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Querrey rolls into third final, faces qualifier Ball

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:39

Los Angeles-born qualifier Carsten Ball’s dream run at the LA Tennis Open has taken him to the final after beating Leonardo Mayer 7-5 7-6(3) in the semi-finals.

The Australian will face fellow big server Sam Querrey on Sunday after the American reached his third final in as many events with victory over top seed Tommy Haas.

Ball, who has made the four-hour commute from his home in Newport Beach since the qualifying rounds over a week ago, had never played an ATP-level match before Monday.

But the 22-year-old world No.205, son of 1974 Australian Open doubles finalist Syd Ball, fired 10 aces on his way to the win over Mayer, also playing the first semi-final of his career.

“I’m really not thinking about the fact that I’m into a final,” said Ball. “I just wanted to win the first round at qualifying and then go match by match.

“It’s a surprise to get this far but I’m looking forward to Sunday. Querrey is playing well. But I like the conditions, the court bounces high – that let’s you play aggressive and get to the net.”

No.6 seed Querrey upset two-time former champ Tommy Haas 6-3 7-5 to continue his impressive – if titleless – run of form.

“I’ve been playing a lot of matches recently,” said Querrey, who came up short in the finals in Newport and Indianapolis last month as he bids for the second title of his career. “But the more matches you win, the better the confidence.

The American landed eight aces and saved all five break points he faced – including three as he served for the match – to reach the final.

“I’ve been doing a lot of running on the track – 200s, 400s – that is starting to pay off. It may also help that I’ve been feeling pretty hyper on court.”

Top seed Haas had some strong words for Querrey’s supporters, the “Samurais”, who vociferously celebrated the German’s errors as well as Querrey’s winners.

“Those guys just showed they have no class,” said the 31-year-old of the shirtless fanclub from the Californian’s former high school. “It’s up to Sam to take control of the situation if he wants to. This was not the fifth set of a US Open.”

“I’m still playing tennis for the big matches,” added the former world No.2. “For my first summer hard court match, I’m pretty pleased.

“But I could tell that after early chances in the second set, I wasn’t mentally there at the end. I’m working to peak at the US Open.”

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