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By Andrew Jones | Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sam Querrey

No. 2-seeded Sam Querrey crashed 21 aces stopping Adrian Mannarino, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3, to advance to the inaugural New York Open final.

Photo credit: US Open Facebook

The career of Sam Querrey has seen the big serving Californian record wins over most of the greats in his generation, with victories over Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka on his resume.

But before his Saturday semifinal at the New York Open, Querrey had found it difficult to get past Adrian Mannarino in his career.

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He can finally now add the crafty Frenchman to his list of scalps.

The second-seeded Querrey overcame Mannarino, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3, in under two hours to advance to the inaugural New York Open final.

Despite enjoying the black court so far at the Nassau Coliseum, Querrey seemed on the path of falling to Mannarino for the fourth time in as many matches.

Both players traded breaks early on in the contest, and the dexterous lefty again frustrated the American with a terrific forehand passing shot up the line to save set point down 5-4.

Mannarino would use that highlight shot to propel him to stay in the set and eventually take the tiebreak with his formidable all-court amalgamation of steadiness and style.

But the second-ranked Yank (behind Jack Sock) wasn't going to let Mannarino's previous domination of the matchup deter him, as Querrey kept his focus on his serve and continued to show his opponent an improved backhand. That quality and spirit allowed Querrey to secure a break at 5-5 in the second set and hold comfortably to even the match.

The final set saw Querrey maintain a high level of play and sustained focus required to get a maiden win over the world No.25.

Mannarino, who had served decently all week, struggled to comfortably hold in the third set, as Querrey remained solid on his weaker backhand to compliment he massive forehand.

That solid form saw the Thousand Oaks native secured the crucial break in the seventh game and repeat the feat two games later after holding, as a frustrated Mannarino ended the match with a forehand into the net and first defeat to Querrey.

Most will look at the 21 aces as the driving force for Querrey's win. But it was him augmenting the quality in his return game that finally got the Mannarino losing streak off his back.

Meanwhile for Mannarino, he will continue to have the unwanted distinction as the highest ranked player on the ATP World Tour not to have won a tournament yet in his career.

Andrew Jones is a Brooklyn-based tennis writer covering the New York Open for Tennis Now. Please follow Andrew on Twitter.


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