Home favourite Sam Querrey has a huge opportunity to progress to the latter stages of the US Open after overcoming Radu Albot in the third round.
Querrey recovered from losing the first set to beat Albot 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 at Flushing Meadows and set up a last 16 clash against Mischa Zverev.
With fellow American John Isner and Marin Cilic both crashing out in the bottom half of the draw on Friday, Querrey’s first venture into the second week of the tournament for seven years couldn’t be better timed.
"I learned how to enjoy myself."
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The big-hitting Californian is the only player in that side of the draw to have reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam previously after the likes of Alexander Zverev and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have also been eliminated.
“I feel like I always had this level, but it’s just better now,” Querrey said.
“All around, I’m recognizing the opportunities to move forward. My backhand is definitely better.
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“I feel like my return is a lot better. I feel like my intangibles are a little better. I just feel like every part of my game is a little more complete now.”
In his first appearance in a Grand Slam third round tie, Albot took an early lead, yet Querrey immediately responded.
He broke Albot in the opening game of the second set and once more in sets three and four – hitting 49 winners along the way, including 19 aces.
The possibility of an all-American fourth round tie was quashed after Isner lost 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 to Zverev.
The 10th seed had been the highest-ranked player remaining in the bottom half of the draw, yet the pattern of tournament shocks continued.