Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sam Querrey for America


We have one of our own in the Australian Open's third round, America. Sound the trumpets. Wave the flags. Grill the hot dogs.

After an unexpected exit from John Isner, the American No. 1, on the second day of the tournament, hope was lost for the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave in Melbourne in 2014. But that hope has been restored in the form of the Cali boy, Sam Querrey, who won his second match of the tournament on Day 3. 

Querrey defeated 23rd seeded Ernests Gulbis in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the third round. It marks the second consecutive year Querrey has reached the third round in the Aussie Open, and the second time he has accomplished that feat in back-to-back years. He found himself here in 2007 and 2008, his first two appearances in Melbourne.

Querrey will face the Fabio Fognini-Jarkko Nieminen winner for a spot in the fourth round, where Novak Djokovic will be waiting should things go as expected. Querrey was one win shy of meeting Djokovic in that match last year, but he couldn't slip past Stanilas Wawrinka to get there.

Two other Americans, Jack Sock and Donald Young, remain in the mens' tournament field with upcoming second round matches on Thursday. Sock will face 25th seeded Gael Monfils and Young will get 24th seeded Andreas Seppi, who knocked out fan favorite Lleyton Hewitt. Barring an upset, Sock and Young will join Isner, Ryan Harrison, Tim Smyczek, Bradley Khlan, Wayne Odesnik, Denis Kudla, Steve Johnson, and Michael Russell on the early flight back to the States.

That leaves Querrey, the "Great Red, White and Blue Hope," to make a run for the second week of the 2014 Australian Open. He said after his win over Gulbis that reaching the third round makes it a successful tournament for him already, but we, the United States of America, are not settling for a 32nd place trophy. We want Sam Querrey to continue winning, because that's what America does. It wins. 

Ask the 1980 U.S. national hockey team if it was content with a draw against Sweden to open group play in the Olympics. The answer is no. It was content with a win over the Soviets and a gold medal.

Ask Rulon Gardner if he was satisfied after finishing fourth at the 1993 NCAA Wrestling Championships. No. Rulon Gardner was satisfied when he defeated that scary Russian guy who hadn't lost in 13 years to win the gold medal in 2000. That dude was terrifying. 

Ask Amelia Earhart if she just shut it down when she flew a third of the way across the Atlantic Ocean. No. Amelia Earhart was just picking up speed on her way to becoming the first female to fly solo across that salty pond.

You see, Sam Querrey is our Amelia Earhart. He's our Rulon Gardner and he's our Herb Brooks. America believes in miracles, it fears no one, and we're not turning around and flying back home empty-handed because we got a third of the way there.

Sam Querrey for America. Let's win this thing.