Read & Watch: Querrey Flips Final-Set Tie-Break Script, Upsets Isner
American Sam Querrey had lost eight consecutive tour-level deciding-set tie-breaks, and 12 of his past 13, when he stepped on court Monday at the Western & Southern Open. But the 30-year-old overcame that streak and ninth seed John Isner’s 38 aces to beat his friend 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(5) and advance to the second round.
Querrey reached his career-best ATP Ranking of No. 11 on 26 February, in part thanks to a runner-up showing at the New York Open, where he lost in a final-set tie-break against champion Kevin Anderson. And the Las Vegas resident has been bitten by the deciding tie-break since, losing five more matches that have gone the distance, including one to World No. 301 Egor Gerasimov two weeks ago in Los Cabos.
But perhaps the win over Isner, who recently made his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon and triumphed in Atlanta, will be the spark No. 34 Querrey needs to return to the form that helped him to the fringe of the Top 10. It is Querrey’s 19th Top 10 win, and he extends his FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead against Isner to 6-2. Interestingly, he has won nine of 13 tie-breaks against Isner, who with 383 tie-break wins at tour-level ranks second all-time behind only Roger Federer (429).
Querrey, who won five points less than Isner in the match, hit 26 aces and claimed 87 per cent of first-serve points in his two-hour, eight-minute victory. He will next face Toronto semi-finalist Karen Khachanov or Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
The Spaniard has proven himself plenty capable on hard courts at this level, reaching the semi-finals of the Miami Open presented by Itau earlier this year, as well as the last four at the 2017 US Open.
Carreno Busta will next face American Bradley Klahn, who beat German Maximilian Marterer 7-6(1), 6-4. Klahn guaranteed a wild card into the US Open when he beat David Ferrer in the first round of the Rogers Cup last week, clinching the US Open Wild Card Challenge.