By Erik Gudris / Thursday, August 22, 2013
While his good friend and doubles partner John Isner is getting some early buzz heading into next week's US Open, Sam Querrey is generating excitement of his own after reaching the semis of the Winston-Salem Open.
Gael Monfils and Sam Querrey find themselves getting wins and building confidence as each entered the Winston-Salem Open semifinals.
(Photo Credit: AP)
Querrey, who fought off five match points in his previous match against Jarkko Nieminen, had a more straightforward victory in the quarterfinals Thursday night versus Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania. After taking the first set 6-3 and going up an early break in the second, Querrey looked poised to close out the match in quick fashion. But big hitting from Berankis soon allowed him to earn the break back.
That soon resulted in each player trading multiple breaks until 4-all in the set. From there, Querrey capitalized on late unforced errors from Berankis to secure yet another break of serve for 5-4. Querrey then closed out the match 6-3, 6-4 when Berankis sent a final backhand wide.
This marks the second year in a row Querrey has advanced into the semis of the event. He will next face veteran Jurgen Melzer, who overcame several rain delays to defeat Dimitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-3.
When asked by ESPN afterwards how he stays focused on trying to win his first title of the season while knowing the US Open is days away, Querrey said, "It can be tricky because the US Open draw came out today. You can't not look at it. Of course I looked at it. But I still have a job to do here. Right now is the focus on the match here and not the US Open and then once I get to New York then really focus on the big tournament."
Monfils Outlasts Verdasco in Quarters
No. 15 seed Gael Monfils surprised many by actually showing up to play this week in Winston-Salem given his recent injury issues. The week continues to be a good one for the flashy Frenchman as he finds himself in the hunt for another title after knocking out No. 4 seed Tommy Robredo earlier.
Taking on No. 7 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain in the quarters, Monfils dropped the opening set in a tiebreak and looked to be in physical duress in the second set. During some points, Monfils would hardly move for the ball.
But somehow Monfils found a second wind and went on to defeat Verdasco 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-4 to reach his third ATP semi of the season.
"At the end, at the close points, that was very great tennis," Monfils said afterwards. "The level was very high. "The last game, it was tough to win, because he wasn't missing a lot."
Monfils will meet No. 10 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov in the semis. Dolgopolov earlier in the day took out Yen-Hsun Lu 7-6(2), 6-3.
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