EXCLUSIVE: Sam Querrey on beating Andy Murray at Wimbledon and 2018 hopes
Sam Querrey admits he did not know how badly injured Andy Murray was during their Wimbledon quarter-final last year, as he spoke exclusively to Tennis365.
Big-serving American Querrey stunned defending Wimbledon champion Murray with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1 last July, which turned out to be the Scot’s final match for 11 months as he was sidelined with a hip problem.
While injury finally overcame Murray in the final two sets as he limped out of Wimbledon last year, Querrey told us he did not know whether he would get over the finishing line until he raised his arms in victory.
“I didn’t know how bad it was for him,” Querrey told us at The Boodles event at Stoke Park. “I knew Andy had a lingering hip issue and it was tough to tell how serious it was. He had won four matches to get to that stage of the tournament, so that would suggest it wasn’t too bad, but clearly we now know how bad it was as he has barely hit a ball in the year since then.
“It’s tricky with him because over the years, even when he was fine, he tends to moan a little or look tired or injured, so you didn’t know what was going on. I had to block it out and focus on my own game.
“It was probably the best day of my career so far. To reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time and for it to be on Wimbledon’s Centre Court and all that goes with it was pretty special.”
A year on Querrey has welcomed Murray’s return and suggested it will not take long for the former world No 1 to get back to top form.
“I’m pleased to see him back,” he said of Murray. “He had a good win against Stan Wawrinka last week and I don’t think it will take him long to get his wheels going, assuming his hip is okay.
“It’s great to have him back. People all over the world enjoy watching him and he is one of the best players of all-time, so it’s great to see him.”
Querrey has plenty of rankings points to defend at Wimbledon this year after his run to the semi-finals in 2017, but he does not want to see that as a burden as he returns to the grass courts of the All England Club.
“I had a similar scenario last year as I had quarter-final points to defend, but my coach Craig Boynton is always trying to set me right on this,” he continues. “He reminds me that we play 20 more tournaments in a year to build up points, so we cannot focus too much on just one event, even if it is the big event of the year at Wimbledon.
“You can’t look at tennis as a week to week event and think about your ranking as an annual challenge rather than a weekly one or you will end up driving yourself nuts.
“The way I prefer to look at it is like this. Over the last two years, I’ve had a quarter-final and a semi-final at Wimbledon and that highlights how I feel good on grass. My game suits this surface and I feel like after the last two years, I can make another run again this year.”
Meanwhile, Querrey had one word to sum up how the rest of the game’s top players should be feeling as they try and fail to end the winning run of defending Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, as the Swiss maestro approaches his 37th birthday next month.
“It’s embarrassing that we have a 36 and nearly 37-year-old beating us every week,” added Querrey with a smile. “It is also inspiring. We used to think that when we got to 30, we were about done, but he is giving guys a lot of hope that we can have a longer lifespan in the game.”
Follow Kevin Palmer on Twitter @RealKevinPalmer
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