By Steven Lieberman
Observer Reporter 

Querrey Wins Third Title at UCLA


Sam Querrey has now become a three-time champion (2009, 2010, 2012) at the annual Farmers Classic men’s professional tennis tournament held at UCLA’s Straus Stadium.

He beat Lithuanian challenger Ricardas Berankis 6-0, 6-2 to win the title on Sunday.

Querrey, who is from Thousand Oaks, required only 52 minutes and 14 games, the shortest period of time and the fewest games on the ATP World Tour this season. He has also won 13 straight matches at the Farmers.

“This tournament is special because I get to play in front of all my family and friends,” he said. ‘I feel comfortable on this court in my hometown and now playing at 100 % after coming back from (elbow) surgery last year,”

Querrey became the seventh three-time champion, a fraternity that consists of Don Budge, Jack Kramer and Arthur Ashe, among others.

“I came up with some big serves and forehands. My focus was on the big points and my inside-out forehand,” said Querrey. “I’m (back to) playing at a Top-20 level now and want to be seeded at the US Open.” He also mentioned that he opted not to play for USA at the Olympics in London so he could focus on his rankings.

In the semifinals, American Rajeev Ram, who beat Querrey in the finals of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in 2009, wasn’t as fortunate, falling to second-seeded Querrey in a second-set tie-breaker, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

Xavier Malisse, the player most likely to give Querrey a challenge, had to retire in the second set during their quarterfinal match due to a knee injury.

Since most top-ranked players are at the Olympics, the 28-player main draw was a bit watered-down. This gave many players who are trying to earn points toward their rankings on the challenger pro circuit an opportunity to play in this Emirates Airline US Open Series tournament.

It also was an advantage for 24-year-old Querrey who, at a height of 6- 6, dominated the tournament with an ATP world ranking of 55 and a 130 MPH serve that was very difficult to return. His highest career ranking was 17 achieved in January of 2011 before his injury.

Querrey, who played for the USA at the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008 and Davis Cup in 2010, holds the record for most consecutive service aces with 10 in a 2007 match at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships against James Blake.

At the Farmers, Blake lost a hard-fought first round match to German Tobias Kamke, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4).

Outside of the four major Grand Slams, no tournament is as traditional as the Farmers Classic, being played for the 86th time this year. Originally titled the Pacific Southwest Championships, it was played at the Los Angeles Tennis Club through 1974. Ten-time Grand Slam winner Bill Tilden became the first singles champion in 1927.

Also on the list of past winners at the Farmers are John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang and Stefan Edberg.

In the doubles final, the unseeded Belgian team of Xavier Malisse and Ruben Bemelmans defeated third-seed Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski, both from Great Britain, by a score of 7-6 (7-5), 4-6. 10-7. Malisse also won the doubles title last year.


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