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Sam Querrey, US Open, September 1, 2008

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Sam Querrey

US Open

September 1, 2008

Q. Does a match like that make you feel you've really arrived?

SAM QUERREY: Yeah. You know, I felt like I was right in that one. Especially, you know, that tiebreaker. That could have gone the other way.

And that fourth set, I had six or seven break points, that if I could have maybe battled through that game we could have got back on serve. You never know.

I felt like I played well and it was a good week. Not the worst thing in the world going out to the No. 1 guy.

Q. Seemed like things when were most tense you kind of swung more freely than ever. Did it feel like that? Could you talk about that ability to stay relaxed and hit strong?

SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I definitely got a little looser as the match went on. That first set I was kind of nervous. It was pretty windy. The wind died down, and I felt like the longer the match went on, like, the harder and more free I was on my forehand, especially hitting the inside out one to his forehand.

I was kind of wailing on it. My forehand was feeling really good, especially in the fourth set.

Q. In that marathon game, I'm sure you would have rather have closed it out, but is there satisfaction having kept him on the ropes that long?

SAM QUERREY: Yeah, he had to earn his way that third set, or that fourth set. He had to earn it. I didn't just give it to him. That game, I think he saved five or six break points, seven.

I was playing the deuce points just like unbelievable, and the ad points not so good. But, yeah, I mean, it's nice to know he actually had to go out there and fight for it rather than me kind of handing it to him.

Q. The other day you talked about goals almost in comical terms, in television terms, of being out on the court when networks were on. Can you now change those goals?

SAM QUERREY: I still want to end the year top 32. That's pretty much a main goal. I don't know. I haven't even thought about it a whole lot since I finished 20 minutes ago.

But pretty much right now I still want to be seeded at the Australian Open next year.

Q. You seemed to do so well when there's a lot of attention on you in a big moment, big stadium like this. What's it take to make that result more consistent and carry it through the rest of the year so you can get the ranking up?

SAM QUERREY: I just got to win more, pretty much.

Q. Anything you need to change or do just to keep it going?

SAM QUERREY: I've just got to keep working on the things I'm working on. I've been doing a lot of work on my backhand, really trying to step it up and give it a good rip crosscourt. I used to kind of bunt it a little bit.

Just stay upbeat and stay positive. That's the biggest thing for me, I think. If I'm doing that, I'm having fun, and most of the time I'm playing well and a lot of the time winning.

Q. Were you having fun?

SAM QUERREY: Not in the beginning. (laughter.)

I was, like, nervous and it was windy, and I thought I was maybe going to lose like 2‑2‑0 or something. Finally turned it around and broke ‑‑ after I broke him in 5‑4 at Love in the second set, then I started having a little more fun. From that point on, it was awesome.

Q. Were you as calm as you looked?

SAM QUERREY: Not at the beginning.

Q. No, no, but I mean as it...

SAM QUERREY: As it went on, yeah, I was kind of finding myself out there, and I was feeling good and, you know, mellow and calm and relaxed.

Q. What surprised you about him and what impressed you most?

SAM QUERREY: Um, I guess like the surprising thing is that backhand chip. He kind of ‑‑ he does a great job of just going over there and really just kind of getting balls back and getting balls back.

For the most part, they're pretty deep. It's tough, because he gives you that chip and he almost tempts you to come in. You can't just come in on any ball against him. You have to put it pretty much in one of the corners, otherwise he's going to pass you.

Sometimes if you put it in one of the corners he's going to pass you. He's kind of just edging you on a little bit. It's tough to deal with.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about what you think the cause of the nerves was at the outset? Was it the opponent or the setting, the whole...

SAM QUERREY: Well, I think a little bit of both. More of the setting. My first time on Ashe, and it was pretty windy at the beginning. It was kind of windy the whole match, but especially the beginning. It was really windy and my heart was racing for the first hour.

You know, also, too, playing Rafa. He's ‑‑ the last six months he's lost like one match, so it was kind of a combination.

Q. The crowd really got behind you. Did you become aware of that?

SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I heard them, especially that 4‑2 game. They were into it. They wanted that one more than I did, probably. (laughter.)

Q. Who were the Samurai warriors in your box?

SAM QUERREY: Four of my friends flew out, took the red eye last night, and they're going back. Shane Poppen and Chap Way, Dan Farrugia and Wes Burrows all flew out.

Q. Do you think they feel it was worthwhile making the trip out?

SAM QUERREY: Yeah, definitely. I think so. I think they had a good time. I heard they got a lot of air time.

Q. Is there a feeling of being in with a monster, I mean, something you've never seen before?

SAM QUERREY: Not really, not really.

Q. How do you see Mardy's chances against Nadal the way he's been playing this week?

SAM QUERREY: I mean, good. I mean, today he came to the net 50 times or something like that. If he's aggressive and comes in at the right times, especially to Nadal's backhand, I think he could have a shot.

If he just, you know ‑‑ but he's really got to ‑‑ he's got to be aggressive and take chances. He can't go baseline to baseline with Rafa, I don't think. He's got to serve well and be aggressive and come to the net like he did today.

If he does that, I think he's got a good shot.

Q. I'm curious if you have any nieces or nephews so that we know whether you're actually Uncle Sam?

SAM QUERREY: No, I don't. Oh, wait. No, no. I only have a sister who's younger than me. (laughter.)

Some of my cousins had, like, some kids, and I was just spacing.

Q. We're kind of into this American thing.

SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I know.

Q. In the second and third set there, especially before the tiebreaker, looked like you were fitter than Rafa today. Did you feel like you were fresher? He seemed to be dragging a bit.

SAM QUERREY: I don't know. I felt good. I wasn't cramping. Felt like I could have gone five sets. Unlike the other day against Devilder. I've been taking care of my body the last three days and drinking plenty of water and stretching a lot and, you know, doing plenty of ‑‑ getting plenty of massages.

Seems like I've got to do that all the time. I wasn't doing that before.

Q. If there's one particular shot you had more success against him with, what would that be, or where was his weakness?

SAM QUERREY: I think you've got to really just emphasize on going backhand, backhand, going to his backhand. Once you get that short ball you can step up and rip.

I like taking a shot at it to his forehand. I think that was the key. You have to be patient by going to the backhand and just be content with that, and then you've got to go just big to the forehand.

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