© Peter Staples/ATP World Tour

Sam Querrey secures his first tour-level title in four years in Delray Beach.

Querrey Ends Title Drought In Delray Beach

American wins first title since 2012

In an All-American final at the Delray Beach Open, Sam Querrey secured his first ATP World Tour title since Los Angeles 2012 by defeating Rajeev Ram 6-4, 7-6(6). Playing in an 11th final in his home country (15 total), Querrey notched his fourth victory over Ram in five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings.

The final point of the match was also its best, with Ram crushing a forehand crosscourt and sneaking into the net, before Querrey caught a piece of the line with a running pass.

“We were both a little nervous today, it wasn’t the cleanest match,” Querrey said. “I just battled through and happened to hit one great shot in the second set, and it was on match point.”

“I played well on match point, I thought,” Ram said. “He just came up with a great shot. People don’t give [Querrey] credit for how well he moves.”

“Sometimes it feels better to win when you don’t play your best, because you know you have another gear,” Querrey observed. “I had two finals last year, both close losses, so it feels good to be in the winner’s circle.”

After gutting out a 6-7(1), 7-6(4), 6-4 quarter-final match over Tim Smyczek, Querrey raised his level, eliminating a resurgent Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets in the semi-finals before securing his eighth tour-level title against Ram. The 28 year old improved to 8-7 in tour-level finals after losing in Houston (l. to Sock) and Nottingham (l. to Istomin) last year.

Finalist Ram also enjoyed a fine week in Delray. The 31 year old, who last year finished inside the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since 2009, downed No. 2 seed Bernard Tomic and No. 4 seed Grigor Dimitrov en route to his first ATP World Tour final on hard court. Despite losing in straight sets to Querrey, the American only won two fewer points (71-73) in the 85-minute match. He falls to 2-1 in final appearances (2009 and 2015 Newport) and is projected to break into the Top 60 Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday.

“It’s hard when you play someone you know so well in a final,” said Ram, who was up a break in both sets. “I would’ve loved to hold my serve every time and win 6-4, 6-4, but that’s not how it works. What I was more disappointed about was not keeping the momentum I had in both sets. I thought I played well in the tie-break, but he hit the outside of the line three times.”

Querrey earned 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $86,950, while Ram received 150 points and $45,780.