When the world’s best tennis player was beat in an upset this summer at Wimbledon, people everywhere immediately took notice. In the third round of the tournament, 28 year old American, and TOHS alumni Sam Querrey defeated the defending champion and number one ranked player Novak Djokovic, creating international headlines. Querrey, who is ranked 41st in the world came into the match on July 2nd. After leading Djokovic in the beginning by two sets, the game had to be postponed due to weather problems. When the match continued the next day, Querrey defeated Djokovic in four sets, handing him his first loss in a major tournament since the 2015 French Open final.
“Beating the world’s number one at such a great tournament with a great crowd was an amazing feeling,” Querrey said. “That match was definitely one of the best moments of my career.”
Even after the upset, Querrey continued his run and defeated French player Nicolas Mahut 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, enabling him to reach his first ever major quarter final where he was eventually defeated by Canadian Milos Raonic. Despite defeat, this run stood as Querrey’s most successful performance at a Grand Slam.
“[Overall] Wimbledon was a great experience for me this year,” Querrey said. “I was very happy to have competed as well as I did there.”
Aside from the accomplishments of this summer, Querrey has long enjoyed many different successes playing tennis throughout his life. Querrey began playing at age five at a club in Northern California. He later moved to Southern California and attended TOHS where he played
tennis his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons.
“I remember Sam being a really nice, well behaved guy and a hard worker,” current TOHS tennis coach, and former coach of Querrey, Dave Assorson said. “He was alway training even when he wasn’t at school, and he was traveling all the time.”
During his senior season, Querrey stopped playing at school to focus on playing in United States Tennis Association tournaments. Querrey continued his youth success when he won both the singles and doubles titles at the 2004 USTA Boys’ 16s National Championships.
When he graduated from TOHS in 2006, Querrey immediately turned professional, turning down a full scholarship offer to play tennis at USC. From there on out, Querrey began his early career competing in numerous tournaments all over the world, some of which included: the Australian Open, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the US Open series which he won in 2009. In January of 2011, Querrey earned the highest ranking of his career, putting him at 17th in the world.
“I’m thrilled every time I see him on tv, and I have to pinch myself because he’s done so well,” Assorson said. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment [for him] to be successful at that level.”
With numerous successes throughout his professional career, Querrey has claimed a total of eight singles titles, five career doubles titles, and has earned over seven million dollars in prize money. He also holds the world record for the most consecutive service aces which he accumulated in 2007.
“It has been an amazing experience to get to travel around the world and play against some of the world’s best,” Querrey said. “[Now] I am just working to continuously improve.”
For the current season, Querrey has plans to continue his training and competition as usual. Though he no longer resides in Thousand Oaks, Querrey often trains locally at the StubHub Center in Carson California, where he works with his coaches on his hitting, strokes, footwork, stamina, and body fitness. Querrey’s training will work to prepare him as he gets ready for his upcoming competitions.
“I will definitely be playing tournaments through the rest of the season,” Querrey said. “After the U.S Open ends, I will be playing a few weeks in Asia and in Europe to finish out the year.”
Overall, Querrey has enjoyed the experience of playing at the professional level. Despite the challenges of playing against some of the world’s toughest opponents, Querrey has thrived and developed a career that seems to be on the rise. As seen by his most recent accomplishments, Querrey will definitely be a player to watch in the upcoming seasons.
“[Overall] I just try to enjoy tennis and the experiences that go along with it,” Querrey said. “I’ve been very fortunate to spend the last ten years of my life getting to do something that so few people get to experience.”
Cover Photo // Danika Chaney // Facebook // With Permission