s tennis every time you lose a tennis match?

SAM QUERREY:  A little bit, yeah.  I get asked the same question all summer.

Q.  Four titles this year; some decent runs; a good runs here, but not quite able to get it to the final stages.  Do you think you’re ready to build on this?  Is this a building block for you?  Or what will you take from this?

SAM QUERREY:  Definitely, yeah.  I mean, the last two Slams, Wimbledon and here, made the round of 16, and have been close to getting into the quarterfinals.

Hopefully I can keep that up in the slams.  You know, I think I can win that round of 16 match, and, you know, keep winning matches after that.

Q.  I believe you were quoted as saying you want more Americans to be playing Ashe even earlier in the tournament, that that would give an advantage.  I was wondering if that was quoted ‑‑ regardless of ranking, I was just curious what your thoughts are on that.

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, I said that.

Q.  Should be like affirmative action for Americans on Ashe?

SAM QUERREY:  It’s not a big deal.  I just casually mentioned it.  I mean…

Q.  Did you expect to reach a quarterfinal this year, and what’s your frustration level with not doing it in 2010?

SAM QUERREY:  No, you know, I’m not really ‑‑ I don’t set my goals on what round do I want to make it to.  It’s more just how I play and attitude out there, and, you know, doing the right things.

This has been a great week, and, you know, I left it all out there today and I didn’t get to the quarters.  I’m bummed, but I did everything I could.

Q.  Andy is the only guy to reach a slam quarter this year, American guy.  What would you attribute that to?  Is that satisfying for the U.S. guys to know that Europeans are basically taking over the slams?

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, I mean, Andy is good.  He’s been in the top 10 for like last seven or eight years.  He had a good year, especially ‑‑ more so the first six months.

But, I mean, it’s annoying, that the Europeans are in the quarters every slam.  We’re trying. (Smiling.)

Q.  Getting back to your serve, you mentioned before that was a big serving match.  In some of those crucial moments you missed a bunch of first serves and you had crucial moments in second serves.  Do you feel like it let you down a little bit today?

SAM QUERREY:  A little bit.  But, you know, not much.  Those crucial moments you’re gonna be a little more nervous, and, you know, it’s a little tougher to make the serve in.  Sometimes I made it; sometimes I didn’t.

You always want to make it, so I was a little bummed when I didn’t make it on those match points or, you know, late in the third.  But it’s tough to put a serve in when it gets close like that.  You know, nerves creep in for anyone.

Q.  You seem to play very calm on the exterior in a big match like this.  Is that a true reading, or is there stuff going on in there?

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah.  The only time I was really, you know, pissed at myself was after I missed that volley in the third set.  Kind of threw the racquet down a little bit.

Other than that, I was trying to stay calm and relaxed and not waste any unnecessary energy on emotions.

Q.  Davis Cup captain is a pretty important role in American tennis.  If they came to you and said, Hey, give us an indication of who you prefer, who would you say?

SAM QUERREY:  Who I prefer?

Q.  Uh‑huh.

SAM QUERREY:  You know, I haven’t even thought about it.  I know ‑‑ I know Jim ‑‑ I just heard that Jim Courier wants it and I think Todd Martin.  I’m not really sure how it works, if they put their name ‑‑ if they have to announce their name to the USTA, but I heard Jim and Todd are the front runners.

Q.  Do you have a preference yourself?

SAM QUERREY:  No.  I mean, I don’t know who’s wanted to longer.  Probably ‑‑ I’ve heard Jim’s wanted it for a long time, but, you know, I’d be fine with Jim or Todd.

Q.  Also, finally, if you could just assess Pat’s role as Davis Cup captain.

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, I’ve played three ties for him, and then I’ve been the practice partner playing four or five times.  How long has he been the captain?

Q.  Ten years.

SAM QUERREY:  It’s been a great ten years.  He won a Davis Cup, which every coach wants to do, and, you know, he’s a great captain.  He’s fun to have around.  I’m bummed to see him go, but, you know, I know he’s got a lot on his plate with USTA and ESPN and everything.

We’ve kind of got a new wave coming up now, so maybe it’s time for a new coach, as well.

Q.  You’ve been talking a lot this year about peaking at the slams.  Is this the closest you’ve come to bringing your best game ever at a major?

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, here and Wimbledon, I thought I played great both of them.  If I can keep playing that, I think I can go further than the round of 16 at the slams.

Q.  You had an incredible match with him at Indian Wells.  What is it about your styles that create this kind of tennis?  And the second question, have you hit with the kid Collarini?  What do you think of him?

SAM QUERREY:  I think it’s that coincidence both times we’ve played they’ve been great matches.  I wouldn’t necessarily think it’s anything with our game styles matching up.  Maybe a little bit.  Maybe we both have big serves.  You know, big servers usually win close sets.

And Collarini, I’ve hit with him all summer.  Did he win today?

Q.  Yeah.

SAM QUERREY:  He’s a great kid; always has a smile on his face.  He’s our practice partner in Colombia, and I’ve been practicing with him.  He’s very good.  He’s learning to play on hard courts.  He’s gonna be good.

Q.  Speaking of Colombia, given the state of American tennis, is it really more than imperative to win this Davis Cup now more than ever, try to bring back some glory to the red, white, and blue to create some fan interest?

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, you know, we’re gonna try.  Hopefully we can get a win.  We have a good team going down.  If you match everyone up on paper we have the better team, but it’s gonna be ‑‑ the four of us have never really played on the altitude like that, so we don’t really know what it’s gonna be like.

Falla and her Giraldo are two tough players in singles.

Q.  I guess what I’m getting at is the Ryder Cup, the golf equivalent, it was shown on NBC where the Davis Cup is on the minor league Tennis Channel.  So that’s what I’m saying, the importance of winning gets you to that next level for media exposure.

SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, it’s huge.  The U.S. is a World Group country, so we need to win this to get back in the World Group next year.  We don’t want to be in the Group B.

Q.  You mentioned a few moments ago Nadal and Ferrer scampering around versus your bigger serve.  You haven’t played Nadal for a couple years.  When you last played, did you feel like it was attackable or even a liability?

SAM QUERREY:  No, just because a lefty is a lefty.  If he was a righty, maybe a little bit.  But because he’s lefty, I personally struggle with lefty serves, so I don’t think it’s attackable.

Q.  But back then you didn’t think it was attackable?

SAM QUERREY:  I didn’t think it was back then, either.  He has a better return, maybe.

Q.  You have some relatively quick turn around time between here and Davis Cup.  In general, how does your body bounce back?  It’s a physical match.  How do you think you’ll bounce back?

SAM QUERREY:  I think it will be all right.  We don’t actually play till Friday, so we’ve got ten days to recover.  I’ll take three, four days off here, and then go down there and ‑‑ you know, I’m kind of curious to see how my body and Mardy’s and John’s and Ryan’s will kind of react to the altitude.

I think there’s enough ‑‑ there’s like ten days, so we should be fine.

Q.  Obviously Roger has far more slams than Rafa, but right now, here now, who do you think is a better player?

SAM QUERREY:  I mean, that’s tough to not say Rafa, because he won French and Wimbledon.  But I think on the hard court I would say Federer.

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