Wild Cards Make Good ~~~
If there was any kind of race to see which 2005 Kalamazoo participant would be the first to win an ATP match, we have a winner. Sam Querrey, last year's runnerup to Donald Young at the 18s Nationals, defeated Bobby Reynolds in straight sets Friday at the Pacific Life Open to earn that distinction in only his third attempt (and second wild card). Young, who was to play Tim Henman before rain scrambled Friday's schedule, was taking his eighth crack at it.
Querrey had orignally drawn Taylor Dent as an opponent, but when Dent withdrew with back problems, Bobby Reynolds was the lucky loser from qualifying elevated to the main draw. Here's a link to the Pacific Life website's story. Since I've spelled Querrey's name wrong in the past, I won't get too worked up about that particular error.
Another Southern Californian teenager used a wild card to advantage, but when Vania King wins at the WTA level, it's really not news anymore. Her next opponent is 16th seed Klara Koukalova, whom she beat at last year's U.S. Open to reach the round of 64.
Next up for Querrey is a bigger challenge-- James Blake. This matchup is particularly interesting because Querrey served as a hitting partner for Blake last December in Chicago. The two had become acquainted when Querrey was invited to Belgium with the U.S. Davis Cup team and Blake asked Querrey to fly in from California for a week's worth of workouts at a suburban club before Christmas. I know Querrey admires Blake, and I imagine he's thrilled at the prospect of being across the net from him again, with quite a bit more on the line.