Re: ATP Finals
World No. 23 Sam Querrey prevailed in an all-American final at The Queen’s Club on Sunday as he defeated Mardy Fish 7-6(3), 7-5 to win his third ATP World Tour title of the season.
It was the first all-American final at the tournament since 1994, when Todd Martin defeated Pete Sampras.
"It's an honour (to win at The Queen's Club)," said Querrey. "All the greatest players in the world are on this trophy. It's nice to be added to that list with them.
"The conditions were pretty tough out there, the windiest day of the week so far. I just tried to stay level headed and keep my composure, and fortunately I got through it."
"I know this is a great tournament and I would have loved to have added my name on there," said Fish. "I felt like I was playing well enough throughout the week that not many of the guys could beat me here. I just didn't do it today."
The 22-year-old Querrey is the first player this season to win titles on three different surfaces, having also triumphed on hard court in Memphis and on clay in Belgrade. He is only the second player after Rafael Nadal, with four tour-level titles, to win at least three titles this year.
It is the third all-American final that Querrey has won this season, having defeated Davis Cup teammate John Isner in the Memphis and Belgrade finals. He also finished runner-up on clay in Houston, where he lost out to Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela.
Querrey became the eighth American champion at the AEGON Championships in the Open Era and received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €79,260, while runner-up Fish earned 150 ranking points and €45,130 in prize money.
In a strong serving display from Querrey, he did not face a single break point in the first set. However, as a result of not converting any of the three break point chances he created on Fish’s serve, the younger American needed a tie-break to seal a one-set lead.
Fish made the first breakthrough of the match in the fifth game of the second set as Querrey over hit a forehand after a lengthy baseline exchange. However, a nervous and error-strewn game from Fish as he served for the set at 5-4 allowed Querrey back into the set and the Californian went on to win the final four games of the match to seal victory in 84 minutes.
Querrey fired 15 aces in the pair’s second meeting, including a love service game featuring four aces to open the second set. He levelled their career series at 1-1 after avenging the defeat he suffered to Fish in Los Angeles three years ago.
The 6’6’’ Querrey won his first ATP World Tour grass-court title, having finished runner-up in Newport (l. to Ram) last year, and became the 16th active player to win a grass-court title. The Las Vegas resident named Wimbledon, which begins a week on Monday, as a target for the future.
"It's one of the four most important tournaments in the world. The Wimbledon trophy has these same names on it, and all the greats have won Wimbledon. It's an honour just to step on the grounds of Wimbledon.
"I'd love to win Wimbledon. I'm kind of going with baby steps here and try and make the third round this year, because the second round is the best I've ever done there. It's possible, but I think I've still got some work to do, and there are still some great competitors out there you have to beat to win a Wimbledon title."
The 28-year-old Fish was contesting his 14th ATP World Tour final and slipped to a 3-11 record. The Tampa resident was looking to win his first title in more than a year since lifting the trophy in Delray Beach (d. Korolev) last February. The right-hander is now 0-3 in grass-court finals, having also lost out in Nottingham (l. to Rusedski) in 2003 and in Halle (l. to Federer) a year later.
"I mean, it's inexcusable at that part of the tournament and that part of the match," lamented Fish, reflecting on his missed opportunity to win the second set. "Maybe nerves got to me, or the moment. I mean, I just wanted to play well at this tournament ever since I've been coming here, and if you want something so badly, sometimes it's not a good thing.
"Sam's pretty free flowing out there. Sometimes his attitude of sort of happy go lucky is a great thing. I certainly know the history of this tournament and the names on the trophy, and that definitely caught up to me."