Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Look Back at Sam Querrey's "Sunshine Double" at 2005 Carson and Easter Bowl; Querrey's UTR All Access Chat Today Now Available on YouTube

After an initial glitch (I received an email that it had been cancelled), Sam Querrey kicked off the UTR All Access Series today, and provided comments on a variety of topics in the 45-minute interview. Prakash Amritraj was the host of the event, and Querrey appeared relaxed and comfortable in talking about his career. Querrey was candid in saying that he was comfortable skipping college, and that his parents supported that decision, with the early success he had in Challengers providing all the confirmation he needed that turning pro was right for him. He said that extensive international travel was the most difficult adjustment he had when he began his pro career, and he also said he would be fine with his son Ford, just over a month old now, playing an entirely different sport, or excelling in another non-athletic pursuit.  Querrey revealed he hates to stretch, and indulges in ice cream during some ATP tournaments, but is much more careful about his physical and nutritional requirements during slams.  Now 32, he also revealed he can see himself playing for four or five more years.

The video of today's event is available at YouTube. The next All Access event, on Tuesday April 7, will feature Alison Riske. Registration is required, and you'll need the link UTR sends you in response to signing up, but there is no charge for any of this content.

Sam Querrey is one of the first players I covered extensively who made an impact on professional tennis, with my initial encounter with him coming when he won the Kalamazoo 16s title in 2004. Unfamiliar with the entire ITF Junior Circuit structure, Querrey had no experience in international level tournaments, so the US Open junior wild card he received for winning the Kalamazoo 16s was bound to put him in an unfamiliar situation. As it happens, the 2004 US Open was also my first junior slam, and it was memorable for a lot of reasons, including the end of the quest for the Junior Grand Slam, when Viktor Troicki defeated Gael Monfils, who had won the three previous junior slams, in the third round. But for me, it was particularly exciting to see Querrey hold his own in that company, in spite of his inexperience, and he went on to reach the quarterfinals that week, losing to eventual champion Andy Murray 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-1.

Querrey had one more year of junior slam eligibility left, so to play the French and Wimbledon juniors in 2005, he had to make the most of the two big tournaments in Southern California that spring, after not making the trip to Australia.  Querrey won the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson in the tournament's debut that year and then went on to take the ITF Grade B1 Easter Bowl title the following week in Palm Springs. With those two titles, Querrey secured his place in the main draw of Roland Garros and Wimbledon, where he reached the quarterfinals (lost to Lukas Lacko) and the third round (lost to Marin Cilic).

You can read my coverage of Querrey's win over Carsten Ball in the Easter Bowl final, as well as Alexa Glatch's title in the girls draw here.
I apologize for the awkward photo display, but it was the early days of the site, and many of the photos I put up in the first couple of years have been lost to Flickr's change of hosts.