(February 17, 2018) UNIONDALE, NY – Sam Querrey reached his 18th ATP World Tour on Saturday when he finally beat Arian Mannarino for the first time in his career 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-3 at the New York Open in Uniondale, New York on Long Island. The American, who is seeded No. 2 came into the match 0-3 against his left-handed French opponent.
It was a very back and forth first set as both players broke each other’s serves twice. Mannarino saved a set point in the tenth game. Mannarino started off with a mini-break in the tiebreak. Both men exchanged mini-breaks. Querrey saved a set point to get back on serve at 5-6, but Mannarino closed out the set on an Querrey error.
The match stayed tight with no breaks of serve until the eleventh game when Querrey prevailed with a break. Querrey raised the consistency of his first serves, serving at 80% in the last two sets – he hit 12 out of his 21 aces of the match in the second set.
Querrey fought off three break points while serving at 2-3 in the third set, then broke Mannarino in the next game and held on to win the match.
Querrey admitted that he forgot the score at match point and though it was 4-2. “The crowd was too loud for just a break of serve, and I looked up and said.. ’gosh I won.” “I think I was so dialed in that I wanted to beat him so badly.”
“From the middle of the second set, he was really serving well,” sad Mannarino. “I had that one chance in the third set to break him but, other wise he was serving very well. He took his chance in the best moment. He deserved that win.”
Reaching the semifinal, the Frenchman was still not happy with his week. He is the highest ranked top 25 player without a tournament win, ranked at a career-high No. 25. “I have work to do to get a title one day.”
Querrey was joyous with the win: “I felt like I beat Rafa (Nadal) out there. The guy has always been so tricky. It was my first time beating him. It feels good. So happy to get through that and get in the final. I’m really excited.”
Querrey talked about why Mannarino is so difficult to play: He’s left-handed, he’s crafty. He keeps the ball so low, I’m hitting from my ankles half of the time. It’s tough to be aggressive off his shots. Sometimes you just don’t match up against someone.”
The world No. 12 player will play the winner of the match between top seed Kevin Anderson and fifth Kei Nishikori, who play during evening session.
“Kei is a great returner and Kevin is a big guy so they’re both kind of difficult to ace.”
Querrey will be going for his eleventh career title on Sunday.