Querrey: Federer still man to beat at SW19

Sun, 13 Jun 19:42:00 2010

Sam Querrey, the newest member of the grasscourt title owners' club, played down his chances of Wimbledon glory and said Roger Federer remained the benchmark despite his shock defeat in Halle.

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The towering Querrey, who boasts a scorching first serve and a thumping forehand, beat friend and fellow American Mardy Fish to win the Queen's Club title which over the years has been a reliable indicator of Wimbledon potential.

Querrey, 22, has the weapons to make a mark at the All England Club where he has never gone beyond the second round, but he says he still has much to learn before he can hope to emulate compatriots such as Pete Sampras and John McEnroe.

"I'd love to win Wimbledon," the 6'6" Californian said after overpowering Fish with the help of 15 aces.

"I'm kind of going with baby steps here and (will) try and make the third round this year, because the second round is the best I've ever done there.

"You know, it's possible, but I think I've still got some work to do, and there's still some great competitors out there you have to beat to win a Wimbledon title."

At least he now feels comfortable with grass under his feet, having grown up on American hardcourts.

"I feel more comfortable on grass every year," he said. "I mean four years ago I still had a big serve and a big forehand but I just got chopped up on grass. I didn't know what I was doing. It definitely takes some time. People always assume you're going to do well on grass if you have a big serve."

While Querrey fired off his thunderbolts against Fish, six-times Wimbledon champion Federer was losing to Lleyton Hewitt in the final at Halle, only his second loss in 78 grasscourt matches.

It caused ripples around the balconies at Queen's Club but Querrey said the Swiss would be the main man at Wimbledon where he is defending his title.

"I think guys are still going to fear him," he said. "He's still the most feared player at Wimbledon even though he lost today to Lleyton.

"Maybe he's lost a little bit of his game but he's still the greatest player ever and the defending Wimbledon champion and the guy that I'm definitely going to fear more than any player."

Nonetheless the Americans will head to Wimbledon, which starts on June 21, in good spirits. Andy Roddick, last year's runner-up to Federer, is still their main hope but with Querrey and Fish in good shape on grass he could have some back-up.

"I'm going to do the best I can at Wimbledon," Querrey said. "I know Mardy is, Andy is, (John) Isner is.

"Hopefully we can all make a run. Maybe it's a good omen that the final is on July 4. Hopefully our football team can make a run at the World Cup too."


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