Tennis

‘Nonetheless in a little bit little bit of shock’: Sam Querrey upsets defending champion Andy Murray at Wimbledon

By Howard Fendrich

LONDON — Limping between factors and fading down the stretch, defending champion Andy Murray was surprised by 24th-seeded Sam Querrey of the U.S. 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1 within the Wimbledon quarterfinals Wednesday.

The No. 1-seeded Murray got here into the match coping with a sore left hip and it clearly impeded him at Centre Courtroom. He grimaced as he stumbled or landed awkwardly whereas making an attempt photographs.

Querrey took full benefit to succeed in the primary Grand Slam semifinal of his profession — and the primary for any American man anyplace since Andy Roddick was the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2009.

“I’m nonetheless in a little bit little bit of shock myself,” Querrey stated.

There was one other quarterfinal shock later Wednesday, when three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic stopped enjoying due to a proper arm harm whereas trailing 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 7-6 (2), 2-0. After dropping the opening set, Djokovic took a medical timeout whereas a coach massaged his arm. A day earlier, throughout his fourth-round match, Djokovic had his proper shoulder labored on by a coach.

Seven-time champion Roger Federer moved into his 12th semifinal on the All England Membership with an easy 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory over 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic. That left Federer as the one member of the game’s so-called Massive Four nonetheless standing: Along with the exits for Murray and Djokovic, Rafael Nadal misplaced within the fourth spherical. That quartet has mixed to win every of the previous 14 Wimbledon titles.

In Friday’s semifinals, Querrey will face 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia, who additionally gained a five-setter Wednesday, getting previous 16th-seeded Gilles Muller 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 with the assistance of 33 aces. On the opposite half of the draw, Federer will face Berdych.

U.S. participant Sam Querrey celebrates beating Britain’s Andy Murray at Wimbledon on July 12. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Photos

Murray is often a terrific returner, however Querrey hit 27 aces. He was impeccable for parts of the match, ending with 70 winners and solely 30 unforced errors.

“He was dictating all the factors,” Murray stated.

From 1-all within the fourth, Querrey grabbed eight video games in a row to take that set and lead 3-Zero within the final.

“I didn’t begin my finest, however I simply saved with it. Stored swinging away after which actually discovered a groove within the fourth and fifth set,” Querrey stated. “And all the things type of appeared to be falling my approach then.”

It’s the second 12 months in a row that the 29-year-old Californian upset the defending champion and top-seeded man on the All England Membership. In 2016, he ended Djokovic’s 30-match Grand Slam successful streak by beating him within the third spherical.

Murray didn’t have that kind of latest dominance, however he’s a three-time main champion and had been to at the least the semifinals on the All England Membership in seven of the previous eight years.

The hip, although, was an issue this time. Murray needed to skip some follow periods and pull out of a few deliberate exhibition matches earlier than Wimbledon. Though he saved insisting as soon as the match started that he was OK, he was not able to his finest.

Murray’s serve speeds slowed, and his backhands didn’t have their normal verve. He couldn’t play his normal court-covering defence.

“I used to be fairly shut right now. It wasn’t like I used to be, like, one million miles away from successful the match,” Murray stated. “Clearly the tip was a little bit of a battle.”

Querrey is the lowest-ranked participant to ever beat two-time Wimbledon champion Murray in his 12 appearances on the grass-court Grand Slam match.

For Murray, this was the fourth five-set match he’s misplaced in a row. Querrey is headed in the other way: Merely 4-10 in fifth units for his profession till final week, he has gained every of his final three matches by going the gap: in opposition to 12th-seeded Jo Wilfried Tsonga within the third spherical, Kevin Anderson within the fourth, and now Murray.

Querrey all the time has had an intimidating serve, however he’s by no means managed to place collectively his total sport for sufficient matches to play on the ultimate weekend at a significant.

Certainly, till final 12 months’s win over Djokovic, he may need been finest recognized for a few of his uncommon off-court episodes. In Thailand for a 2009 match, he minimize two muscle mass in his proper arm when he sat on a glass desk that shattered. Two years in the past, he appeared on the truth TV present “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” There’s a preferred video clip on social media of Querrey — sun shades and hat on, shirt unbuttoned — dancing with associates carrying horse-head masks.

Now Querrey’s on-court accomplishment Wednesday will make headlines. Win two extra matches, and he’ll be the Wimbledon champion.

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