American Querrey opens with win at Indy

July 21, 2009 04:10 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- American Sam Querrey beat Arnaud Clement of France 6-3, 6-4 in the opening-round of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships on Monday.

"It'd be great to be seeded at the U.S. Open -- that's kind of a little short-term goal," said Querrey, ranked No. 37 in the world. "Hopefully, I can do better than that and after this hard-court season -- after the end of the year -- be ranked in the 20s or Top 20 maybe."

Querrey broke Clement twice -- once in each set -- and held each of his 10 service games at the first tournament of the USTA's U.S. Open Series.

The tournament's No. 3 seed, Querrey broke Clement to move ahead 3-1 and take control of the first set. He then won 77 percent of his second-set serves.

"I feel great," Querrey said. "I've never felt better. My serve feels great. I feel like my backhand has improved a lot, especially on my return of serve."

Querrey will play local favorite Rajeev Ram in a second-round match. Ram beat Querrey in the finals of the ATP Hall of Fame Championship in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 12.

"It will be a tough match," Querrey said of Ram, who beat Devin Britton, 6-3, 7-5, in the first round Sunday. "He's confident right now. He's won six matches in a row eight if you go back to qualifying at Newport. He's playing well."

Querrey, 8-3 all-time at Indianapolis, was one of three seeds playing Monday. Eighth-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan beat Kevin Kim of the United States, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and seventh-seeded Marc Gicquel of France beat Ernests Gulbis of Lativa, 6-2, 6-3.

Top-seeded Dmitry Tursunov of Russia will play a first-round match Tuesday against Michael Berrer of Germany. Tursunov is the tournament's defending champion.

Also Tuesday, second-seeded Dudi Sela of Israel will open play against Vincent Spadea of the United States.

Querrey is the top-ranked American player in the event. Andy Roddick (No. 5), James Blake (No. 17) and Mardy Fish (No. 22) are the Americans ranked ahead of him.

"It's nice when you're the top American guy at an event," Querrey said. "It would obviously be better if Andy and James and Mardy were here. They have other things going on, but hopefully in the future they can come back."

Roddick, a Wimbledon finalist early this month, withdrew from the event late last week because of a hip flexor injury.