Querrey’s on brink
FOR years Sam Querrey has been mocked as the Nearly Man.
Until Wednesday, 41 grand slam opportunities had come and gone.
His best result was the Wimbledon quarter- finals last year, when he gained fleeting fame as a giant- slayer by rolling world No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic.
Fast forward a year, and the Las Vegan has belatedly claimed the limelight – with a much overdue sense of arrival.
Reprising his giant- killing reputation, Querrey created history by bowling over world No. 1 and defending champion Andy Murray.
No man in grand slam history has taken as many attempts – 42 – to reach a maiden major semi- final.
South Australian Mark Woodforde previously held the record with 38. Querrey, 29, plays US Open winner Marin Cilic tonight.
“We’ll see. Anything can happen,” Querrey said.
“Marin is ranked, like, 5. He’s right outside of the Big Four. That’s going to be a tough one.”
Cilic holds a 4- 0 win- loss edge, with three of those victories coming on grass.
Querrey confessed he didn’t expect to advance to the semi- finals.
“I mean, honestly, probably didn’t write that in. I knew I could make the second week,” he said.
“I’m comfortable on the grass. I like playing at Wimbledon. It’s been a dream tournament so far.
“Hopefully I can keep it going and go one round further.”
Asked to describe himself, the uncomplicated American said: “I’m ranked 26, pretty good grass court player. That’s about it.”
Cilic credits former coach Goran Ivanisevic, the 2001 champion, for providing the key to elevating from decent to exceptional.
“For me ( the) huge difference was when I started to work with Goran, we changed my serving motion, serving routine,” Cilic said.
“I believe that has helped me to win the US Open 2014, to play really well in those few years.
“Now with working with Jonas ( Bjorkman), I believe we worked on some different aspects.
“I believe we just found a good formula for myself to play constantly on a good level. I believe that’s something that I was missing during most of my career.
“Now the moment, I would say, these last three months that I’ve played, maybe that was the most consistent tennis on a high level that I played ever in my career.”