MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Sam Querrey rallied in the second
tiebreaker and took advantage of a faltering John Isner in the
third set, winning the Morgan Keegan Championships 6-7 (3), 7-6
(5), 6-3 on Sunday.
Isner overpowered his doubles partner and future Davis Cup
teammate in the first set, but stumbled against his good friend
after taking a 5-2 lead in the second-set tiebreaker. Two points
from defeat, Querrey fought back for his third career title and
first this season.
As expected in the tallest finals matchup in ATP history - Isner
is 6-foot-9, Querrey 6-6 - both players served well.
Querrey fought off three break points early in the match,
including two in the first set, and was never broken. He won two
consecutive points on Isner's serve to go up 6-5 in the second
tiebreaker and took control from there.
Ranked 31st on tour, Querrey broke Isner to go up 2-1 in the
third, then broke again to end the match.
Isner took control early in the second tiebreaker, building a
5-2 lead on Querrey's error on an easy return. Querrey screamed,
'Oh, God!" as the ball deflected off the edge of his racket and
Rather than derail him, though, the error seemed to invigorate
him and he went on to win five straight points. He started with an
ace to pull within 5-3. Isner hit the ball into the net on a
return, then was long on the next point - his first real mistake on
his own serve - to make it 5-all.
Querrey chased down a drop shot by Isner and sent a forehand
crosscourt to take a 6-5 lead before Isner again hit the ball long
after a volley that featured some of the day's best back-and-forth
After that, Isner's formidable first serve began to falter. He
hit 78 percent of his first serves in the first set and 65 percent
in the second, but that dropped to 48 percent in the third.
Querrey's serve went in the opposite direction. He hit just 48
percent in the first two sets, but that spiked to 73 percent in the
Querrey broke Isner for the first time when Isner sent the ball
into the net on an unforced error in the third.
Isner and Querrey were set to take on Ross Hutchins and Jordan
Kerr in the men's doubles final later in the day.
Win or lose in that match, it's been quite a week for Querrey,
who will move into the low 20s in the rankings next week.
Just four months ago, he fell through a glass coffee table at a
tournament in Bangkok and worried for a brief time that his career
might be over because of a serious cut to a muscle in his right
forearm that required 25 stitches to repair.
After a winter spent rehabilitating, Querrey was selected for
the Davis Cup team this week along with Isner by United States
captain Patrick McEnroe. Querrey and Isner will play in Serbia in
March, marking the first time since 2000 that neither Andy Roddick
nor James Blake were chosen.
Querrey knocked off Roddick in the quarterfinals in Memphis,
setting up the final between friends.
It was just the second loss of the season for Isner, ranked No.
25 in the world. He dropped to 12-2.