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Querrey gets 2010 back on track with SAP victory

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:54

After three straight first round exits in 2010 – along with two exhibition losses in the run-up to the Australian Open – Sam Querrey’s season is finally underway.

The American followed up his straight sets victory over Teimuraz Gabashvili with a 6-4 6-4 win over Taylor Dent to reach the quarter-finals of the SAP Open in San Jose, California.

Six months ago, the US Open Series champ had reached a career-high ranking of No.22 in the world, and rising – before a freak accident involving a glass coffee table in a Bangkok hotel foyer and the 22-year-old’s wrist ended his year prematurely.

And having slipped behind John Isner to No.3 in the US rankings, the California native will look to push beyond the last eight this year after losing to James Blake at the same stage in 2009.

Top seed Andy Roddick shrugged off concerns about a pinched nerve in his shoulder as he booked his spot in the quarters for an eighth time with a 6-3 6-2 victory against Leonard Mayer.

“Tonight it was just coming off a bit firmer and I was able to move the ball around a bit more that comes from getting a match in,” Roddick said.

The Argentine gave Roddick something to think about for long periods in the match, going toe to toe with the three-time champion until game eight of the first set, and breaking at the start of the second before the American pulled away with three breaks of his own to clinch it.

“This was a good match for me,” said Roddick, unflustered by the giant screen behind the court as he had been in his opening match. This time out it did not display a live feed of the on-court action.

“I felt like he had big swings, and I thought that forced him to play a bit more aggressively on the first ball of a point which in turn creates a little bit of a more hit or miss deal for him, which I though caught with him tonight.”

Fernando Verdasco faced a similar stern first-set challenge on his way to victory over Benjamin Becker 7-5 6-2.

“I started playing well but he started playing unbelievable,” the No.2 seed said. “He wasn’t missing any balls. But I was able to break him at 5-4 in the first with a tough game and I got some confidence from that and maybe he lost some confidence.

“I was able to break him again and gained some more confidence and in the second set I played really good.”

In the day’s other second-round matches, Michael Russell defeated Xavier Malisse 6-4 7-5 while world No.255 Ricardas Berankis upset Bjorn Phau 7-6(5) 6-3.

The Lithuanian will face Verdasco in the last eight, while Roddick faces Tomas Berdych. Phillipp Kohlschreiber faces Denis Istomin and Querrey takes on Russell.

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