Querrey Battles Into Last Four In Houston

Eighth seed Sam Querrey inched closer to a third final at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston. The American marched into the semi-finals on Friday, saving two set points in the opening set and another in the second set to defeat Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 7-6(6), 7-6(4).

“My first two matches were pretty clean, but this match was more about fighting your way through it,” said Querrey. “There were some frustrating moments against a tough opponent, but I found a way to win those tie-breaks and that’s what tennis is about sometimes.”  

In a match with no service breaks, Querrey let slip a 4/1 lead and dropped five straight points in the first-set tiebreak, but rallied from 4/6 to win the next four points. He then saved a set point on his serve at 4-5 in the second set before eventually prevailing in one hour and 48 minutes.

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The two-time Houston finalist (2010, 2015) is through to the last four without dropping a set. He also reached the semi-finals this February at the New York Open (l. to Schnur). Querrey evened his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Tipsarevic at 4-4 after losing their three previous matches against the Serbian, who was appearing in his first ATP Tour quarter-final since October 2016.

Querrey will now play Christian Garin after the Chilean comfortably defeated Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen 6-3, 6-2. Garin saved five match points in his second-round win over second seed Jeremy Chardy of France. He reached his first ATP Tour singles final last month at the Brasil Open (l. to Pella).

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#NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud denied Marcel Granollers the birthday he hoped for. The Spaniard turned 33 on Friday, but Ruud didn’t provide any gifts and won 11 straight games to prevail in their quarter-final 6-1, 6-0. All three of Ruud’s ATP Tour semi-finals have come on clay. The 20-year-old reached the last four at the 2017 Rio Open presented by Claro (l. to Carreno Busta) and again last month at the Brasil Open (l. to Garin).

“It’s a good way to start the official clay season,” said Ruud. “I’ve been feeling really good this week. It’s a great atmosphere and there are great fans here.

Next up for Ruud is the winner between seventh seed Jordan Thompson of Australia and qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia. Their quarter-final was suspended due to rain with Galan serving at 6-1, 4-6, 3-3. The match will be completed on Saturday.

Skupski Brothers Move Into Doubles Final

Fourth seeds Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski of Great Britain reached the doubles final by defeating seconds seeds Austin Krajicek of the United States and Artem Sitak of New Zealand 6-1, 6-4. They will play either top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan of the United States or Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan.

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